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J Turk Ger Gynecol Assoc. 2019 Nov 28;20(4):255-263. doi: 10.4274/jtgga.galenos.2019.2018.0142. Epub 2019 Mar 1.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome: Environmental/occupational, lifestyle factors; an overview

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Department of Reproductive and Cytotoxicology, ICMR-National Institute of Occupational Health, Ahmedabad, India
PhD Scholar, Life Science, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, India
Department of Gynecology, Institute of Kidney Diseases, Ahmedabad, India
Former, Scientist G & Director-in-Charge NIOH (ICMR), Ahmedabad, India


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a multifaceted disease of women with infertility that has diverse etiologic factors. Some women may have only a few PCOS-linked symptoms or mild symptoms, whereas others will have severe or all PCOS-linked symptoms. Therefore, PCOS symptoms can differ among women. PCOS is a state of hormonal imbalance, excess terminal hair (hirsutism), hair loss (alopecia), menstruation impairments, metabolic disorders, and cystic appearance on the ovaries. The cysts hamper ovulation, thus reducing the ability of women to become pregnant and result in infertility. The available data suggest that PCOS might originate in utero and the phenotypic appearance of PCOS symptoms may be developed in later life, which could be linked with host factors (endogenous) and exogenous factors like lifestyle, and dietary, environmental or occupational factors. Based upon the available information, it can be postulated that prenatal exposure to excessive androgens might be responsible for androgenization of the fetus, which in turn may alter the program of differentiating target tissues and the phenotypic characteristics of PCOS can be persuaded by exposure of female offspring to various endogenous and exogenous factors at later life. Genetic/host and environmental/lifestyle factors might be related to the pathophysiology of PCOS after prenatal exposure to androgen. Additional studies are necessary to understand the exact mechanism responsible for the manifestation of PCOS because it is a very important issue in female reproduction.


Polycystic ovary syndrome; environmental; occupational; hyperandrogenism; anovulation; genetic factors; androgenization; infertility

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