Polycystic ovary syndrome, hyperandrogenism, and insulin resistance

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Results from recent basic and clinical research investigations have greatly improved our understanding of insulin resistance in general and insulin resistance associated with PCOS in particular. With this understanding has come the possibility of using new methods to treat PCOS. This is particularly true when discussing the use of insulin-sensitizing drugs. Caution must be exercised in using these drugs be cause of unforeseen acute or remote adverse side effects. Postulated relationships among PCOS, hyperandrogenism, and insulin resistance do not completely solve the endocrinologic mystery of the patient with PCOS. For example, how does the partial destruction of the ovary (eg, wedge biopsy or ovary drilling by laser or cautery), which does not affect insulin resistance [58], result in ovulatory cycles? Why does the administration of excessive exogenous insulin in the case of the insulin-dependent diabetic fail to cause hyperandrogenism? Certainly, much remains to be learned about the reproductive endocrine disturbance we now call PCOS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-527
Number of pages11
JournalInfertility and Reproductive Medicine Clinics of North America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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