Submitted by Shelby D Burns Sat 08/06/2011
There are many names for what is more commonly referred to as polycystic ovarian syndrome. One of those names is bilateral polycystic ovarian syndrome or bilateral polycystic ovaries. You may also see ovarian hyperthecosis, ovarian syndrome, PCOS, POS, sclerocystic ovarian disease, Stein-Leventhal Syndrome or anovulation with hyperandrogenism. It’s all the same. PCOS is one of the most common endocrine disorders. It is also the most common reason for infertility in women affecting about six percent of those women who have trouble conceiving. Some symptoms are amenorrhea or a lack of or an irregular menstrual cycle, hirsutism referring to unwanted hair, and bilaterally enlarged ovaries where both ovaries are larger than normal. Symptoms will present around puberty and become more progressive as years go by. A sonogram is usually done which shows one or more cysts on the ovaries. It is true that many cysts will come and go, but these do not. The cause of PCOS is a condition called insulin resistance. The body produces high amount of insulin to control blood sugar levels. This excessive insulin causes the ovaries to produce testosterone in huge amounts. This is what causes the excessive hair growth and other male traits. The relationship to insulin is also what gives it a relationship to diabetes. Many women with diabetes also have PCOS. Testing includes a physical exam which might include a ultrasound or MRI. There is a blood test which will detect abnormal levels of testosterone. These tests will lead to a PCOS diagnosis.