Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a set of symptoms related to a hormonal imbalance that can affect women and girls of reproductive age.
PCOS may cause menstrual cycle changes, skin changes such as increased facial and body hair and acne, abnormal growths in the ovaries, and infertility. Often, women with PCOS have problems with their metabolism also.
About Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a set of symptoms related to a hormonal imbalance that can affect women and girls of reproductive age.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
PCOS symptoms can include absence of ovulation, high androgen levels, ovarian growths, acne, insulin resistance, and obstructive sleep apnea.
What causes PCOS?
Researchers and health care providers know that genetic and environmental factors contribute to the development of PCOS, but do not know exactly what causes PCOS.
How do health care providers diagnose PCOS?
To diagnose PCOS, health care providers look for one or more of its characteristic features: absence of ovulation, high levels of androgens, and abnormal growths on the ovaries.
Is there a cure for PCOS?
There is currently no cure for PCOS, but there are treatments to help minimize symptoms.
What are the treatments for PCOS?
Treatments for PCOS, its specific symptoms, and its associated health problems vary, but they may include lifestyle changes, medications, and ways to remove or hide excess hair.
NICHD Research Information
NICHD research explores causes, predictors, treatments, and other topics related to PCOS.
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NICHD conducts and supports a variety of clinical research projects related to PCOS.
Find answers to other frequently asked questions related to PCOS, the conditions associated with it, and its effects on pregnancy.