PCOS dates back far in time. Scientists Stein and Leventhal first describe it in the 1935, as a condition where the ovaries appeared enlarged, translucid and marmoreal. It was common among women with extra hair (hirsutism), overweight and amenorrhea (lack of period).
At the beginning PCOS was considered just as a disease of the reproductive apparatus.
During the years, these women clearly showed other symptoms and the diagnosis of the syndrome became more and more imprecise for the disoriented doctors. A lot of scientific associations have tried to look into the issue and have a try to shed light on it.
In 2003 in Rotterdam a panel of experts adopted a set of common diagnostic principles which has been used since then:
- Irregular mestrual period
- Excess of male sex hormones (shown in blood work exams or in physical features common with the excess of androgens)
- Cysts in the ovaries
In the following years a great deal of studies have added more and more pieces of information and have made PCOS be considered one of the most complex endocrine conditions to understand and to cope with. A lot of hormones are involved and they create a loop difficult to be cut.
Sex male hormones, alterations of other hormones by the pituitary gland, insulin excess and much more made the doctors’ work more and more challenging: they can’t still cope with the problem clearly.
Why are we so interested in the matter?
Because the women who suffer from PCOS not only live have a tormented relationship with their own femininity, have problems about getting pregnant, or are more subjected to complications during the gestation phase, but they also show a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and endometrial cancer.
PCOS isn’t only a disorder linked to the hyperandroginism (excess of male sex hormones) but it is also a disorder of the metabolism and hormones together which is closely connected to long-term health implications.