What are the symptoms and the causes of PCOS?

PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is a health condition that affects women’s menstrual cycle, hormones, fertility, and physical appearance. It is estimated that five to ten percent of women have PCOS. PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility in women. Some of the characteristics of PCOS are irregular periods, abnormal levels of male hormones, and having many cysts on the ovaries. Poly means many and cystic means cysts, thus the name Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
As to the causes, we have not discovered. Some women do have other family members with PCOS but we have not discovered a genetic link to PCOS. There seems to be a relationship between obesity and PCOS. PCOS researchers are looking at the link between insulin production and PCOS. Some women with PCOS produce too much insulin. The insulin in their body does not work properly so their body has to produce more to control blood sugar. Researchers believe there is a link between insulin production and PCOS. Because these women are producing too much insulin, this in turn, causes their bodies to produce excess testosterone. The extra testosterone results in facial hair, acne, and cysts on the ovaries.