A Reproductive Lexicon


Ownership of this website has been transferred from Northwestern University to Michigan State University.
Please note that some site information may be inaccurate while adjustments to reflect this organizational change are made.

MOOC Advertisement

Learn More:
Get An Introduction to Reproduction

Learn more about the science of reproduction. Dr. Teresa Woodruff, creator of Repropedia, is offering a free online course exploring the world of reproduction.

Get Started!

polycystic ovary syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common hormonal disorder that affects many women of reproductive age. The name of the disorder came from the observation that women with PCOS often have the appearance of “cysts” along the outer edge of their ovaries when viewed by ultrasound. These “cysts” correspond to immature follicles that have stopped developing due to hormonal imbalance. Polycystic ovaries develop as a consequence of excess ovarian androgen. PCOS can disrupt ovulation or stop it altogether, often leading to subfertility. Women with PCOS may experience excessive hair growth, weight gain, acne, and many other symptoms, ranging from mild to severe.

Also Known As: