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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

A condition which causes the ovaries to become large and develop many fluid-filled sacs called follicles or cysts.


Women with PCOS may experience the following symptoms:

  • Irregular periods or a lack of periods

  • Hormone imbalances

  • Infertility

  • Excessive hair growth on the face or body (hirsutism)

  • Weight gain

  • Oily skin or acne

  • Hair loss (alopecia)

  • Low mood

  • Pelvic pain


If you think you may have PCOS, you should see your doctor.


Your doctor will take a history and perform an examination of your abdomen and an internal examination.


They will also do some blood tests looking at your hormone levels.

An ultrasound scan will be done to confirm the diagnosis.

PCOS is linked with diabetes so your doctor may also do a diabetes screen which can include blood sugars, cholesterol level, blood pressure etc.


There is no definitive cure for PCOS, however, the symptoms can be managed and long-term risks can be reduced by:

Lifestyle changes e.g. weight loss, exercise, balanced diet


Medication e.g. the combined oral contraceptive pill, clomifene, metformin


Surgery e.g. laparoscopic ovarian drilling (keyhole surgery to use heat to destroy the tissue that produces male sex hormones such as testosterone)

Longterm health

Women with PCOS are at an increased risk of developing certain health conditions such as:

  • Type 2 Diabetes

  • Gestational diabetes

  • Obesity

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)

  • High cholesterol

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