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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

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Updated November 12, 2008

Definition:

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common cause of infertility in women, sometimes leading to irregular periods, anovulation, and cystic ovaries (ovaries with tiny, benign cysts, said to resemble a string or pearls). PCOS may also lead to an increased risk of miscarriage.

PCOS sometimes causes abnormally elevated LH hormone, making ovulation predictor kits less useful for some PCOS suffers. PCOS suffers may also have higher levels of androgens (a type of hormone), leading to problems with acne and abnormal hair growth.

Besides infertility, PCOS is also linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Also Known As: PCOS, PCO

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