Author(s): Adams J, Polson DW, Franks S
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Abstract Polycystic ovaries were defined with ultrasound imaging in a series of 173 women who presented to a gynaecological endocrine clinic with anovulation or hirsutism. Polycystic ovaries were found in 26\% of women with amenorrhoea, 87\% with oligomenorrhoea, and 92\% with idiopathic hirsutism--that is, hirsutism but with regular menstrual cycles. Fewer than half the anovulatory patients with polycystic ovaries were hirsute, but in 93\% of cases there was at least one endocrine abnormality to support the diagnosis of polycystic ovaries--that is, raised serum concentrations of luteinising hormone, raised luteinising hormone: follicle stimulating hormone ratio, or raised serum concentrations of testosterone or androstenedione. This study shows that polycystic ovaries, as defined by pelvic ultrasound, are very common in anovulatory women (57\% of cases) and are not necessarily associated with hirsutism or a raised serum luteinising hormone concentration. Most women with hirsutism and regular menses have polycystic ovaries so that the term "idiopathic" hirsutism no longer seems appropriate.
This article was published in Br Med J (Clin Res Ed)
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy