CLINICAL PRACTICE. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

N Engl J Med. 2016 Jul 7;375(1):54-64. doi: 10.1056/NEJMcp1514916.


A 22-year-old woman reports having hirsutism and irregular menses. She describes unpredictable and infrequent menses (five or six per year) since menarche at 11 years of age. Dark, coarse facial hair began to develop at 13 years of age. The symptoms worsened after she gained weight in college. The physical examination includes a body-mass index (BMI; the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) of 29, blood pressure of 135/85 mm Hg, and moderate hirsutism without virilization. Laboratory tests reveal a total testosterone level of 65 ng per deciliter (2.3 nmol per liter) (assay reference range, 14 to 53 ng per deciliter [0.5 to 1.8 nmol per liter]), calculated free testosterone level of 15.3 pg per milliliter (53.1 pmol per liter) (assay reference range, 0.6 to 6.8 pg per milliliter [2.1 to 23.6 pmol per liter]), and glycated hemoglobin level of 5.7% (normal value, ≤5.6%). How should this case be evaluated and managed?

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Hirsutism / etiology
  • Humans
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome* / complications
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome* / drug therapy
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome* / physiopathology
  • Young Adult


  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined