Information About Polycystic Ovarian Disorder

(also known as PCOS, Stein-Leventhal syndrome)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common health problem that affects teenage girls and young women. Although no one really knows what causes PCOS, it seems to be related to an imbalance in a girl's hormones. In girls with PCOS, the ovaries produce higher than normal amounts of androgens, and this can interfere with egg development and release. Some of the eggs develop into cysts, which are little sacs filled with liquid. Instead of being released during ovulation, as an egg is during a normal menstrual cycle, the cysts build up in the ovaries and may become enlarged. Because girls with PCOS are not ovulating or releasing an egg each month, it's common for them to have irregular or missed periods.



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