Polycystic ovary syndrome: new perspective on an old problem.South Med J. 2001 Feb; 94(2):190-6.SM
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrinopathy in women of reproductive age. New treatment approaches resulting from a refined understanding of the pathophysiology are evolving. The literature shows that PCOS is an endocrinopathy resulting from insulin resistance and the compensatory hyperinsulinemia. This results in adverse effects on multiple organ systems and may result in alteration in serum lipids, anovulation, abnormal uterine bleeding, and infertility. In addition, PCOS may place the patient at long-term risk for the development of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, endometrial cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Oral contraceptives, progestins, antiandrogens, and ovulation induction agents remain standard therapies. However, insulin-sensitizing agents are now being shown to be useful alone or combined with standard therapies. Early identification of patients at risk and prompt initiation of therapies, followed by long-term surveillance and management, may promote the patient's long-term health.