Polycystic Ovary Syndrome


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that affects how a woman’s ovaries work. PCOS affects about 5-10% of women in their reproductive year in fact millions of women in the UK. The three main features of the condition are:

  1. Very small cysts that develop in your ovaries (polycystic ovaries).
  2. Your ovaries do not regularly release eggs (ovulate).
  3. Having high levels of "male hormones" called androgens.
For diagnosed with PCOS if you have at least two of these features.

Signs and symptoms

Usually occur in teenage years and early twenties

  1. Infrequent periods or no periods at all (amenorrhea).
  2. Sub fertility (because of irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate)
  3. Excessive male pattern hair growth (hirsutism) - usually on the face, chest, back or buttocks
  4. Weight gain
  5. Thinning hair and hair loss from the head
  6. Oily skin or acne

Polycystic ovary syndrome is associated with an increased risk of problems in later life, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.Optimum treatment usually combines weight loss, hormonal manipulation and cosmetic treatments and referral to fertility centre when indicated.