What is polycystic ovarian syndrome?

Also known as: polycystic ovary syndrome, PCOS.

Ovaries produce hormones like progesterone and estrogen that cause female characteristics and male hormones called androgens, girls’ and boys’ sex organs both produce these hormones but in different amounts.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a common (10% of teen girls/young women) disorder among young women of reproductive age where the ovaries produce more than the normal amount of male hormones. Over time this produces cysts in the ovaries which can interfere with the release of the ovaries eggs and interfere with the ability to have children.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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