Polycystic ovarian syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition that affects how your ovaries work. Usually, about five follicles start to mature during each menstrual cycle. At least one follicle releases a mature egg at ovulation. A polycystic ovary starts to mature at least twice as many follicles as normal, most of which enlarge and ripen but do not release an egg. It is estimated that between 22 and 33 per cent of women have polycystic ovaries. Some women go on to develop polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which means they have other symptoms in addition to polycystic ovaries. PCOS happens when their hormonal system gets out of balance, making ovulation rare or irregular, and causing other changes in the body. Polycystic ovary syndrome is estimated to affect between five and 15 per cent of women of reproductive age, and it is thought to be more common in women of Asian descent. The exact cause of the problem is unknown but it's likely to be a combination of factors. Genetics are involved, as PCOS tends to run in families. Having higher than normal levels of the hormone insulin in your body is linked to PCOS.