Evidence-Based Methodology Workshop on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

December 3-5, 2012


Fertility and Infertility (FI) Branch, Division of Extramural Research (DER), NICHD; Office of Disease Prevention (ODP), Office of the Director (OD), NIH;


Natcher Conference Center (Building 45), NIH Campus, Bethesda, Maryland


PCOS is a common hormone disorder that affects approximately 5 million reproductive-aged women in the United States. Women with PCOS have difficulty getting pregnant due to hormone imbalances that cause or result from altered development of ovarian follicles. One such imbalance is high blood levels of androgens, which can come from both the ovaries and adrenal gland. Other organ systems that are affected by PCOS include the pancreas, liver, muscle, blood vasculature, and fat.

Women with PCOS are often resistant to the biological effects of insulin and, as a consequence, may have high insulin levels. As such, women with PCOS are at risk for type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Obesity also appears to worsen the condition.

In 1990, the NIH held a conference on PCOS to create both a working definition of the disorder and diagnostic criteria. The outcome of this conference, the NIH Criteria, served as a standard for researchers and clinicians for more than a decade. In 2003, a consensus workshop in Rotterdam developed new diagnostic criteria, the Rotterdam Criteria.

This workshop on PCOS aims to clarify:

  • Benefits and drawbacks of using the Rotterdam Criteria
  • The condition’s causes, predictors, and long-term consequences
  • Optimal prevention and treatment strategies

For more information, including agenda and registration information, visit https://prevention.nih.gov/docs/programs/pcos/PCOS_ProgramBook.pdf. Meeting registration is free, but required due to limited space.


Paris Watson, ODP, OD, NIH
Phone: 301-496-6615
E-mail: watsonpa@mail.nih.gov

Please note: Views expressed during NICHD-sponsored events do not necessarily reflect the opinions or the official positions of NICHD, NIH, or HHS.
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