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Dr Marlena du Toit

Polycystic ovary syndrome PDF Print E-mail

What is polycystic ovary syndrome?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition which can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle, fertility, hormones and aspects of her appearance. It can also affect your long-term health.

What are polycystic ovaries?

Polycystic ovaries are slightly larger than normal ovaries and have twice the number of follicles (small cysts). Polycystic ovaries are very common affecting 20 in 100 (20%) of women. Having polycystic ovaries, does not mean you have polycystic ovary syndrome. Around 6 or 7 in 100 (6-7%) of women with polycystic ovaries has PCOS.


Metformin & PCOS PDF Print E-mail

1. Introduction

The key clinical features of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are hyperandrogenism (hirsutism, acne, alopecia) and menstrual irregularity with associated anovulatory infertility.1 The consensus definition of PCOS recognises obesity as an association and not a diagnostic criterion1 as only 40–50% of women with PCOS are overweight. Ovarian hyperandrogenism is driven primarily by luteinising hormone (LH) in slim women, while in the overweight insulin may augment the effects of LH.1 Women with polycystic ovaries are more insulin resistant than weight-matched women with normal ovaries. Insulin resistance is seen in 10–15% of slim and 20–40% of obese women with PCOS and women with PCOS are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.2