Long-term follow-up of patients with polycystic ovary syndrome: reproductive outcome and ovarian reserve

Hum Reprod. 2009 May;24(5):1176-83. doi: 10.1093/humrep/den482. Epub 2009 Jan 24.


Background: The purpose of the present study was to examine long-term reproductive outcome and ovarian reserve in an unselected population of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). METHODS A total of 91 patients with confirmed PCOS and 87 healthy controls were included in the study. Patients had been diagnosed between 1987 and 1995 and at the time of the follow-up, subjects were 35 years of age or older.

Results: Among women who had attempted a pregnancy, 86.7% of PCOS patients and 91.6% of controls had given birth to at least one child. Among PCOS patients who had given birth, 73.6% had done so following a spontaneous conception. Mean ovarian volume and the number of antral follicles in PCOS patients were significantly greater than in control women (P < 0.001, respectively). PCOS patients also had higher serum concentrations of anti-Müllerian hormone and lower follicle-stimulating hormone levels.

Conclusions: Most women with PCOS had given birth, and the rate of spontaneous pregnancies was relatively high. Together with the ultrasound findings and the hormonal analyses, this finding could imply that PCOS patients have a good fecundity, and an ovarian reserve possibly superior to women with normal ovaries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / epidemiology
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / blood
  • Gonadotropins / blood
  • Humans
  • Inhibins / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Follicle / diagnostic imaging
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / blood
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / diagnostic imaging
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Premenopause
  • Reproduction*
  • Ultrasonography


  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • Gonadotropins
  • inhibin B
  • Inhibins
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone