PCOS is a condition that affects women, often during teenage or young adult years.  This condition is associated with increased weight, acne, irregular periods, or unwanted hair growth.  The symptoms of this condition are related to hormone function.

People with PCOS should have a menstrual abnormality for 2 years or more.  This may be irregular frequency of periods, such as no period for 90 or more days, or a later age of the first period, for example.  Many people with PCOS have increased body weight, male pattern hair growth, high blood sugar or difficult to control acne symptoms.

There are several conditions that are similar to PCOS.  These are normally related to other hormone conditions, such as those that affect the thyroid, cortisol, growth hormone, or prolactin hormone functions.

PCOS can be diagnosed with a clinical exam and history, an ultrasound test of the ovaries, and tests for hormone levels such as testosterone, hCG, TSH, and FSH.  When the diagnosis is made, evaluation of sleep disorders, glucose level, cholesterol and heart function are often considered.