14 doctors weighed in:

What is polycystic ovary syndrome?

14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Vered Lewy-Weiss
Pediatrics - Endocrinology
6 doctors agree

In brief: Mixed bag

Pcos is a constellation of findings which includes irregular periods, elevated testosterone or testosterone like hormones (with no other cause), resistance to Insulin (predisposition to type 2 diabetes), problems with lipids, many times unwanted face and body hair, sometimes scalp hair loss.
Ovarian cysts may or may not be found. Pcos is an outdated term but no better one has been agreed upon.

In brief: Mixed bag

Pcos is a constellation of findings which includes irregular periods, elevated testosterone or testosterone like hormones (with no other cause), resistance to Insulin (predisposition to type 2 diabetes), problems with lipids, many times unwanted face and body hair, sometimes scalp hair loss.
Ovarian cysts may or may not be found. Pcos is an outdated term but no better one has been agreed upon.
Dr. Vered Lewy-Weiss
Dr. Vered Lewy-Weiss
Thank
Dr. Jill Carnahan
Family Medicine
4 doctors agree

In brief: PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is diagnosed when a patient presents with cysts on ovaries, evidence of excess androgens (excessive hair growth or acne) and irregular menstrual cycles.
Women with pcos usually have elevated testosterone levels and abnormal Insulin levels both of which drive the clinical findings. It can be effectively controlled with a low-glycemic diet, weight loss, exercise, meds.

In brief: PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is diagnosed when a patient presents with cysts on ovaries, evidence of excess androgens (excessive hair growth or acne) and irregular menstrual cycles.
Women with pcos usually have elevated testosterone levels and abnormal Insulin levels both of which drive the clinical findings. It can be effectively controlled with a low-glycemic diet, weight loss, exercise, meds.
Dr. Jill Carnahan
Dr. Jill Carnahan
Thank
2 comments
Dr. Allen Seely
see also mayoclinic.com article
Dr. Dennis Higginbotham
First line treatment for the menstrual irrregularity due to PCOS is cycle control with birth control pills (BCP's), second choice would be cyclic progesterone therapy for someone who can't or won't take BCP's.
Neelam Shah
Internal Medicine & Pediatrics
2 doctors agree

In brief: Hormonal imbalance

Pcos is a hormonal imbalance often associated with cysts in ovaries.
It is seen more commonly in people who are overweight/obese and can include changes like lack of periods, decreased breast size, acne, and excess hair growth. If your doctor suspects it, s/he will start with a variety of blood tests to check your hormonal levels.

In brief: Hormonal imbalance

Pcos is a hormonal imbalance often associated with cysts in ovaries.
It is seen more commonly in people who are overweight/obese and can include changes like lack of periods, decreased breast size, acne, and excess hair growth. If your doctor suspects it, s/he will start with a variety of blood tests to check your hormonal levels.
Neelam Shah
Neelam Shah
Answer assisted by Neelam Shah, Medical Student
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Adam Levy
Board Certified, Obstetrics & Gynecology
33 years in practice
1M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors