Polycystic ovary syndrome, often abbreviated as PCOS, is the most common endocrinological disorder for reproductive-aged women. There are several similar but slightly different diagnostic criteria for PCOS. We use the Rotterdam Criteria which states patients need 2 out of 3 clinical symptoms or findings:
Many small cysts on the ovary (12 or more) or increased ovarian size.
Irregular and fewer than normal menstrual cycles (usually less than 9)
Evidence of overproduction of Androgens (male hormones)
PCOS patients often ovulate infrequently or not at all which explains abnormal menstrual cycles. When ovulation does not occur, an egg is not available causing infertility. Without ovulation, progesterone is not produced by the ovary; this often leads to irregular, infrequent vaginal bleeding.
Because about 75% of women have an excess of functional androgens (testosterone) patients often have more coarse (thick and dark) hair in places such as the face, back, belly button, and breasts.
If fertility is your immediate goal, ovulation may often be induced with clomiphene citrate Clomid which increases your body’s sensitivity to insulin, such as metformin may lead to more regular ovulation. There is also a good deal of evidence for taking an Inositol supplement alongside medications. Gonadotropins (injectable fertility medications), may be used to induce ovulation if you do not respond to simpler treatments.