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Fertil Steril. 2011 Nov;96(5):1259-65. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2011.09.002. Epub 2011 Oct 1.

The phenotype of polycystic ovary syndrome ameliorates with aging.

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  • 1Division of Reproductive Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



To assess the effects of aging on the features of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).


Retrospective longitudinal follow-up study.


Tertiary care center.


Patients with PCOS, diagnosed according to the 2003 Rotterdam criteria, who visited the outpatient clinic on consecutive occasions with a minimum interval of 6 months.


Comparisons were made between the first visit and the consecutive visit grouped by intervals.


Changes in clinical and endocrine characteristics.


A total of 254 women visited the outpatient clinic on 2 occasions each. Consecutive visits were grouped into 0.5 to 3.9 years (n = 172; mean follow-up, 2.6 years) and 4.0 to 7.0 years (n = 82; mean follow-up, 5.5 years). At their second visit, significantly more women had regained a regular cycle. The total antral follicle count was similar. Serum levels of testosterone, androstenedione, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate had decreased significantly. Plasma glucose levels had increased, whereas serum insulin levels and homeostasis model assessment score had significantly decreased.


The PCOS phenotype changed with aging, suggesting an amelioration of the phenotype and ovarian dysfunction as indicated by the increase in number of regular menstrual cycles, decrease in serum androgen levels, and decrease in insulin resistance.

Copyright © 2011 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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