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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Definition & Overview

Definition

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a chronic endocrine disorder in women. Characteristics of PCOS are:

  • High levels of male hormones (androgens)
  • Infertility
  • Obesity
  • Insulin resistance
  • Hair growth on face and body
  • Anovulation—when the ovaries make few or no eggs

Ovaries make follicles that hold eggs. With PCOS, the ovaries make the follicles, but the eggs do not mature or leave the ovary. The immature follicles can turn into fluid-filled sacs called cysts . Most women with PCOS have cysts. But women with ovarian cysts do not necessarily have PCOS.

Ovary and Fallopian Tube

Ovarian Cyst
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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