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1.  Anthropometric and Biochemical Characteristics of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in South Indian Women Using AES-2006 Criteria 
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine conditions affecting women of reproductive age with a prevalence of approximately 5-10% worldwide. PCOS can be viewed as a heterogeneous androgen excess disorder with varying degrees of reproductive and metabolic abnormalities, whose diagnosis is based on anthropometric, biochemical and radiological abnormalities. To our knowledge, this is the first study investigating the anthropometric, biochemical and ultrasonographic characteristics of PCOS in Asian Indians of South India, using the Androgen Excess Society (AES-2006) diagnostic criteria.
To assess anthropometric, biochemical and ultrasonographic features of PCOS subgroups and controls among South Indian women using the AES-2006 criteria.
Materials and Methods:
Two hundred and four women clinically diagnosed with PCOS, and 204 healthy women controls aged 17 to 35 years were evaluated. PCOS was diagnosed by clinical hyperandrogenism (HA), irregular menstruation (IM), and polycystic ovary (PCO). PCOS was further categorized into phenotypic subgroups including the IM+HA+PCO (n = 181, 89%), HA+PCO (n = 23, 11%), IM+HA (n = 0), and also into obese PCOS (n = 142, 70%) and lean PCOS (n = 62, 30%) using body mass index (BMI). Anthropometric measurements and biochemical characteristics were compared among the PCOS subgroups.
The PCOS subgroups with regular menstrual cycles (HA+PCO), had more luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and high insulin resistance (IR) expressed as the Homeostasis Model Assessment (HOMA) score, compared with the IM+HA+PCO subgroups and controls. Similarly, the obese PCOS had high BMI, waist to hip ratio (WHR), fasting glucose, LH, LH/FSH, fasting insulin, HOMA score (IR), and dyslipidemia, compared with lean PCOS and controls. Unilateral polycystic ovary was seen in 32 (15.7%) patients, and bilateral involvement in 172 (84.3%) patients. All the controls showed normal ovaries.
Anthropometric, biochemical, and ultrasonographic findings showed significant differences among PCOS subgroups. The PCOS subgroups with regular menstrual cycles (HA+PCO), had high insulin resistance (IR) and gonadotropic hormonal abnormalities, compared with the IM+HA+PCO subgroups and controls.
PMCID: PMC3968989  PMID: 24696694
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome; Body Mass Index; HOMA Score; Insulin Resistance
2.  Risk of Psychiatric Disorders following Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Nationwide Population-Based Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97041.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders among women of reproductive age. A higher prevalence of psychiatric comorbidities, including depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, and bipolar disorder has been proved in patients with PCOS. However, a clear temporal causal relationship between PCOS and psychiatric disorders has not been well established.
We explored the relationship between PCOS and the subsequent development of psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, and sleep disorder.
We identified patients who were diagnosed with PCOS by an obstetrician-gynecologist in the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. A comparison cohort was constructed of patients without PCOS who were matched according to age and sex. The occurrence of subsequent new-onset psychiatric disorders was evaluated in both cohorts based on diagnoses made by psychiatrists.
The PCOS cohort consisted of 5431 patients, and the comparison cohort consisted of 21,724 matched control patients without PCOS. The incidence of depressive disorder (hazard ratio [HR] 1.296, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.084–.550), anxiety disorder (HR 1.392, 95% CI 1.121–1.729), and sleep disorder (HR 1.495, 95% CI 1.176–1.899) were higher among the PCOS patients than among the patients in the comparison cohort. In addition, a higher incidence of newly diagnosed depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, and sleep disorder remained significantly increased in all of the stratified follow-up durations (0–1, 1–5, ≥5 y).
PCOS might increase the risk of subsequent newly diagnosed depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, and sleep disorder. The risk of newly diagnosed bipolar disorder, which has often been reported in the literature to be comorbid with PCOS, was not significantly elevated.
PMCID: PMC4016227  PMID: 24816764
3.  Depression Symptoms and Body Dissatisfaction Association Among Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Women 
Journal of psychosomatic research  2011;71(4):270-276.
One publication reported that lower body satisfaction and lower education were independent predictors of depression in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) women. This study replicates that analysis using different instruments, and adds androgen levels to the model.
Cross-sectional analysis of questionnaires (Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology-Self-Report, Body Esteem Scale) and serum androgens from a community cohort with (n=94) and without (n=96) PCOS, matched by BMI category. Non-parametric tests, Spearman correlations, and negative binomial regression models were analyzed.
Depression symptoms were common (40–60% in lean, overweight and obese BMI categories) in the PCOS cohort, albeit generally of mild severity. The PCOS women had similar depression symptom severity (P > 0.20) and similar body dissatisfaction (P ≥ 0.25) as the regularly cycling women in total and stratified by BMI category. In both the PCOS and non-PCOS cohorts, depression symptom severity was positively correlated with dissatisfaction with physical appearance and physical conditioning (P < 0.02). Body dissatisfaction (especially perception of physical conditioning) was strongly associated with more severe depression symptoms in non-obese PCOS women (BMI<30, P < 0.04) before and after controlling for age, testosterone and free testosterone. In contrast, for obese women with PCOS, depression was unrelated to body dissatisfaction after controlling for age.
Among non-obese PCOS women, their subjective body image was strongly associated with the severity of their depression symptoms. Most of the obese PCOS cohort had low body satisfaction and depression symptoms, therefore individual differences in the body dissatisfaction scores were not helpful in identifying depression symptom severity. Neither testosterone nor free testosterone were associated with depression symptom severity in PCOS women after controlling for body dissatisfaction and age.
