PCOS is a heterogeneous disorder that affects 15%–20% of women making it the most common endocrine abnormality among women of reproductive age. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex condition characterized by elevated androgen levels, menstrual irregularities, and/or small cysts on one or both ovaries. The disorder can be morphological (polycystic ovaries) or predominantly biochemical (hyperandrogenemia).
These girls/women seek help from health care professionals to resolve issues of obesity, acne, amenorrhea, excessive hair growth and infertility. Women with PCOS have higher rates of endometrial cancer, cardiovascular disease, dyslipidemia and type-2 diabetes mellitus later on in life.
The Rotterdam criteriais the most widely used and requires at least two of the following to be present
1. Signs of hyperandrogenism
2. Menstrual irregularity/anovulation
3. USG- presence of 12 or more follicles measuring between 2 and 9 mm in diameter and/or an increased ovarian volume of greater than 10 cm
PCOS should not be diagnosed just because of a polycystic appearance of the ovary on ultrasound examination. It is also important to rule out other causes of hyperandrogenism before attributing it to PCOS.
Diagnosing PCOS in children and adolescence is challenging because the normal pubertal physiological events tend to mimic the signs and symptoms of PCOS. However, a high index of suspicion is warranted to prevent deleterious effects on their health.
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