Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a set of symptoms due to elevated androgen hormones (male hormones) in females. Signs and symptoms of PCOS include irregular or no menstrual periods, heavy periods, excess body and facial hair, acne, pelvic pain, difficulty getting pregnant, and patches of thick, darker, velvety skin.
PCOS is due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Risk factors include obesity, a lack of physical exercise, and a family history of someone with the condition.
PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder among women between the ages of 18 and 44. It affects approximately 2% to 20% of this age group.
PCOS has no cure Treatment may involve lifestyle changes such as weight loss and exercise. Other treatments include birth control pills to regularize periods, a medication called metformin to prevent diabetes, statins to control high cholesterol, hormones to increase fertility, and procedures to remove excess hair (laser hair removal or electrolysis).