Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) | Understanding the Symptoms, causes, and treatment methods


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder of the female reproductive system. It affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age, causing menstrual disorders, pregnancy and other health problems.


Symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome  include the following:

  • Irregular menstrual cycle (no periods, menstrual disorders (no periods, fewer than nine periods a year), etc.)
  • Excessive body hair
  • Acne
  • Weight gain
  • Infertility
  • Oily skin
  • Thickened, dark patches of skin

On pelvic ultrasound, multiple follicles are often seen in the ovaries, hence the name. It can also lead to fertility problems, as it can cause irregular ovulation or prevent ovulation altogether. Many women don't realise that oily skin, hair growth or acne can be a precursor to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) until they have difficulty getting pregnant, experience menstrual irregularities or stop menstruating, and are then diagnosed with PCOS.


The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but it is believed to be related to hormonal imbalances, genetic factors and lifestyle factors. 

The cause of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is still unknown, but it is related to a hormonal imbalance to some extent. Normally, the ovaries produce the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone and the male hormone androgen. When too much androgen is produced, it can prevent ovulation during menstruation. Follicles that are not ovulated can form multiple sacs in the ovaries, causing menstrual disorders and a variety of problems. In addition, family history and insulin resistance also affect the endocrine system, which is one of the causes of polycystic ovaries.


The doctor will ask about the patient's medical history and family history, and conduct a detailed diagnostic questionnaire for related symptoms, followed by a blood test to check the patient's hormone levels.

Ultrasound is one of the main diagnostic methods for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which can detect the size of the ovaries and the number of follicles.


There is no complete cure for polycystic ovarian disease, but there are treatments that can help improve symptoms and reduce the risk of other health problems:

  • Medication
    • Oral contraceptives to regulate menstrual disorders
    • Insulin sensitisers
    • Ovulation stimulants to treat infertility caused by polycystic ovary disease
  • Lifestyle modification:
    • A healthy diet, increased exercise and weight loss can help improve symptoms
  • Surgery
    • If medication fails, surgery can be used to treat infertility caused by PCOS by using heat or lasers to destroy the androgen-producing tissues in the ovaries


Women with PCOS may be at a higher risk for other health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnoea. PCOS can also increase the risk of developing endometrial cancer, so it's important for women with PCOS to have regular gynaecological check-ups and screenings.

Preventive screening

People with risk factors, including those with the diseases mentioned above, are advised to undergo the following tests to assess the likelihood of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and the risk of related complications:

  • Ultrasound examination of the ovaries
  • Regular monitoring of blood glucose and lipid levels


Q: PCOS is associated with various diseases, how should it be managed?

A: Patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, such as controlling weight, increasing physical activity and modifying diet, can help control the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Q: Does PCOS affect pregnancy?

A: In addition to difficulty in conceiving, women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome may have a higher risk of complications during pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes and toxemia of pregnancy. It is recommended to control weight and maintain good blood glucose level before pregnancy. Pregnant women may need to monitor their blood glucose level regularly; if necessary, they can discuss with their O&G specialists about the monitoring plan.


Women with PCOS may benefit from working with a healthcare provider who specializes in PCOS, such as an endocrinologist or a reproductive endocrinologist. With proper management, women with PCOS can live healthy and fulfilling lives, and many are able to conceive and have successful pregnancies.

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