PCOS Not an Ovarian Disease

Late last week, I came across a fascinating piece that sheds much more light about poly-cystic ovary syndrome, better known as PCOS. It's a disease that affects 10 percent of women during their reproductive years and, according to the author, one of the more confusing ones.

Why? For a while, experts assumed PCOS was merely an ovarian disease (perhaps due to the confusing inclusion of the word "ovary" in its name). Today, it's recognized as a far more complex problem: A systemic endocrine and metabolic disorder. The abnormalities in the ovary are really more the result of the problem -- not the cause.

Another huge problem with PCOS: There is no universal definition of it, although most experts would agree a set of criteria exists to make the diagnosis, with the virtually complete lack of ovulation being the key indicator. However, some reproductive endocrinologists have observed most all the same symptoms in some women, except for the fact that they ovaluate.

Obesity, coupled with hyperinsulinemia (insulin resistance with elevated serum insulin levels), has been a major breakthough in recognizing and understanding this condition. But women who have PCOS and are not overweight also frequently have insulin resistance, but not as frequently as those who are affected by the disease who are overweight.

There are a number of things women who are battling infertility problems as a direct result of PCOS can do to treat their condition without taking metformin or any other type of drug.

InfertilityPhysician.com February 4, 2005

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