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This fact sheet about PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) states that “Estimates suggest that between 5 percent and 10 percent of females of reproductive age are affected by PCOS.”  I was not affected by PCOS but in the volunteer work I’ve done with infertility I often hear the stories about the struggles with this.  And apparently it is much more common than I thought.

Here is a fact sheet about PCOS from NICHD:

Fast Facts

Common Names:

 

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

PCOS

Hyperandrogenism

Androgen Excess Syndrome

 

Medical Name:

 

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

 

Common Symptoms Include

(But are not limited to):

 

• Infertility

• Menstrual irregularities

• Hirsutism—excess body and facial hair

• Acne or oily skin

• Acanthosis nigricans—patches of thickened and dark brown or black skin

• Fluid-filled sacs or cysts on the ovaries

 

Common Treatments:

 

• Lifestyle changes—such as weight loss and exercise

 • Medications—such as oral contraceptives and insulin sensitizers

• Cosmetic methods for removing excess hair, such as plucking, shaving, or waxing

 

How many people are affected

by the condition?

 

Because the exact definition of PCOS is still being debated, the exact number of women affected is unknown. Estimates suggest that between 5 percent and 10 percent of females of reproductive age are affected by PCOS.

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