Which menstrual irregularities suggest polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)?

Updated: Sep 19, 2019
  • Author: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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Patients with PCOS have abnormal menstruation patterns attributed to chronic anovulation. (The patient usually has a history of menstrual disturbance dating back to menarche.) Some women have oligomenorrhea (ie, menstrual bleeding that occurs at intervals of 35 days to 6 months, with < 9 menstrual periods per year) or secondary amenorrhea (an absence of menstruation for 6 months). Dysfunctional uterine bleeding and infertility are the other consequences of anovulatory menstrual cycles. The menstrual irregularities in PCOS usually present around the time of menarche.

A retrospective study by Maslyanskaya et al reported that PCOS was the most common etiology seen in adolescent patients hospitalized for abnormal uterine bleeding (accounting for 33% of 125 hospital admissions). [39]

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