PCOS is more than an ovulation disorder

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common causes of anovulation and infertility, affecting up to 10% of reproductive age women. It is a multifactorial disease, and not every PCOS patient looks the same. It is often defined by the Rotterdam criteria which includes polycystic ovaries, irregular menses, and/or clinical or laboratory evidence of hyperandrogenemia (such as excess hair growth or acne). At least two of the above criteria will satisfy the diagnosis as long as other disorders have been excluded (thyroid issues, Cushing’s, etc.). Women with PCOS have poorer obstetrical outcomes from lower ovulation, fertilization, blastocyst formation to higher rates of miscarriage. Something is going on in the oocyte and the developing embryo in women with PCOS and the study in Fertility and Sterility Reports Dr. Barsky and her colleagues at Baylor College of Medicine show that embryos from PCOS women grow faster to the 9-cell stage and this is even more pronounced in women with androgen excess. Clearly, we need more studies to understand why this is happening.