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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a significant public health issue with reproductive, metabolic and psychological features. PCOS is one of the most common conditions in reproductive-aged women affecting 8-13% of reproductive-aged women with up to 70% of affected women remaining undiagnosed. Presentation varies by ethnicity and in high-risk populations such as Indigenous women, prevalence and complications are higher. Women with PCOS present with diverse features including psychological (anxiety, depression, body image), reproductive (irregular menstrual cycles, hirsutism, infertility and pregnancy complications) and metabolic features (insulin resistance (IR), metabolic syndrome, prediabetes, type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular risk factors).
Diagnosis and treatment of PCOS remain controversial with challenges defining individual components within the diagnostic criteria, significant clinical heterogeneity generating a range of phenotypes with or without obesity, ethnic differences and variation in clinical features across the life course. These factors contribute to variation in diagnosis and care across geographical regions and health professional groups. This culminates in delayed diagnosis, poor diagnosis experience and dissatisfaction with care reported by women internationally.
In this volume, we provide the reader with up-to-date information about what is currently known about PCOS and what are the challenges still facing the research and clinical care communities.