Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a syndrome where there is a defect in the ovary that causes many cysts and irregular periods. There is a problem in the signaling from the brain to the ovaries to cause ovulation and hormone production. There are three criteria needed to diagnose PCOS:
- irregular menses
- symptoms or blood work showing an excess of androgens (male hormones). Symptoms include male pattern hair growth, acne and central obesity.
- Polycystic- appearing ovaries on ultrasound
Because there are irregularities in ovulation, patients with PCOS have difficulty getting pregnant.