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PCOS: A greater understanding affords recent hope for brand new therapies



New insights into polycystic ovary syndrome are revealing extra concerning the causes of this frequent however misunderstood whole-body situation, and these may result in new therapies

Well being

23 January 2023

Owen Gent

I WAS 19, my face raging with pimples, when my dermatologist began asking me questions that appeared to don’t have anything to do with my pores and skin. “Are your periods regular? Do you have any excess body hair?” he requested. “You may have polycystic ovary syndrome,” he concluded. I had no concept what he was speaking about. “It can make it difficult to have children,” he mentioned as he noticed me out.

Reeling, I went to my household physician, who ordered blood checks and an ultrasound of my ovaries that confirmed I had polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS. However she admitted she didn’t know a lot about it, leaving me confused and depressing about this mysterious situation I had out of the blue been saddled with.

Lots of my associates have recounted comparable experiences. Regardless of PCOS being essentially the most frequent hormonal situation amongst girls aged 18 to 45 and a number one reason for infertility, it has been onerous for us to get a straight reply about what it really is or what to do about it.

Seventeen years on from my analysis, nevertheless, the tide is popping. Researchers are lastly piecing collectively the causes of PCOS and it’s being taken critically as a situation that doesn’t simply have an effect on the ovaries, but in addition has cardiovascular, metabolic and psychological repercussions. Because of this, the situation is even set to get a unique title later this 12 months (see “Misleading moniker”, web page 45). And what’s extra, this clearer understanding is opening up routes to new therapies.

The primary docs to characterise PCOS have been Irving Stein and Michael Leventhal at Northwestern College in Chicago. In 1935, they revealed a …

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