Between five and ten percent of women aged between 15 and 44 can get PCOS.
Most women find out they have PCOS in their 20s and 30s, when they have problems getting pregnant and see their doctor.
It refers to ovaries that contain 10 or more follicles with a maximum of 9mm diameter and whose central connective tissue is increased.
As a general rule, enlarged ovaries are observed through ultrasound, with a predisposition towards irregular or absent menstrual cycles. This is due to the follicles failing to mature into a follicle ready for ovulation.
PCOS is also characterized by high androgens (male sex hormones), which can be diagnosed through a blood test.
Other findings often observed in PCOS include:
- Menstrual irregularity
- Increased body hair
- Hair loss
- Changes in fat and carbohydrate metabolism
- Increased lipid level
- Higher prolactin levels
- Insulin resistance in majority of cases