Higher menopausal age but no differences in parity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome compared with controls

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2019 Mar;98(3):320-326. doi: 10.1111/aogs.13489. Epub 2018 Nov 15.


Introduction: To address the question of whether women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) reach menopause later than age-matched controls, we conducted a follow-up cohort study of women with well-characterized PCOS that was diagnosed 24 years ago. The hypothesis was that women with PCOS would reach menopause later than non-PCOS women. Parity during these 24 years was also studied.

Material and methods: Twenty-seven women diagnosed with PCOS in 1992 (mean age 29.5 years) were re-examined in 2016 (mean age 52.4 years). Randomly selected women, n = 94 (mean age 52.4 years), from the same geographic area included in the World Health Organization MONICA study, Gothenburg, Sweden, served as controls.

Results: The mean menopausal age in women with PCOS was higher than in controls (53.3 ± 2.2 years vs 49.3 ± 3.5 years, P < 0.01). Serum-follicle stimulating hormone levels were lower in the PCOS women than in controls (31.0 ± 28.1 IU/L vs 52.3 ± 37.7 IU/L, P = 0.01). There was no difference in parity between women with PCOS (1.9 ± 1.3 children, range 0-4) and controls (1.7 ± 1.0, range 0-4 children).

Conclusions: Women with PCOS reached menopause 4 years later and had lower serum-follicle stimulating hormone compared with age-matched controls. Neither parity nor nulliparity differed between women with PCOS and controls.

Keywords: follicle stimulating hormone; menopausal age; parity; polycystic ovary syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Menopause*
  • Middle Aged
  • Parity*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Sweden
  • Women's Health / statistics & numerical data