Does polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) put women at risk for other health problems?

Women with PCOS have greater chances of developing several serious, life-threatening diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and cancer. Recent studies found that:

  • More than 50 percent of women with PCOS will have diabetes or pre-diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance) before the age of 40.
  • Women with PCOS have a four to seven times higher risk of heart attack than women of the same age without PCOS.
  • Women with PCOS are at greater risk of having high blood pressure.
  • Women with PCOS have high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.

The chance of getting endometrial cancer is another concern for women with PCOS. Irregular menstrual periods and the absence of ovulation cause women to produce the hormone estrogen, but not the hormone progesterone. Progesterone causes the endometrium to shed its lining each month as a menstrual period. Without progesterone, the endometrium becomes thick, which can cause heavy bleeding or irregular bleeding. Over time, this can lead to endometrial hyperplasia, when the lining grows too much, and cancer.


PCOS Questions....


Information is provided by:  The National Women's Health Information Center which is Sponsored by the Office on Women's Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services