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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

The term polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder defined by a group of signs and symptoms. These may include:

• Irregular or absent menstrual periods
• Infertility
• Weight gain (especially at the waist)
• Acne
• Excess hair on the face and body
• Thinning hair on the scalp

Women with PCOS often have many small painless cysts in the ovaries (hence the name “polycystic”). These cysts are not cancerous.

PCOS affects 7 to 10 percent of women of childbearing age and is the most common cause of infertility. In the United States, an estimated 5 to 6 million women have PCOS, many of them without realizing it.

PCOS affects more than reproduction. It’s also a metabolic problem that affects several body systems.

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The Hormone Foundation

Dr. Lysette Iglesias M.D.

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