Also known as: Stein-Leventhal Syndrome and Polycystic Ovary Disease (PCOD)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS for short) occurs when abnormal hormone levels in a woman allow many eggs to develop in the ovaries, but not be released. These excess eggs turn into cysts. PCOS affects women in their childbearing years and can begin in the teens. PCOS is not currently curable and does not go away. The cause of PCOS has yet to be determined.

PCOS includes the following symptoms:
  • Irregular or absent menstrual periods
  • Hirsutism (excess hair on the body or face)
  • Alopecia (thinning of the scalp hair)
  • Acne
  • Obesity or weight problems centered around the midsection
  • Elevated insulin levels, Insulin Resistance, or Diabetes
  • Infertility

    Many women only exhibit a few of these symptoms, some show no signs at all.

    Women with PCOS have higher incidences of high blood pressure or diabetes which increases the risks for strokes and heart attacks. PCOS affects an estimated 6-10% of women. It is one of the leading causes of female infertility. PCOS is treated by medications and changes in diet and exercise.

    Much of the Information in this write-up is derived from and the American Academy of Family Physicians web site, located at: