Print friendly version
* Not a rare disease
Polycystic ovarian syndrome
* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a health problem that can affect a woman's menstrual cycle, ability to have children, hormones, heart, blood vessels, and appearance. Women with this condition typically have high levels of hormones called androgens, missed or irregular periods, and many small cysts in their ovaries. The cause of PCOS is unknown, but probably involves a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Treatment for PCOS may involve birth control pills and medications for diabetes and infertility. Medicines called anti-androgens are also used to speed the growth of hair and clear acne.
Last updated: 11/10/2008
- DePaolo LV. Frequently asked questions: Polycystic ovarian syndrome. National Women's Health Information Center Web site. April 1, 2007; http://www.4woman.gov/faq/polycystic-ovary-syndrome.cfm. Accessed 11/10/2008.
- MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic. Click on the link to view this information.
- The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
- Womenshealth.gov provides information on polycystic ovarian syndrome. This website is a source for reliable and current information on women’s health issues.
In Depth Information
- Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
- The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) database contains genetics resources that discuss Polycystic ovarian syndrome. Click on the link to go to OMIM and review these resources.
- PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Polycystic ovarian syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.