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Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2006 Oct;20(5):751-78. Epub 2006 Jun 12.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome--prognosis and outcomes.

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UWA School of Women's and Infants' Health, University of Western Australia, King Edward Memorial Hospital, 374 Bagot Road, Subiaco, Perth, WA 6008, Australia.


Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that is present in 5-6% of women of reproductive age. It has potentially profound implications for women with regard to anovulatory infertility and symptoms related to elevated androgen levels. In addition, in later life women are prone to significant health problems related to hyperinsulinaemia, with an excess risk for diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors. Evidence suggests that the adverse features of PCOS can be ameliorated with lifestyle intervention, such as diet and exercise, while further short-term benefits related to ovulation and cardiac risk factors may be derived from medication with metformin. Evidence for the long-term use of metformin to protect against adverse cardiovascular outcomes and for the use of metformin throughout pregnancy to reduce the risk of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and fetal macrosomia is still lacking.

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