Who it affects
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common disorder affecting 10 to 20% of women.
What gland is involved
Not all women have all the features polycystic ovary syndrome. Symptoms that may occur individually or in combination include an irregular menstrual cycle, excess hair growth and problems with weight and conception.
There is no single diagnostic test for this syndrome. Investigations that patient may undergo include blood tests (e.g. serum testosterone, LH, FSH) and ultrasound scans (transvaginal or transabdominal scan of the ovaries).
Treatment is tailored to individual patients and is dependent on which symptom(s) is experienced. A healthy lifestyle with weight control is helpful in almost all patients.
Specific treatments may include the oral contraceptive pill for menstrual irregularity, Dianette or Vaniqua cream for excess hair growth. Treatments such as spironolactone, flutamide and finasteride are sometimes used in the treatment of hirsuitism. Medication used in this area are often used off licence, i.e. used for a reason not detailed in the drug`s licence.
Not all patients have difficulty with conception. Those that do, may require specialist treatment in a fertility unit.
Patient with polycystic ovary syndrome have this disorder lifelong. The severity of symptoms may vary with time and the focus of treatment is likely to vary at different stages of the patient`s life. Treatment is therefore likely to vary with time.