The NHS defines Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) as: “a common condition that affects how a woman’s ovaries work.”
The three main features of the condition are: cysts that develop in the ovaries (polycystic ovaries), ovaries do not regularly release eggs (ovulate) and having high levels of “male hormones” called androgens. Polycystic ovaries contain a large number of harmless cysts up to 8mm in size. The cysts are under-developed sacs in which eggs develop. Often in PCOS, these sacs are unable to release an egg, meaning ovulation doesn’t take place.
PCOS is considered the most common reproductive endocrine condition among women of childbearing age. It is estimated that about 1 in every 5 women in the UK has polycystic ovaries, but more than half of these have no symptoms. The exact cause of PCOS is considered unknown, but it’s thought to be related to abnormal hormone levels. Continue reading
Last updated on 28th April 2015 by Cytoplan