Skip Navigation
  Print Page

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Overview

Skip sharing on social media links
Share this:

Polycystic (pronounced pah-lee-SIS-tik) ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a set of symptoms related to a hormonal imbalance that occurs in women and girls of reproductive age. 

PCOS may cause menstrual cycle changes, skin changes such as increased facial and body hair and acne, cysts in the ovaries, and infertility. Often, women with PCOS have problems with their metabolism also.

NICHD scientists are currently investigating the causes of PCOS, possible treatments, and ways to manage this problem.

arrow pointing left For more information about this topic, select the Condition Information, Research Information, Clinical Trials, or Resources and Publications link in the menu on the left.

Common Names

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • PCOS
  • Hyperandrogenism (pronounced hahy-per-an-DROJ-uh-niz-uhm)
  • Androgen excess syndrome

Medical or Scientific Name

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
Last Updated Date: 07/30/2013
Last Reviewed Date: 05/23/2013
Vision National Institutes of Health Home BOND National Institues of Health Home Home Storz Lab: Section on Environmental Gene Regulation Home Machner Lab: Unit on Microbial Pathogenesis Home Division of Intramural Population Health Research Home Bonifacino Lab: Section on Intracellular Protein Trafficking Home Lilly Lab: Section on Gamete Development Home Lippincott-Schwartz Lab: Section on Organelle Biology