Author(s): Farah L, Lazenby AJ, Boots LR, Azziz R
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of the polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) among women seeking electrology, clients presenting to nine electrology centers completed a questionnaire. STUDY DESIGN: Women with potential risk factors were referred to the University of Alabama at Birmingham. They underwent a detailed history and physical examination, including hirsutism scoring by a modified Ferriman-Gallwey (F-G) method. Serum was assayed for total testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate. RESULTS: Three hundred fifteen (40\%) of 779 patients had potential risk factors for hyperandrogenism and were referred. Eighty-two (26\%) completed their evaluation. Six were excluded secondary to prepubertal or menopausal status. Of the remaining 76 patients, 20\% had F-G scores of 7 or 8, 13\% had scores of 9 or 10, and 21\% had scores > 10. Forty-nine (64\%) patients reported irregular menstrual cycles. Sixty-four patients were not receiving hormonal therapy: 25 reported regular menstrual cycles, and 39 reported irregular cycles. Seventeen (68\%) of the 25 had at least one abnormal androgen value, while 33 (85\%) of the 39 women had at least one abnormal value (nonsignificant difference). Overall, PCOS was evident in 39 of the 76 women, or 12\% of the 315 patients who were referred for further evaluation. CONCLUSION: Thirty-nine of the 315 referred patients (12\%) fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for PCOS. However, they were not receiving medical care for this condition. In addition, this percentage is a conservative estimate in that 74\% of the referred patients did not pursue a medical evaluation. Therefore, efforts to educate both electrologists and their clients of the possibility of underlying endocrine disorders and subsequent metabolic morbidity should be undertaken.
This article was published in J Reprod Med
and referenced in Journal of Fertilization: In Vitro - IVF-Worldwide, Reproductive Medicine, Genetics & Stem Cell Biology