PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, a condition which is common amongst women of reproductive age – it often develops around the time of the first menstrual cycle. PCOS affects how the ovaries function and is characterized by three main features:
Irregular periods, meaning periods that are either infrequent or prolonged.
Excess androgen levels – androgens are a group of hormones that play a crucial role in the development of male traits, as such, a high level of these in women can cause physical changes such as the growth of excess facial or body hair.
Polycystic Ovaries, a term that describes when the ovaries develop numerous small collections of fluid and fail to release eggs properly.
Those who experience at least two of the above traits are likely to be (or have been) diagnosed with PCOS. The exact cause of PCOS is not known, however, medical experts believe that resistance to insulin, a hormone and heredity factors may be linked to the condition. New research also points to AMH or anti-mullerian hormone triggering an overproduction of testosterone.