Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in women – it affects between 5 to 20% of women worldwide. PCOS is the most common reason for infertility and hirsutism, and is characterized by hyperandrogenism (too high levels of “male” sex hormones called androgens), menstrual irregularities and polycystic ovaries.
The exact cause for PCOS is not known, but the current assumption is that it’s a mix of genetic and environmental factors. There currently is no cure for PCOS, but its symptoms can be managed by lifestyle modifications and personalized treatment approaches. As PCOS affects many different aspects of health, it’s important to find a multidisciplinary care team, consisting of a gynecologist or OB/GYN, reproductive endocrinologist, dietitian, and mental health specialist to achieve the best outcomes.
- NHS UK. Polycystic ovary syndrome. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos/ (accessed 31. July 2020)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/pcos.html (accessed 31. July 2020)
- Mayo Clinic.Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pcos/symptoms-causes/syc-20353439 (accessed 31. July 2020)