POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME (PCO)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCO) is a common disorder of the ovaries caused by a hormone disorder of the pituitary gland which controls the development of ovarian follicles and ovulation. The condition can present at adolescent age with infrequent or absent menstruation or in the child-bearing age group with infertility and anovulatory menstrual cycles resulting from failure of the ovarian follicles to mature and ovulate. Occasionally in severe cases of PCO and in certain ethnicity, they may present with features of male hormone excess (androgens, produced by the stroma of the ovaries), like excess facial hair and acne. Diagnosis of PCO is made from the history, the classic ultrasound picture of multiple small follicles (cysts) in the ovaries and biochemical findings of raised luteining hormone and elevated androgens. Treatment will depend on whether the woman wants cycle control which could be with oral contraceptive pills or if she has infertility and wants a baby, then with the use of fertility medications to induce ovulation and hopefully pregnancy.

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