Feature Article

The many faces of polycystic ovary syndrome

Bronwyn Stuckey, Andrea Cussons



This opinion piece describes the diagnosis and management of polycystic ovary syndrome, a common, heterogeneous disorder that can have wide-ranging effects on a woman’s appearance, fertility and cardiometabolic risk. Clinicians should treat the patient’s immediate concern as well as addressing the longer-term implications of the diagnosis.

Key Points

  • Women with polycystic ovary syndrome present with various issues, including menstrual cycle irregularity, symptoms of androgen excess, reduced fertility or metabolic problems such as obesity or glucose intolerance.
  • A careful menstrual history and clinical examination are the most important components of assessment and diagnosis.
  • Phenotype subclassification and a focus on the patient’s primary concerns will help clinicians direct appropriate management.

    Picture credit: © Kevin Somerville.