Definitions for "Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome"
Keywords:  pco, cysts, infertility, ovary, ovulate
development of multiple cysts in the ovaries due to arrested follicle growth. This is caused by an imbalance in the amount of LH and FSH released during the ovulatory cycle. Infertility associated with PCO is often responsive to drug therapy with clomphene citrate and gonadotropins.
Also called Stein-Leventhal Syndrome. This condition is characterized by excessive production of androgen hormones in women, resulting in such symptoms as acne, increased facial and body hair growth, irregular menstrual cycles and infertility. From 5 to 10 percent of American women have PCOS. About 50 percent of women with PCOS are obese; many also are at increased risk of having heart disease and diabetes. The syndrome is often accompanied by enlarged ovaries containing multiple small cysts. The cysts are the result of incomplete ovulations. During the normal ovulatory process, an egg is matured in an ovarian follicle, which then ruptures and releases the egg. In women with PCOS, high levels of hormones called androgens halt the egg's development, leaving an enlarged follicle containing the immature egg; these follicles - whose appearance on ultrasound is sometimes likened to a string of peals - are the cysts observed in PCOS.
A condition often associated with infertility, in which a hormonal imbalance prevents the egg-containing follicles on the ovaries from maturing and releasing an egg, instead forming sometimes painful ovarian cysts.