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Signs and Symptoms

Women who have PCOS may experience a wide variety of symptoms to a greater or lesser degree, which may vary over time. A uniform and precise definition of the syndrome is lacking, though in general, women who have menstrual irregularities, experience infertility, have symptoms associated with androgen excess, polycystic ovaries, and have had other disorders ruled out (Cushing syndrome, acromegaly, hypothyroidism) are considered to have POCS. They may experience:

  • Abnormal uterine bleeding (menometrorrhagia) or amenorrhea/dysmenorrhea (60-75% of PCOS cases)
  • Ovaries with multiple cysts (polycystic) (75-90% of PCOS cases)
  • Increased hair growth (hirsutism) and acne (65-75% of PCOS cases)
  • Obesity - fat distribution in center of the body (40-50% of PCOS cases)
  • Hormone imbalance (50-70% of PCOS cases)
  • Various skin conditions - acanthosis nigricans and skin tags in the armpits or neck
  • Decreased breast size
  • Deeper voice (rare)
  • Enlarged ovaries
  • Thinning hair, with male pattern baldness
  • Sleep apnea

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