Polycystic ovary syndrome

Elisabet Stener-Victorin, Helena Teede, Robert J. Norman, Richard Legro, Mark O. Goodarzi, Anuja Dokras, Joop Laven, Kathleen Hoeger, Terhi T. Piltonen

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Despite affecting ~11–13% of women globally, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a substantially understudied condition. PCOS, possibly extending to men’s health, imposes a considerable health and economic burden worldwide. Diagnosis in adults follows the International Evidence-based Guideline for the Assessment and Management of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, requiring two out of three criteria — clinical or biochemical hyperandrogenism, ovulatory dysfunction, and/or specific ovarian morphological characteristics or elevated anti-Müllerian hormone. However, diagnosing adolescents omits ovarian morphology and anti-Müllerian hormone considerations. PCOS, marked by insulin resistance and hyperandrogenism, strongly contributes to early-onset type 2 diabetes, with increased odds for cardiovascular diseases. Reproduction-related implications include irregular menstrual cycles, anovulatory infertility, heightened risks of pregnancy complications and endometrial cancer. Beyond physiological manifestations, PCOS is associated with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, psychosexual dysfunction and negative body image, collectively contributing to diminished health-related quality of life in patients. Despite its high prevalence persisting into menopause, diagnosing PCOS often involves extended timelines and multiple health-care visits. Treatment remains ad hoc owing to limited understanding of underlying mechanisms, highlighting the need for research delineating the aetiology and pathophysiology of the syndrome. Identifying factors contributing to PCOS will pave the way for personalized medicine approaches. Additionally, exploring novel biomarkers, refining diagnostic criteria and advancing treatment modalities will be crucial in enhancing the precision and efficacy of interventions that will positively impact the lives of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number27
JournalNature Reviews Disease Primers
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine

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