Dr. Cobin describes the possible causes of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a syndrome. That means that it’s a collection or a constellation of symptoms or signs that occur together. Nobody knows its cause.
There are various theories about what causes polycystic ovary syndrome. High among them is that there is a defect in the use or the reaction to the response to insulin in many tissues that then reflexively results in too much insulin being produced, and that excess of insulin has a number of effects on the ovary as well as on other tissues.
It’s not proven that that is the actual cause, but it is a very, very, very frequent connection with polycystic ovaries. We believe that there is a genetic component to this because we see it clustered in families. We see mothers and daughters with polycystic ovary syndrome; we see aunts and nieces with it; we see grandmothers, mothers and daughters, and interestingly, we also see men in these families who have metabolic disorders that are characterized by insulin resistant type 2 diabetes, and again, a propensity toward high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack.
About Dr. Cobin, M.D., M.A.C.E.:
Dr. Rhoda Cobin is Past-President of the American College of Endocrinology, a Past-President of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), and a Master of the American College of Endocrinology (ACE). Dr. Cobin has been in private practice in northern New Jersey for 31 years. She is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and is Co-Chief of the Mount Sinai's Thyroid/Endocrinology Clinic.