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Treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome in adults

Authors
Robert L Barbieri, MD
David A Ehrmann, MD
Section Editor
William F Crowley, Jr, MD
Deputy Editor
Kathryn A Martin, MD

INTRODUCTION

The polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an important cause of both menstrual irregularity and androgen excess in women. When fully expressed, the manifestations include irregular menstrual cycles, hirsutism, obesity, insulin resistance, and anovulatory infertility.

The treatment of PCOS will be reviewed here. The epidemiology and pathogenesis, diagnostic criteria, and clinical manifestations of PCOS are described in detail separately. (See "Epidemiology and pathogenesis of the polycystic ovary syndrome in adults" and "Diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome in adults" and "Clinical manifestations of polycystic ovary syndrome in adults".)

OVERVIEW OF APPROACH

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have multiple abnormalities that require attention, including oligomenorrhea, hyperandrogenism, anovulatory infertility, and metabolic risk factors such as obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and impaired glucose tolerance. Weight loss, which can restore ovulatory cycles and improve metabolic risk, is the first-line intervention for most women. Our overall approach is similar to that described by the 2013 Endocrine Society Clinical Guidelines [1].

Goals — The overall goals of therapy of women with PCOS include:

Amelioration of hyperandrogenic symptoms (hirsutism, acne, scalp hair loss)

                             

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Tue Sep 20 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2016.
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