Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal disorder amongst women of reproductive age.
The exact cause of polycystic ovary syndrome is not clear, although the symptoms are well known. The diagnosis is based mainly on the patient's medical history and the presence of many of the classic clinical signs and symptoms such as irregular periods or amenorrhea, acne, excessively oily skin, infertility, hirsutism. Many women with polycystic ovary syndrome have high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and are overweight or obese, and some may develop type 2 diabetes and heart diseases.
The diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome is usually made after excluding other pathological conditions such as Cushing's syndrome, thyroid problems, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, or increased prolactin production by the pituitary gland. TSH, 17-hydroxyprogesterone, and prolactin tests are done to rule out (or confirm) the previously mentioned conditions. Increased levels of androstenedione, DHEA, or testosterone are indicative of polycystic ovary syndrome.