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Polycystic ovary syndrome

PCOS

A common condition affecting the normal function of the ovaries

About

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition where the normal function of the ovaries has changed. Polycystic ovaries contain a number of harmless follicles. They're not actually cysts but sacs in which your eggs should develop. However, as they haven't formed properly, they can't release an egg and ovulation may not happen as usual.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of PCOS icon plus

    There are three key symptoms associated with polycystic ovary syndrome:

    • your ovaries may be enlarged and contain more than 12 fluid-filled sacs
    • your hormones may be out of balance
    • you may not ovulate every month

    In addition to these, you may also experience:

    • difficulty becoming pregnant
    • recurrent miscarriage
    • depression
    • rapid weight gain
    • difficulty losing weight
    • oily skin or acne
    • unwanted hair on your face or body

    In a large number of cases, there are no symptoms at all.

  • Diagnosis icon plus

    If you have two out of three of the main symptoms above, you may have PCOS. We'll measure your hormone levels via a blood test and we may recommend you have an ultrasound of your ovaries which would confirm a diagnosis of PCOS.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    There's no way of reversing the formation of these cysts, but if you’re diagnosed with PCOS, it's important that you have treatment to control your symptoms. This is particularly the case if the symptoms are severe and cause concern, or if infertility becomes an issue. We have a multidisciplinary team who can offer complementary therapies and nutritional advice as part of a tailored plan to suit your needs.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • facility-pgh-hero-579x579

    The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 020 3131 7216
    Enquiries 020 3130 6833

  • Wellington-south-hero-facility-582-582

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 0207 483 5148
    Enquiries 020 3131 7478

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments and Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773
    Switchboard 020 7407 3100

  • The Lister Hospital Facility

    The Lister Hospital

    Chelsea Bridge Road

    London

    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7811 4000
    Enquiries 020 3131 4978

  • The Portland Hospital Facility

    The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

    Children's enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

  • facility-HSC-flag-hero-582x582

    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street

    London

    W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7034 8181
    Enquiries 020 3131 7962

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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