Polycystic (pronounced pah-lee-SIS-tik) 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, cysts in the ovaries, and infertility. Often, women with PCOS have problems with their metabolism also.
PCOS is a set of symptoms related to a hormonal imbalance that can affect women and girls of reproductive age.
PCOS symptoms can include absence of ovulation, high androgen levels, ovarian cysts, acne, insulin resistance, and obstructive sleep apnea.
Estimates suggest that PCOS affects between 8% and 20% of reproductive-age women worldwide.
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.
To diagnose PCOS, health care providers look for one or more of its characteristic features: absence of ovulation, high levels of androgens, and cysts on the ovaries.
There is currently no cure for PCOS, but there are treatments to help minimize symptoms.