Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a medical condition in which women experience irregular or absent menstrual bleeding, increased hair growth, and difficulty becoming pregnant. In these women, the ovaries are slightly enlarged and contain multiple small cysts which have led to the descriptive term, polycystic ovaries. Thus, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is comprised of several clinical features, each of which may be present to a greater or lesser degree. As a result, patients may seek medical advice to correct irregular menstruation, eradicate excessive hair growth, or achieve pregnancy.
Some women have been found to have polycystic ovaries without associated abnormalities of menstruation, hair growth or fertility. These women do not have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Thus, not all women with polycystic ovaries have PCOS, but all women with PCOS have polycystic ovaries.