What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) occurs in approximately 8-15% of women worldwide. Yet, unless you have been diagnosed or someone has shared their diagnosis with you, it is likely you have never heard of it. Given our lack of knowledge on the syndrome, it is often surprising that PCOS is the most common female reproductive condition and the leading cause of female infertility. It has even been identified as “The Thief of Womanhood“.


Unfortunately, there is not one standard set of criteria for defining PCOS. However, it is often diagnosed if women have any two of the following three symptoms (after excluding other conditions, too):

  • oligo- or amenorrhea (infrequent or no periods)
  • hyperandrogenism (increased facial/body hair OR elevated androgens on bloodwork)
  • polycystic ovaries (small fluid-filled sacs on ovaries)

Women also often experience:

  • unexplainable weight gain and/or obesity
  • insulin resistance
  • dyslipidemia
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • eating disorders
  • hair loss
  • acne

Long-term complications can include:

  • type 2 diabetes
  • cardiovascular disease
  • metabolic syndrome
  • endometrial hyperplasia
  • endometrial cancer
  • ovarian cancer

More information can be found in my Ph.D. thesis here.

In addition, I have published the following articles:

Low intakes of dietary fiber and magnesium are associated with insulin resistance and hyperandrogenism in polycystic ovary syndrome: A cohort study.

A randomized controlled trial comparing lifestyle intervention to letrozole for ovulation in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a study protocol.