Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders. It is recognized as a heterogeneous syndrome involving chronic anovulation accompanied by hyperandrogenism, with clinical manifestations including hirsutism, acne, androgen dependent alopecia, and frequently, obesity. PCOS is the leading cause of anovulatory infertility. After initial onset in the peripubertal years, PCOS affected women develop signs and symptoms of elevated androgen levels, menstrual irregularity and amenorrhea, virilization, and bilaterally enlarged multicystic ovaries Metabolic derangements in PCOS are not limited to the sex steroids but are also affected on insulin resistance and compensatory hyperinsulinemia. Ovulatory women with hyperandrogenism, hirsutism, and polycystic ovaries accompanied by normal menstrual cycles display normal insulin sensitivity signifying that insulin resistance can be the primary process leading to anovulation. With recent advancement, treatment options result in higher pregnancy rates, and improved methods to counter the long-term deletrious effects on the health of women with PCOS. It is important to gain further insights by following a detailed approach so that new drugs can be studied and developed and existing drugs can be purified and produced at lower costs. The ultimate goal is to minimize harm and achieve optimal long-term outcome in patients with PCOS.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiagnosis and Management of Ovarian Disorders, Second Edition
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780120536429
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2003


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