Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Obesity, and Pregnancy

Anju E. Joham, Stefano Palomba, Roger Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder affecting up to one in five reproductive-aged women. It is underpinned by insulin resistance and hyperandrogenism and is associated with metabolic, reproductive, and psychological features. Women with PCOS have higher rates of obesity and central adiposity compared with women without PCOS, and weight strongly influences prevalence and clinical severity of PCOS. Women with PCOS may have subfertility and women should be aware of factors affecting fertility, in particular the impact of obesity and age. Once pregnant, women with PCOS have significantly increased risk of pregnancy-related complications including gestational diabetes, hypertensive disorders, premature delivery, and delivery by cesarean section. The offspring of women with PCOS may have increased risk of congenital abnormalities and hospitalization in childhood. Clinicians should be aware of the increased risk and screen, prevent, and manage accordingly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-101
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in Reproductive Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2016


  • obesity
  • PCOS
  • pregnancy complications

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