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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) (cont.)

Surgery for PCOS

Laparoscopic surgery to perform wedge resection of the ovaries was formerly carried out as a measure to induce ovulation and treat infertility in women with PCOS. This is rarely performed today because of the effectiveness of Clomid and other methods to treat infertility as well as the fact that adhesions (scar tissue) may remain after ovarian wedge resection. A laparoscopic procedure known as ovarian drilling of the ovaries, in which portions of the ovary are destroyed, has also been used to reduce androgen levels and treat PCOS in some women.

Follow-up for PCOS

It is important for women with PCOS to routinely follow-up with their health care practitioner according to his or her recommendations, both for the management of the hormonal effects of PCOS as well as the treatment of associated conditions.

PCOS Prevention

Since the cause of PCOS is poorly understood, it is not possible to prevent PCOS. However, maintenance of a healthy weight and lifestyle are important in preventing and controlling many of the conditions that may be associated with PCOS.

Outlook for PCOS

Hormonal therapies to induce a regular menstrual cycle and to help prevent the risk of endometrial cancer are usually successful, as are medications that reduce androgen actions.

The prognosis is variable among women with PCOS who undergo fertility treatments.

In women who are overweight or obese, ovulation can sometimes be achieved by moderate weight loss alone. Others may need medications or assisted reproductive technologies to try to conceive. Although the outlook for infertility treatments varies according to the woman's age and other medical conditions, studies show in general that about 80% of women with PCOS ovulate in response to oral clomiphene citrate (Clomid), and approximately 50% get pregnant. Assisted reproductive technologies can be successful for some women who do not conceive.

Medically reviewed by Wayne Blocker, MD; Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology


Ehrmann, DA. Polycystic ovary syndrome. N Engl J Med 2005; 352:1223.

American Society for Reproductive Medicine, "Polycystic Ovary Syndrome."

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/11/2016

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