US Clinical Trials government registry, NCT00602940
PMCID: PMC3172572  PMID: 21911106
Androgens; Body image; Body mass index; Body satisfaction; Depression; Endocrinology; Polycystic ovary syndrome
4.  A survey of the use of complementary medicine by a self-selected community group of Australian women with polycystic ovary syndrome 
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex reproductive endocrinopathy affecting up to 20% of reproductive aged women. Whilst there are effective pharmaceutical treatment options, women with PCOS have expressed a strong desire for alternatives. This study investigates the use and attitudes of women with PCOS towards complementary medicine (CM).
Women as members of PCOS support groups responded to an anonymous on-line survey which examined rates and patterns of use for CM’s, areas of health for use, perceptions of effectiveness, safety and demographic features. Data collection targeted women with PCOS using two consumer support groups. The first group self-selected following direct email to members of a land based consumer support group, the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Association of Australia (POSAA). The second sample was generated through the electronic social network Facebook, using a snowball technique. Two surveys, identical in content, were collected by cloud based Survey Monkey. Data were described and associations between the variables, ‘reasons for use’ and ‘perceptions of effectiveness’ were explored. Non-response bias was assessed using a continuum of resistance model.
493 women participated in the study; 91.1% response rate from the POSAA group. Over 70% reported use of complementary medicine, usually nutritional and herbal supplements and 76.6% of CM users reported consultation with a complementary practitioner. Many participants were using CM to treat PCOS however most were using it to concurrently treat a range of health conditions, describing women’s desire for more than single symptom management. Disadvantages for CM use were cited by 71% of respondents. Women using complementary medicine with specific treatment goals in mind reported greater self-perceived effectiveness, suggesting that informed use may improve women’s satisfaction with CM. Adverse reactions were reported by 12.2% of women and the need for further research into adverse reactions for CM’s was identified. Demographic and PCOS characteristics were similar to clinical populations of PCOS and non-response bias was shown as not significant.
This study describes the prevalence of use for complementary medicine by women with PCOS as over 70% and adds to our understanding of women’s experiences with CM and their motivations for use of CM.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-472) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4265410  PMID: 25481654
5.  Physical activity and mental health in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome 
BMC Women's Health  2014;14:51.
Physical activity is prescribed as a component of primary management for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). This study investigates the association between physical activity and mental health as well as the exercise barriers, motivators and support providers for younger women with and without PCOS to assist in physical activity uptake and prescription for these women.
Women aged 18-50 years with (n = 153) and without PCOS (n = 64) completed a questionnaire at one time point. The questionnaire included the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and a survey regarding levels of physical activity, physical activity barriers, motivators and supports. A MANCOVA assessed associations between physical activity, PCOS and mental health (specifically depression and anxiety). Descriptive and Chi square goodness of fit statistics assessed the differences in perceived barriers, motivators and support providers amongst women with and without PCOS.
Women with PCOS displayed higher severity of depression (F(1,210) = 8.32, p = 0.004) and anxiety (F(1,210) = 17.37, p < 0.001) symptoms compared to controls. Overall, for physically active women, depression was significantly less severe than in their inactive counterparts (F(2,210) = 13.62, p < 0.001). There were no differences in anxiety by physical activity status and no interaction effects between PCOS and activity status for depression or anxiety. Women with PCOS were more likely to report a lack of confidence about maintaining physical activity (Χ 2  = 3.65; p = 0.046), fear of injury (Χ 2  = 4.08; p = 0.043) and physical limitations (Χ 2  = 11.92; p = 0.001) as barriers to physical activity and were more likely to be motivated to be active to control a medical condition (Χ 2  = 7.48; p = 0.006). Women with PCOS identified more sources of support compared to women without PCOS.
Physical activity is associated with lower depression in women with PCOS and differences exist in the self-reported physical activity barriers, motivators and support providers, compared to controls. Being more active may offer mental health benefits in managing PCOS. Prescribing physical activity to women with PCOS should be individualized and consider both common and PCOS-specific barriers and motivators for successful engagement.
PMCID: PMC3986680  PMID: 24674140
Depression; Anxiety; Exercise; Motivation; Chronic disease; PCOS; Polycystic ovary syndrome
6.  Acupuncture with manual and low frequency electrical stimulation as experienced by women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a qualitative study 
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 5-10 percent of all fertile women and is associated with anovulation/oligoovulation, hyperandrogenism, and polycystic ovaries. Pharmacological treatment is often effective but associated with unwanted side effects. Acupuncture treatments have been shown to improve menstrual bleeding patterns and ovulation as well as hyperandrogenism, without side effects. The purpose of the present study was to describe the experience of acupuncture for women diagnosed with PCOS.
Eight women with PCOS living in western Sweden, were interviewed following repeated acupuncture treatments. Data was analyzed using systematic text condensation as described by Malterud.
The experience of acupuncture for women diagnosed with PCOS can be described in five categories; the experience of hope, getting results, feelings of responsibility, skepticism and proof of effect, and feeling normal.
Since acupuncture is a promising treatment for the symptoms of the common syndrome PCOS, the present study adds to the knowledge base by providing the important experiences of patients receiving the treatment. Acupuncture provides a possibility for patients to gain hope as the treatment shows results. The results show that acupuncture empowers the patients to take responsibility for their future well-being, although they may have been initially skeptical to the treatment. Because the syndrome had affected them for some time, even small changes offered a chance for them to feel that their bodies were capable of normal function.
Trial Registration
The trial is registered at Clinical with Identifier number NCT00484705.
PMCID: PMC3365875  PMID: 22471422
7.  Comparison of Endocrine Profile and In Vitro Fertilization Outcome in Patients with PCOS, Ovulatory PCO, or Normal Ovaries 
Aim. To compare the basic endocrine profile and outcomes of in vitro fertilization (IVF) in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), ovulatory polycystic ovaries (PCO), or normal ovaries (NO). Methods. The basic clinical features and in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer outcome in patients receiving IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) were retrospectively analyzed. Results. The body mass index, basal luteinizing hormone, and testosterone levels were significantly lower in patients with ovulatory PCO compared to those in patients with PCOS. The PCOS patients exhibited the shortest duration of ovarian stimulation and lowest dose of gonadotropin, followed by the ovulatory PCO and NO patients. The ovulatory PCO and PCOS patients showed similar levels of E2 on the human chorionic gonadotropin treatment day and numbers of oocytes, which were both significantly higher than those of the NO patients. The fertilization rate of the PCOS patients was significantly lower than the other two groups. Compared to NO patients, the cleavage rate was lower in both PCOS and ovulatory PCO patients, however, the number of available embryos was significantly more in these two groups. The incidence of the moderate to severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) was markedly higher in the PCOS and ovulatory PCO patients. Conclusion. Ovulatory PCO patients do not express similar endocrine abnormalities as PCOS patients. Although the fertilization rate and cleavage rate were relatively low in PCOS patients, ultimately, all the three groups showed similar transferred embryo numbers, clinical pregnancy rates, and implantation rates. Since the incidence of OHSS was much higher in the PCOS and ovulatory PCO patients, we should take more care of these patients and try to prevent severe OHSS.
PMCID: PMC3299229  PMID: 22518124
8.  Anteroposterior diameter of the infrarenal abdominal aorta is higher in women with polycystic ovary syndrome 
Women affected by polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are known to be at higher risk of cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to identify the artery that first is affected by early pre-atherosclerotic changes in PCOS.
Twenty-nine women with PCOS aged 17 to 27 years and 26 healthy nonhyperandrogenic volunteers with regular menses (control women) aged 16 to 28 years were enrolled. All PCOS patients were overweight or obese (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 25). Diagnosis of PCOS was performed in line with the 2003 Rotterdam ESHRE/ASRM-Sponsored PCOS Consensus Workshop Group. Accordingly, PCOS was defined when at least two of the following three features were present after exclusion of other etiologies: 1) oligomenorrhea and or anovulation; 2) hyperandrogenism and/or hyperandrogenemia; and 3) polycystic ovaries visible at ultrasound. Androgen excess or related disorders were excluded. The intima-media thickness (IMT) of common carotid arteries and common femoral arteries and the anteroposterior diameter of the infrarenal abdominal aorta were measured by ultrasound. Lutenizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol, total testosterone, androstenedione, and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) serum levels were measured between the 3rd and the 6th day of spontaneous or progestin-induced menstrual cycle. Our study was performed in the absence of any medical treatment.
Women with PCOS showed a higher LH to FSH ratio (p < 0.01), increased fasting insulin (p < 0.001), total testosterone (p < 0.001), and androstenedione (p < 0.001) levels, and lower SHBG concentrations (p < 0.001) compared to control women. BMI and waist-to-hip ratio were also higher in women with PCOS (p < 0.000 and p < 0.001, respectively). Women with PCOS also showed increased total cholesterol (p < 0.001), triglyceride (p < 0.001), and apolipoprotein B (p < 0.001) levels. Vascular data showed women with PCOS had a higher anteroposterior diameter than control women (p < 0.005). However, when analysis of covariance was performed and BMI was entered into the model as a covariate, anteroposterior diameter did not maintain a significant association with PCOS.
This study shows that anteroposterior diameter of the infrarenal abdominal aorta, but not IMT of common carotid arteries or common femoral arteries, is higher in women with PCOS than in women without this disease. This represents the earliest atherosclerotic change in women with PCOS. However, this alteration seems to be due to body weight secondary to PCOS and not due to PCOS per se.
PMCID: PMC2704897  PMID: 19590590
polycystic ovary syndrome; antero-posterior diameter; infrarenal abdominal aorta; intimia-media thickness
9.  A case–control observational study of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome among the four phenotypes of polycystic ovary syndrome based on Rotterdam criteria 
Reproductive Health  2015;12:7.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with an increased risk of insulin resistance (IR), metabolic syndrome (MetS), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Metabolic aspects of the four PCOS phenotypes remain to be fully defined. The aim of this study was to compare metabolic parameters and insulin resistance among the four PCOS phenotypes defined according to the Rotterdam criteria and to determine predictors of these complications.
A total of 526 reproductive-aged women were included in this observational case–control study. Of these, 263 were diagnosed as a PCOS based on Rotterdam criteria and 263 infertile women with no evidence of PCOS were recruited as controls. Biochemical, metabolic and insulin resistance parameters were compared in the two groups and the frequency of MetS and IR were compared among the four phenotypes. Data were analyzed for statistical significance using Student’s t-test and one way analysis of variance followed by a post-hoc test (least significant difference). Chi-square tests were used to compare proportions. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were also applied.
IR was identified in 112 (42.6%) of the PCOS women and 45 (17.1%) of the control (P <0.001). There were no significant differences in the frequency of IR and MetS between the four PCOS phenotypes. Homeostatic model assessment for IR (HOMA-IR) ≥3.8 was the most common IR parameter in PCOS and control groups. Women with oligo-anovulation (O) and PCO morphology (P) had a significantly lower level of 2-h postprandial insulin compared to women with O, P and hyperandrogenism (H) phenotypes.
Logistic regression analysis showed that body mass index, waist circumference, triglyceride/high-density lipoprotein ratio (cardiovascular risk), HOMA-IR and glucose abnormalities (T2DM) were associated with increased risk of having MetS (P < 0.05).
PCOS women with (O + P) show milder endocrine and metabolic abnormalities. Although, there were no significant differences in IR, MetS and glucose intolerance between the four PCOS phenotypes, women with PCOS are at higher risk of impaired glucose tolerance and undiagnosed diabetes.
PMCID: PMC4417246  PMID: 25595199
PCOS; Rotterdam phenotypes; Insulin resistance; Metabolic syndrome; Hyperandrogenism
10.  Do South Asian women with PCOS have poorer health-related quality of life than Caucasian women with PCOS? A comparative cross-sectional study 
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common chronic endocrine disorder affecting women of reproductive age. This study aimed to compare the HRQoL of South Asian and white Caucasian women with PCOS, given that it is particularly common among women of South Asian origin and they have been shown to have more severe symptoms.
The Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Questionnaire (PCOSQ) and the Short Form-36 (SF-36) were administered in a cross-sectional survey to 42 South Asian and 129 Caucasian women diagnosed with PCOS recruited from the gynaecology outpatient clinics of two university teaching hospitals in Sheffield and Leeds. Additional clinical data was abstracted from medical notes. Normative data, collected as part of the Oxford Health and Lifestyles II survey, was obtained to compare SF-36 results with ethnically matched women from the general UK population. Using the SF-36, normative HRQoL scores for women of South Asian origin were lower than for Caucasian women. Given this lower baseline we tested whether the same relationship holds true among those with PCOS.
Although HRQoL scores for women with PCOS were lower than normative data for both groups, South Asian women with PCOS did not have poorer HRQoL than their Caucasian counterparts. For both the SF-36 and PCOSQ, mean scores were broadly the same for both Asian and Caucasian women. For both groups, the worst two HRQoL domains as measured on the PCOSQ were 'infertility' and 'weight', with respective scores of 35.3 and 42.3 for Asian women with PCOS compared to 38.6 and 35.4 for Caucasian women with PCOS. The highest scoring domain for South Asian women with PCOS was 'menstrual problems' (55.3), indicating best health, and was the only statistically significant difference from Caucasian women (p = 0.01). On the SF-36, the lowest scoring domain was 'Energy & Vitality' for Caucasian women with PCOS, but this was significantly higher for Asian women with PCOS (p = 0.01). The best health status for both groups was 'physical functioning', although this was significantly lower for South Asian women with PCOS (p = 0.005). Interestingly, only two domains differed significantly from the normative data for the Asian women with PCOS, while seven domains were significantly different for the Caucasian women with PCOS compared to their normative counterparts.
The HRQoL differences that exist between South Asian and Caucasian women in the general population do not appear to be replicated amongst women with PCOS. PCOS reduces HRQoL to broadly similar levels, regardless of ethnicity and differences in the normative baseline HRQoL of these groups.
PMCID: PMC3024276  PMID: 21171983
11.  Risk of Cardiovascular Events in Mothers of Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome 
The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of cardiovascular events in an older population of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). We took advantage of the high heritability of PCOS and determined the probable PCOS status of mothers of women with PCOS. Prevalence of cardiovascular events in PCOS and non-PCOS mothers was determined.
In a single endocrine clinic, 308 women with PCOS were interviewed about their mothers’ medical history, and the mothers themselves were interviewed if available. The interview covered menstrual history, fertility, clinical signs of hyperandrogenism, age of incident cardiovascular event, and age of death as reported by daughters. Presence of PCOS in the mothers was defined as history of infertility, irregular menses, or clinical signs of hyperandrogenism. Cardiovascular event was defined as fatal or nonfatal myocardial infarction, any coronary intervention, angina requiring emergency room visits, or cerebrovascular event.
The mothers were predominantly postmenopausal. Among 182 interviewed (n=157) or deceased (n=25) mothers, 59 had probable PCOS. Cardiovascular events were more common (p=0.011) among PCOS mothers (11/59 or 18.6%) than non-PCOS mothers (5/123 or 4.1%). Adjusted for age and race, probable PCOS was an independent predictor of cardiovascular events (OR 5.41 95%CI 1.78−16.40). Cardiovascular events occurred at an early age in mothers of PCOS women, particularly mothers with PCOS themselves.
PCOS mothers of women with PCOS are at a higher risk of cardiovascular events compared with non-PCOS mothers, and cardiovascular events appear to occur at an earlier than expected age in PCOS mothers.
PMCID: PMC2639650  PMID: 19158047
Polycystic ovary syndrome; cardiovascular risk; cardiovascular events; familial polycystic ovary syndrome
12.  Diagnostic Criteria for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Pitfalls and Controversies 
It is estimated that as many as 1.4 million Canadian women may be afflicted with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Although PCOS is heralded as one of the most common endocrine disorders occurring in women, its diagnosis, management, and associated long-term health risks remain controversial. Historically, the combination of androgen excess and anovulation has been considered the hallmark of PCOS. To date, while these symptoms remain the most prevalent among PCOS patients, neither is considered an absolute requisite for the syndrome. Inclusion of ultrasonographic evidence of polycystic ovaries as a diagnostic marker has substantially broadened the phenotypic spectrum of PCOS, yet much debate surrounds the validity of these newly identified milder variants of the syndrome. Difficulty in resolving the spectrum of PCOS stems from the continued use of inconsistent and inaccurate methods of evaluating androgen excess, anovulation, and polycystic ovaries on ultrasound. At present, there is no clear-cut definition of biochemical hyperandrogenemia, particularly since we depend on poor laboratory standards for measuring androgens in women. Clinical signs of hyperandrogenism are ill-defined in women with PCOS, and the diagnosis of both hirsutism and polycystic ovarian morphology remains alarmingly subjective. Lastly, there is an inappropriate tendency to assign ovulatory status solely on the basis of menstrual cycle history or poorly timed endocrine measurements. In this review, we elaborate on these limitations and propose possible resolutions for clinical and research settings. By stimulating awareness of these limitations, we hope to generate a dialogue aimed at solidifying the evaluation of PCOS in Canadian women.
PMCID: PMC2893212  PMID: 18786289 CAMSID: cams574
Polycystic ovary syndrome; hyperandrogenism; hirsutism; menstruation disturbances; ultrasonography
13.  Health related quality of life among different PCOS phenotypes of infertile women 
The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical features and health quality profile differences between infertile women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) phenotypes and women with unexplained infertility.
Material and Methods:
The WHOQOL-BREF were administered in a cross-sectional survey to 132 women diagnosed with PCOS (study group) and 32 women diagnosed with unexplained infertility (control group). Body mass index (BMI), duration of infertility (DOI), type of infertility (TOI) and Ferriman Gallwey scores (FG scores), were compared between the study and control groups and between different phenotype groups of PCOS: Group 1-Hyperandrogenemia (HA)-anovulation (N=34), Group 2-HA-PCO (ovulatory PCOS, (N=34), Group 3-PCO-anovulation (N=32), and Group 4-HA-PCO-anovulation (N=32) and the associations of these parameters with the health quality profile were analyzed.
Physical, Spiritual and Environmental scores were significantly lower (p<0.05) in Group 1 patients (HA-AO) in comparison to the other three PCOS groups and the control group, while the same difference was observed in the social scores with a near significance (p=0.05). Linear regeression analyses revealed significant associations between type of infertility (beta coefficient: −0.423, p=0.001), FG score (beta coefficient: −0.177, p=0.016), phenotype 1 (beta coefficient: −0.236, p=0.002) and physical scores. Psychological scores were associated with the type (beta coefficient: −0.641, p=0.001) and duration (beta coefficient: −0.149, p=0.009) of infertility. Scores in the social area were only associated with type of infertility (beta coefficient: −0.443, p=0.001). Scores of environmental area were significantly associated again with the type of infertility (beta coefficient: −0.499, p=0.001) and FG scores (beta coefficient: −0.195, p=0.008). Primary infertility was a risk factor for low physical (odds ratio: 8.100, 95% CI: 3.827–17.142), social (odds ratio: 9.183, 95% CI: 4.084–20.648) and environmental (odds ratio: 9.966, 95% CI: 4.623–21.468) scores determined according to the median level.
FG scores, primary infertility and phenotype 1 PCOS were associated with lower health quality of life scores. Infertile women with Phenotype 1 (HA-AO) had the lowest scores.
PMCID: PMC3881716  PMID: 24592051
Health related quality of life; polycystic ovary syndrome; phenotypes; unexplained infertility; hirsutism
14.  Follicle-stimulating hormone receptor gene polymorphism in chronic anovulatory women, with or without polycystic ovary syndrome: a cross-sectional study 
Polymorphisms at codons 307 and 680 are the most commonly encountered allelic variants of the follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) gene. Studies in Caucasians suggest that certain FSHR variants are more common in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) than normal women. The objective of this study was to determine the distribution of FSHR gene polymorphisms at codons 307 and 680 in Thai women with chronic anovulation, without (121 women) and with PCOS (133 women), using 132 known fertile women as controls.
DNA samples from peripheral blood lymphocytes were extracted and analyzed by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism.
The prevalence of Threonine307Threonine (TT), Threonine307Alanine (TA), and Alanine307Alanine (AA) genotypes at codon 307 was 53.0% (95% CI = 44.2-61.7%), 42.4% (95% CI = 34–51.3%), and 4.5% (95% CI = 1.9-10.1%) in controls; 52.6% (95% CI = 43.8-61.3%), 39.8% (95% CI = 31.6-48.7%), and 7.5% (95% CI = 3.9-13.7%) in PCOS women; and 50.4% (95% CI = 42.8-61.2%), 45.4% (95% CI = 34.9-53.1%), and 4.5% (95% CI = 1.5-9.6%) in anovulatory women without PCOS, respectively. The prevalence of Asparagine680Asparagine (NN), Asparagine680Serine (NS), and Serine680Serine (SS) genotypes at codon 680 was 54.5% (95% CI = 45.7-63.2%), 40.9% (95% CI = 32.5-49.8%), and 4.5% (95% CI = 1.9-10.1%) in controls; 51.9% (95% CI = 43.1-60.6%), 44.4% (95% CI = 35.8-53.2%), and 3.8% (95% CI = 1.4-9.0%) in PCOS women; and 47.9% (95% CI = 40.4-58.8%), 47.1% (95% CI = 36.5-54.7%), and 5.0% (95% CI = 2–10.9%) in anovulatory women without PCOS, respectively. The prevalence of FSHR gene polymorphisms at both codons were not statistically different among the three groups.
In Thai women, there was no association between the FSHR gene polymorphism at codons 307 and 680 and chronic anovulation.
PMCID: PMC4167524  PMID: 25179311
FSH receptor; Polymorphisms; PCOS; Anovulation
15.  Anti-mullerian hormone as a diagnostic and prognostic tool for PCOS patients 
To determine whether the measurement of serum AMH can be used to diagnose PCOS and as a tool to predict the prognosis of PCOS.
This is a case–control study. Women of reproductive age (18–35 years) were recruited consecutively at a tertiary academic hospital during the period of March 2009–October 2011 and were divided into case (PCOS patients defined by the Rotterdam criteria) and control groups (non-PCOS patients). Menstrual history, clinical manifestations of hyperandrogenism, ovarian ultrasound assessments, and the levels of AMH, LH, FSH, and estradiol were collected.
Seventy-one cases and 71 controls were recruited. AMH serum levels were significantly higher in PCOS patients than in controls. The Area Under the Curve (AUC) of the serum AMH assay in PCOS patients reached a value of 0.870. With a cut-off value of 4.45 ng/ml, the serum AMH level had a sensitivity of 76.1 % and a specificity of 74.6 %. The most common phenotypes of PCOS in this study were anovulation and polycystic ovary (63.4 %). However, the mean level of AMH was highest in the phenotypes of anovulation, polycystic ovaries and hyperandrogenism (11.1 ng/ml).
In Indonesian women, AMH can be used as an alternative diagnostic criteria for PCOS patients with a cut-off value of 4.45 ng/ml. AMH value rise when hyperandrogenism is present therefore serum AMH levels also reflect the phenotype of PCOS. However, these findings must be confirmed with larger clinical studies.
PMCID: PMC4171421  PMID: 25119192
AMH; PCOS; Diagnosis of PCOS; Prognosis of PCOS
16.  Body image satisfaction and self-esteem status among the patients with polycystic ovary syndrome 
Background: Most previous research has focused on polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) characteristics and their association with psychological disorders, such as anxiety and depression.
Objective: In the present study, our aim was to study whether PCOS characteristics are associated with several aspects of psychological well-being namely self-esteem and body satisfaction.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 300 women with PCOS that was carried out in Kashan, Iran. Main outcome measures were the Body Image Concern Inventory (BICI) and the Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale and clinical information of PCOS. Major clinical PCOS features including obesity (BMI), excessive body hair (hirsutism score), acne, menstrual cycle disturbances and infertility.
Results: The findings of regression analysis indicated that infertile women had lower levels of self-esteem (=-0.11, p=0.049) and poorer body satisfaction (=0.121, p=0.036) compared with PCOS women without infertility. Furthermore, hirsute women experienced poorer self-esteem than women without hirsutism (=-0.124, p=0.032). Women with menstrual irregularities had higher body dissatisfaction (=0.159, p=0.005). Moreover, women with higher body mass index scores had poorer body satisfaction (=0.151, p=0.009) but were not associated with self-esteem.
Conclusion: The emotional well-being of the patients presenting with the syndrome needs to be recognized more fully, particularly in relation to the low self-esteem, poor body image, and struggles with weight, menstrual irregularities, hirsutism and infertility. The results of this study raise implications for clinical practice and suggest that a multidisciplinary approach to the management of women with PCOS.
This article extracted from Ph.D. thesis. (Fatemeh Bazarganipour)
PMCID: PMC3941334  PMID: 24639704
Polycysticovarysyndrome; Self-esteem; Bodyimage.
17.  Risk of endometrial, ovarian and breast cancer in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Human Reproduction Update  2014;20(5):748-758.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition affecting ∼8% of women. The objective of the present study was to quantify separately the risk of endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer and breast cancer in women with PCOS compared with non-PCOS controls, and quantify separately the risk to women of all ages as well as the risk to premenopausal women.
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Studies were eligible for inclusion if they compared women with PCOS to non-PCOS groups for fatal or non-fatal gynaecological cancers. Studies listed in MEDLINE and EMBASE published up to 7 October 2013 in any language were identified, and relevant papers were also searched by hand. Relevant data (for example, study design, source of control data, diagnostic criteria) were extracted and tabulated.
From 698 references, 11 studies (5 of endometrial cancer and 3 each of ovarian and breast cancer) met the inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis (919 women with PCOS and 72054 non-PCOS controls). Using the Mantel–Haenszel method, with fixed or random effects model as appropriate, women with PCOS were at a significantly increased risk of endometrial cancer (odds ratio (OR), 2.79; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.31–5.95, P < 0.008), but the risk of ovarian and breast cancers was not significantly increased (OR, 1.41; 95% CI, 0.93–2.15, P < 0.11 and OR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.64–1.39, P < 0.78, respectively). However when studies which included women aged over 54 years were excluded from the analysis, the risk for women with PCOS increased further for endometrial cancer (OR, 4.05; 95% CI, 2.42–6.76, P < 0.00001), became significantly increased for ovarian cancer (OR, 2.52; 95% CI, 1.08–5.89, P < 0.03), but remained non-significant for breast cancer (OR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.46–1.32, P < 0.35).
This is the first meta-analysis to examine gynaecological cancers in women with PCOS younger than 54 years of age compared with controls of similar age. Current data suggest that women of all ages with PCOS are at an increased risk of endometrial cancer but the risk of ovarian and breast cancer was not significantly increased overall. These results highlight the potential risk of gynaecological cancer morbidities associated with PCOS. However, the available evidence is far from robust and variation in diagnostic criteria for PCOS, associated risk factors (particularly obesity), and selection bias in the studies may have resulted in an exaggeration of the increased risk. Furthermore, women who have PCOS should also be made aware that any increased risk for endometrial cancer must be judged in the context of its relatively low incidence in the general population. A large well-controlled prospective study is required in order to gain a more accurate estimate of the risk of gynaecological cancers in women with PCOS.
PMCID: PMC4326303  PMID: 24688118
ovarian cancer; polycystic ovary syndrome; menopause; endometrium; breast
18.  Incorporating patient preference into the management of infertility in women with polycystic ovary syndrome 
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a heterogeneous condition characterized by anovulation, hyperandrogenism, and polycystic ovaries. Because of the heterogeneous nature of PCOS, women affected by the condition often require a customized approach for ovulation induction when trying to conceive. Treating symptoms of PCOS in overweight and obese women should always incorporate lifestyle changes with the goal of weight-loss, as many women with PCOS will ovulate after losing 5%–10% of their body weight. On the other hand, other factors must be considered including the woman’s age, age-related decline in fertility, and previous treatments she may have already tried. Fortunately, multiple options for ovulation induction exist for women with PCOS. This paper reviews specific ovulation induction options available for women with PCOS, the benefits and efficacy of these options, and the related side effects and risks women can anticipate with the various options that may affect treatment adherence. The paper also reviews the recommended evidence-based strategies for treating PCOS-related infertility that allow for incorporation of the patient’s preference. Finally, it briefly reviews emerging data and ongoing studies regarding newer agents that have shown great promise as first-line agents for the treatment of infertility in women with PCOS.
PMCID: PMC3379865  PMID: 22723725
polycystic ovary syndrome; anovulation; clomiphene citrate; letrozole; metformin; obesity
19.  The Experience of Women Affected by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Qualitative Study From Iran 
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common chronic endocrine disorder. It has significant and diverse clinical consequences including reproductive, metabolic, and psychological morbidities as well as predisposition to malignancies. It is unclear how women with PCOS experience symptoms of this syndrome.
The aim of this study was to clarify the dimensions and components of quality of life in iranian women with PCOS.
Patients and Methods:
This study was a qualitative study to explore and document perceptions of women with PCOS about their disorder and quality of life. Semi-structured interviews with open ended questions were conducted with 23 women with PCOS. The interviews were continued to reach data saturation. The study was conducted in the Reproductive Endocrinology Research Center of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences. All the interviews were recorded and transcribed. Constant comparative analysis of the data was conducted manually according to the Strauss and Corbin analysis method.
The study revealed that the most important factors affecting quality of life in women with PCOS were the role functioning items as well as physical, mental, emotional, cognitive, and social dimensions.
Comprehensive cares concerning various mental, emotional, cognitive, and social dimensions of quality of life should be planned for women with PCOS.
PMCID: PMC4013493  PMID: 24829583
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome; Quality of Life; Qualitative Study; Experience
20.  Anti-mullerian and androgens hormones in women with polycystic ovary syndrome undergoing IVF/ICSI 
Background: Despite its frequency, the polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is still a difficult diagnosis in endocrinology, gynecology, and reproductive medicine. The Rotterdam consensus conference proposed to include the ultrasonographic follicle count as a new diagnostic criterion. Unfortunately, its assessment does not offer sufficient reliability worldwide.
Objective: To explore the possible roles of altered circulating androgens and anti-mullerian hormone among PCOS women regarding their body mass index and their outcomes after IVF.
Materials and Methods: In this cross sectional study, 195 women with PCO were included, they were divided according to their body mass index (BMI <27 kg/m2) as obese PCOS (n=91) and overweight PCOS (BMI ≥27 kg/m2) (n=104). Serum levels of androgens (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate [DHEAS], testosterone and androstenedione [A4]), and anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) were assessed and compared with the endocrine profile and cycles outcomes.
Results: AMH, A4, FSH, and TSH concentrations were significantly higher in obese than in overweight women (p˂0.001). Contrary, LH: FSH ratio values, E2, PRL and DAHE-S levels were significantly lower in obese than in overweight women (p˂0.0001). Total oocyte retrieved, mature and fertilized oocyte were significantly higher in obese than in overweight women. Among pregnant obese PCOS women both AMH and A4 were significantly increased and DAHE-S was significantly decreased compared to pregnant overweight PCOS women.
Conclusion: Obese PCOS women have a higher chance of getting pregnant over those categorized as overweight PCOS. Also, androgens and AMH levels recommended to be considered in IVF attributes among obese and overweight PCOS women.
PMCID: PMC3941393  PMID: 24639712
Polycystic ovary syndrome; Androgen hormone; Anti-mullerian hormone; Androstenedione
21.  Polycystic ovary syndrome 
Canadian Family Physician  2007;53(6):1041-1047.
To construct and validate a questionnaire for use in diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
All participants completed a questionnaire, which asked clinical questions designed to assist in the diagnosis of PCOS, before their appointments with an endocrinologist. Following completion of the questionnaire, the endocrinologist (blinded to the answers) made or excluded a diagnosis of PCOS using clinical criteria and biochemical data as indicated. Questions were then evaluated for their power to predict PCOS, and a model was constructed using the most reliable items to establish a system to predict a diagnosis of PCOS.
An outpatient reproductive endocrinology clinic in Calgary, Alta.
Adult women patients who had been referred to the clinic. Fifty patients with PCOS and 50 patients without PCOS were included in the study.
Demographic information, medical history, related diagnoses, menstrual history, and fertility history.
A history of infrequent menses, hirsutism, obesity, and acne were strongly predictive of a diagnosis of PCOS, whereas a history of failed pregnancy attempts was not useful. A history of nipple discharge outside of pregnancy strongly predicted no diagnosis of PCOS. We constructed a 4-item questionnaire for use in diagnosis of PCOS; the questionnaire yielded a sensitivity of 85% and a specificity of 85% on multivariate logistic regression and a sensitivity of 77% and a specificity of 94% using the 4-item questionnaire. Predictive accuracy was validated using a second sample of 117 patients, in addition to internal validation using bootstrap analysis.
We have constructed a simple clinical tool to help diagnose PCOS. This questionnaire can be easily incorporated into family physicians’ busy practices.
PMCID: PMC1949220  PMID: 17872783
22.  Female Gender Scheme is Disturbed by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Qualitative Study From Iran 
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrinopathy affecting up to one in every five women of reproductive age. The majority of researches on PCOS focus on its biomedical aspects, often overlooking and neglecting women’s own perceptions and experiences.
This study aimed to explore women’s perception and experiences that influence their personal gender role.
Patients and Methods:
This research is a qualitative study by conventional content analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 reproductive aged women with PCOS, recruited from the reproductive endocrinology research center. , in-depth interviews were continued to reach data saturation. The study was carried out at the reproductive endocrinology research center of Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran All the interviews were recorded and transcribed, and qualitative content analysis of the data was conducted manually.
Four themes were identified. Content analysis of the interviews revealed these women mainly perceived themselves with lack of physical attractiveness, loss of womanhood, interruption of sexual role and disruption of fertility potential, feelings were related to symptoms e.g. ‘excess’ hair; absent or disrupted menstrual cycle, obesity and infertility commonly experienced by women with PCOS.
Women with PCOS are challenged in their perceptions of themselves as “feminine” because of their hairy appearance, irregular menses and lack of fertility and this influences their gender roles. Medical practitioners must understand how PCOS precisely affects women’s roles and initiate management aimed at reconstructing their “womanhood”, along with their medical treatment.
PMCID: PMC3965857  PMID: 24719724
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome; Qualitative Research; Hirsutism; Gender Identity; Femininity
23.  Insulin and hyperandrogenism in women with polycystic ovary syndrome 
The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology  2009;122(0):10.1016/j.jsbmb.2009.12.010.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a very common endocrine disorder characterized by chronic anovulation, clinical and/or biochemical hyperandrogenism, and/or polycystic ovaries. But most experts consider that hyperandrogenism is the main characteristic of PCOS. Several theories propose different mechanisms to explain PCOS manifestations: (1) a primary enzymatic default in the ovarian and/or adrenal steroidogenesis; (2) an impairment in gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion that promotes luteal hormone (LH) secretion; or (3) alterations in insulin actions that lead to insulin resistance with compensatory hyperinsulinemia. However, in the past 20 years there has been growing evidence supporting that defects in insulin actions or in the insulin signalling pathways are central in the pathogenesis of the syndrome. Indeed, most women with PCOS are metabolically insulin resistant, in part due to genetic predisposition and in part secondary to obesity. But some women with typical PCOS do not display insulin resistance, which supports the hypothesis of a genetic predisposition specific to PCOS that would be revealed by the development of insulin resistance and compensatory hyperinsulinemia in most, but not all, women with PCOS. However, these hypotheses are not yet appropriately confirmed, and more research is still needed to unravel the true pathogenesis underlying this syndrome. The present review thus aims at discussing new concepts and findings regarding insulin actions in PCOS women and how it is related to hyperandrogenemia.
PMCID: PMC3846536  PMID: 20036327 CAMSID: cams3752
Polycystic ovary syndrome; Hyperandrogenism; Insulin; Insulin signalling pathways; Insulin resistance; Free fatty acids
24.  Anthropometric characteristics and dietary pattern of women with polycystic ovary syndrome 
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder among women of reproductive age. PCOS is considered to be not only a reproductive endocrinopathy, but also a metabolic disorder. The objective of the present study was to characterize the anthropometric and dietary profile of women with PCOS and to compare it with that of healthy age-matched women.
In this case-control study, 65 women with PCOS served as cases. The control group consisted of 65 age-matched healthy women. For each participant, demographic, anthropometric and dietary intake data were gathered and compared between the two groups.
There was no significant difference between the mean of the body mass index of the two groups, but the mean of waist circumference was significantly higher in the PCOS group, than the control group (P = 0.016). Compared to the normal weight PCOS patients, a significantly higher percentage of overweight patients had hirsutism (P = 0.009). In dietary analysis, women with PCOS consumed more calories and more fat than healthy women (P = 0.001 and P = 0.019, respectively).
It is concluded that in PCOS patients, android obesity is a common feature and this abdominal adiposity may be related to the syndrome's complications. PCOS symptoms were more severe in overweight patients than the normal weight. Regarding the dietary pattern, it was indicated that patients with PCOS consume more calories and more fat in their diets and this might have been correlated to their disease.
PMCID: PMC3743368  PMID: 23961484
Diet; hirsutism; obesity; polycystic ovary syndrome
25.  Effect of electro-acupuncture on ovarian expression of α (1)- and β (2)-adrenoceptors, and p75 neurotrophin receptors in rats with steroid-induced polycystic ovaries 
Estradiol valerate (EV)-induced polycystic ovaries (PCO) in rats is associated with an increase in ovarian sympathetic outflow. Low-frequency (2 Hz) electro-acupuncture (EA) has been shown to modulate sympathetic markers as well as ovarian blood flow as a reflex response via the ovarian sympathetic nerves, in rats with EV-induced PCO.
In the present study, we further tested the hypothesis that repeated 2 Hz EA treatments modulate ovarian sympathetic outflow in rats with PCO, induced by a single i.m. injection of EV, by investigating the mRNA expression, the amount and distribution of proteins of α1a-, α1b-, α1d-, and β2-adrenoceptors (ARs), as well as the low-affinity neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR).
It was found that EV injection results in significantly higher mRNA expression of ovarian α1b- and α1d-AR in PCO rats compared to control rats. The p75NTR and β2-ARs mRNA expression were unchanged in the PCO ovary. Low-frequency EA resulted in a significantly lower expression of β2-ARs mRNA expression in PCO rats. The p75NTR mRNA was unaffected in both PCO and control rats. PCO ovaries displayed significantly higher amount of protein of α1a-, α1b- and α1d-ARs, and of p75NTR, compared to control rats, that were all counteracted by repeated low-frequency EA treatments, except for α1b-AR.
The present study shows that EA normalizes most of the EV-induced changes in ovarian ARs. Furthermore, EA was able to prevent the EV-induced up regulation of p75NTR, probably by normalizing the sympathetic ovarian response to NGF action. Our data indicate a possible role of EA in the regulation of ovarian responsiveness to sympathetic inputs and depict a possible complementary therapeutic approach to overcoming sympathetic-related anovulation in women with PCOS.
PMCID: PMC1175857  PMID: 15941472

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