PCOS is an endocrine and metabolic disorder. It is considered in any woman with acne, hirsutism, menstrual irregularity, or obesity.Patients with PCOS, have anovulation, i.e. they may not produce a follicle cyclically. They may therefore present with primary amenorrhea (i.e. no periods at all), too few periods (oligomenorrhea) or secondary amenorrhea i.e. absence of periods for six months or more. Some may also have excessive, frequent and irregular bleeding (dysfunctional uterine bleeding).
Resistance to insulin, and increase in insulin levels is an important factor in PCOS. Obesity is present in approximately one-half of patients with PCOS. The waist:hip ratio may be greater than 0.85.
The cause of PCOS is unknown, but there is a possibility that PCOS may be a complex genetic disorder in which the genetic factor interacts with various environmental factors and causes imbalance in the hormones.