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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. The name of the condition comes from the appearance of the ovaries in most, but not all, women with the disorder — enlarged ovaries containing numerous small cysts located along the outer edge.
Symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome include:
  • Abnormal, irregular, or very light or infrequent menstrual periods
  • Absent periods, usually (but not always) after having one or more normal menstrual periods during puberty (secondary amenorrhea)
  • Acne that gets worse
  • Decreased breast size
  • Development of male sex characteristics such as: increased body hair, facial hair, a deepening of the voice, male-pattern baldness, and enlargement of the clitoris
  • Infertility generally resulting from chronic lack of ovulation
  • Poor response to insulin (insulin resistance), leading to a build-up of insulin in the blood
  • Weight gain or obesity


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