Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders in women of reproductive age. The clinical picture characterized by both endocrine disorders (hyperandrogenism, menstrual cycle disorders, obesity) and metabolic alteration with implications for women’s health and reproductive and metabolic consequences. Leventhal described for the first time a syndrome characterized by polycystic ovaries associated with menstrual cycle disorders, hirsutism, and obesity. The pathophysiology and other metabolic disorders that make the PCOS more complex than originally described are the most common cause of infertility linked to chronic anovulation. In fact, this is a multifactorial disorder that involves the hypothalamus, pituitary, ovary, adrenal, and peripheral adipose tissues, which are simultaneously involved in the pathogenesis of the syndrome.
Part of the book: Pathophysiology
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a widespread pathology that affects multiple aspects of the general health of women, with long-term effects that go well beyond the reproductive age. The considerable variability of the clinical presentation, together with the lack of universally accepted diagnostic criteria, has so far contributed to making it difficult to identify a clear etiology of the disease. The exact etiology of PCOS is still not perfectly clear to date. It is therefore a multifactorial etiology, sharing of genetic and environmental factors. The contribution of genetics to the pathogenesis of PCOS is not due to a single gene but inheritance of gene clusters. The term “polycystic ovary syndrome” does not completely reflect the complexity of this syndrome which manifests a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations and comorbidity and important metabolic implications. PCOS patients showed an increase risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipidaemia, endometrial cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The clinical aspects of PCOS are hyperandrogenism, oligomenorrhoea and ultrasound morphology of the ovary. The identification of the different manifestations of PCOS in the various phases of life, can, of course, help to organize individual therapeutic strategies and likely to prevent long-term metabolic consequences. The therapeutic choices will be based on the type and extent of the disorders and if there is a desire for pregnancy.
Part of the book: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome