Curtailing PCOS

Selma Feldman Witchel, Helena J. Teede, Alexia S. Peña

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), characterized by hormonal imbalance and ovarian dysfunction, often starts during adolescence. Inconsistent diagnostic criteria, variable provider knowledge, and lack of consensus pose specific challenges for the care of women with PCOS. These factors encourage inaccurate diagnosis with both under and overdiagnosis. This unfavorable diagnostic experience exasperates affected women and limits timely opportunities for intervention to minimize associated comorbidities, especially during the transition from pediatric to adult care. Recognition of these issues in the care of adolescents and women with PCOS inspired the development of the International Evidence-Based PCOS Guidelines, which emphasize the prevention, screening, and treatment of PCOS across the reproductive lifespan. The Guidelines and accompanying meta-analyses focus on three major categories of associated comorbidities: (1) reproductive; (2) metabolic; and (3) psychological. With the exception of infertility, this article considers common manifestations and comorbidities associated with PCOS throughout the lifecycle. Healthy lifestyle interventions with prevention of excess weight gain comprise the primary intervention for all comorbidities. Hence, early identification of girls “at risk” for PCOS and those with PCOS is a priority. Extensive guidelines for provider and patient education aim to decrease the medical, psychosocial, and economic burdens attributable to PCOS and its associated comorbidities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-361
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

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