Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

  • Stavroula A. Paschou
  • Dimitrios G. Goulis
  • Basil C. Tarlatzis
Part of the ISGE Series book series (ISGE)


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a very common endocrine disorder of the female reproductive life, characterized by chronic anovulation and hyperandrogenism. Women with PCOS present menstrual cycle disturbances and signs of hyperandrogenism, such as hirsutism and acne, while many of them are obese, develop insulin resistance, and manifest metabolic disturbances, such as dyslipidemia, hypertension, and glycemic dysregulation. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss criteria and definition of PCOS, to present current epidemiological data, and to analyze the main hypotheses of its pathophysiology and, furthermore, to discuss the appropriate diagnostic algorithms with employment of clinical examination accompanied with laboratory and/or imaging modalities and to propose causative treatment of various parameters of the syndrome, including metabolic disease, menstrual disturbances, hirsutism, and infertility.


Polycystic ovary syndrome Hyperandrogenism Chronic anovulation Pathophysiology Diagnosis Treatment 


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Copyright information

© International Society of Gynecological Endocrinology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stavroula A. Paschou
    • 1
  • Dimitrios G. Goulis
    • 2
  • Basil C. Tarlatzis
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, “Aghia Sophia” Hospital, Medical SchoolNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Unit of Reproductive Endocrinology, First Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical SchoolAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  3. 3.Unit of Human Reproduction, First Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical SchoolAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece

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