Surely you have heard of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS, as most women know it.
PCOS is one of the most common pathologies in women of reproductive age, affecting 1 in 5 women, so we can say that it is very common, more than we imagine. It is present throughout a woman’s life from puberty to post-menopause and affects women of all races and ethnicities. So, it can happen to anyone!
In fact, about 30% to 40% of women who consult for infertility have ovulatory disorders, 70% of which are due to PCOS.
How is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome diagnosed?
First of all, it should be clarified that the origin of PCOS is still unknown. However, most experts agree that it is a multifactorial entity, in which genetic factors are becoming increasingly important.
In recent years, several genes involved in the pathogenic processes of the syndrome have been identified, the most important being those coding for steroidogenesis enzymes, which are a set of metabolic reactions that make possible the production of steroid hormones, for the insulin receptor and other hormones related to insulin action.
But how is it diagnosed? According to the latest criteria from 2006, it should be diagnosed if a woman presents clinical or analytical hyperandrogenism + anovulation and/or ovaries with polycystic morphology.
The fact of having ovaries with polycystic morphology has been put on the back burner because when this criterion was prioritised there was a lot of overdiagnosis. Moreover, any woman can have an ovary with polycystic morphology without the need for hyperandrogenism.
Symptoms of PCOS
The symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome are often very individual as some women show all the symptoms, others show none at all or may not even discover they have PCOS until they are planning a pregnancy.
Therefore, the range of symptoms that women experience varies greatly.