Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Joyce King, CNM, RN, FNP, PhD


J Midwifery Womens Health. 2006;51(6):415-422. 

In This Article


PCOS is one of the most common disorders affecting women of reproductive age. As a syndrome, it has multiple components, including reproductive, metabolic, and cardiovascular, with long-term health concerns that cross the life span. Although not well understood, insulin resistance seems to underlie many of the clinical manifestations of PCOS. Insulin resistance also appears to increase the risk of glucose intolerance, type 2 diabetes, and lipid abnormalities. Treatment of this disorder should focus on reduction of androgen-associated symptoms, the protection of the endometrium, and reduction of the long-term risks of diabetes and cardiovascular complications. For many women with this syndrome, improving infertility is a primary goal of therapy. Nurse-midwives can assess and manage many of the presenting complaints and lifestyle issues, such as menstrual disorders, hirsutism, and obesity, which are associated with PCOS. The nurse-midwife may choose to manage the more complex problems, such as infertility and insulin resistance, in collaboration with a gynecologist or endocrinologist. It is imperative that we act to prevent the far-reaching consequences of this syndrome.


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