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What are the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?

The symptoms of PCOS vary, but can include: irregular menstrual cycles (infrequent or too frequent), or no menstrual cycles at all; problems with fertility and getting pregnant; weight gain (most women with PCOS are overweight or obese); increases in hair growth on the body including the chest, abdomen, inner thighs and face; thinning or loss of hair on the scalp, similar to male pattern baldness; acne; acanthosis nigricans, dark patches of skin that tend to form on the neck and breasts and in the armpits and groin, and; body shape changes, including reduced size of breasts and, very rarely, an enlarged clitoris.

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About this article

Author: Dr Joanne Van der Velden PhD, BSc (Hons)
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Votes: 792 (Click smiley face below to rate)
Category: Endometriosis


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