Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
presentationposted on 06.05.2016, 00:00 by Lindsay White
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a complex condition that is influenced by genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors. PCOS consists of reproductive and metabolic manifestations that can begin in adolescence and transition to infertility and other extreme complications over time. PCOS is extremely important clinically because it affects up to one in ten women of reproductive age, making it the most common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age. PCOS is characterized by luteinizing hormone (LH) hypersecretion, ovarian hyperandrogenism, hyperinsulinaemia and reduced fertility. In addition to these, PCOS is associated with complications such as abdominal obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. PCOS's association with the previously listed complications increases its current clinical prevalence, because the presence of these diseases significantly intensifies the features of PCOS. The diagnosis of PCOS is often difficult because many of its clinical presentations are not unique to this syndrome. An accurate diagnosis is established through the exclusion of other disorders such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia, hyperprolactinemia and thyroid dysfunction. The treatment of PCOS is very individualized due to the unique nature in which PCOS in manifested within individuals and uses targeted medical therapy to address symptoms. Additionally, the treatment of PCOS must address both the short and long term reproductive and metabolic manifestations, in addition to the changes in phenotype that often occur throughout the lifespan of women with PCOS. Finally, treatment options of PCOS must be conscience of social and psychological implications of reduced fertility and abdominal obesity in women of reproductive age afflicted with this condition.