What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?
PCOS is a common condition due to hormonal imbalance that results in infrequent or absent ovulation that affects 10-15% of women in the reproductive age group. It is diagnosed based on 2 out of 3 criteria:
- Irregular periods, or infrequent/no periods at all
- Polycystic ovaries: many follicles on pelvic ultrasound (fluid-filled spaces within the ovary that release eggs)
- Higher-than-normal male hormones: this can either be clinical (e.g. acne, excessive face/body hair growth, balding) or biochemical (high testosterone on blood test)
Having one of the above does not necessarily mean you have PCOS – you should discuss this with your gynaecologist.