Polycystic ovarian syndrome ( PCOS), also known as PCOD ( polycystic ovarian disease) is one of the commonest causes of infertility.
The condition, polycystic ovarian syndrome, known as PCOS, is the commonest cause of ovulation disorders in women of reproductive age. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), is a primary ovarian condition and is characterized by the presence of many minute cysts in the ovaries and excess production of androgens. Polycystic ovarian syndrome can be found in apparently normal women and the full expression of the disease so-called “Stein-leventhal syndrome” is very uncommon. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is frequently associated with weight gain, excessive hair growth in the face and body, irregular and infrequent periods or absent periods, infrequent or absent ovulation, miscarriage and infertility. The cause of PCOS is not fully understood. However, PCOS is thiught to be a genetic disorder (autosomal dominant) meaning that each child has a 50% chance of inheriting the disorder from a parent who carries the gene. The gene can be inherited from either mother or father. The exact gene causing PCOS has not yet been identified. There are long-term risks of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer of the womb. Women diagnosed as having PCOS before pregnancy have an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes.
Incidence of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) accounts for 90% of women with oligomenorrhoea (infrequent periods) and 30% of women with amenorrhoea (absent of periods) and over 70% of women with an ovulation.
Diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Laparoscopy: Laparoscopy allows direct inspection of the ovaries; the ovaries are enlarged and polycystic. However, polycystic ovaries may appear normal at laparoscopy
Vaginal ultrasound scan (better than abdominal)
The vaginal ultrasound may show the typical PCOS appearance but reliability varies with expertise.
Blood hormone levels of LH, FSH, androgens and SHBG
Ideally, these tests should be performed during the first four days of the cycle. If the women has no period, then the test can be performed anytime, and repeated if the results do not provide a clear picture.
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