Polycystic ovary syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a disorder characterized by hyperandrogenism, ovulatory dysfunction and polycystic ovarian morphology. It is usually associated with metabolic defects such as insulin resistance. It is the leading cause of female infertility and its prevalence is estimated at 8-10% of women.

The exact cause of the syndrome is unknown, although there are a number of factors associated with an increased risk of occurrence:

  • Insulin resistance. Insulin allows cells to use glucose, but if these cells become resistant to this hormone, blood levels can rise, causing insulin levels to also increase to try to control it. Too much insulin can cause the body to produce more androgens.
  • Excess androgens. Excessive production of "male hormones" by the ovaries can interfere with ovulation, as well as cause hirsutism and acne.
  • Low grade inflammation. Research has shown that people with PCOS have a type of prolonged low-grade inflammation.

Symptoms

Symptoms may begin at any time during a woman`s fertile life, but are more common in younger women. Common symptoms include

  • Irregular menses
  • Infertility
  • Pelvic pain
  • Excess hair on the face, chest or abdomen
  • Weight gain
  • Acne

In addition, women with PCOS are more likely to develop diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease and hypertension.

Prevention

Currently, there is no known way to prevent the development of the pathology and there is no cure. But there are treatments that can help prevent the symptoms, such as:

  • Medical treatments, such as those based on the use of contraceptive pills combined with estrogens and progestin that decrease the production of androgens.
  • Lifestyle changes. It has been shown that healthy lifestyle habits such as a balanced diet that avoids the consumption of ultra-processed foods, weight loss if necessary, or the practice of regular physical exercise can help a lot in the management of the symptomatology.

Number of observed variants

13.5 million variants

Number of risk loci

14 loci

Genes analyzed

AOPEP DENND1A ERBB3 ERBB4 FSHB IRF1 KRR1 MAPRE1 NEIL2 PLGRKT TOX3 YAP1 ZBTB16 ZFP36L2

Bibliography

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