Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis


Biomedical Science

First Advisor

Holly LaVoie


Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a complex disorder found in 5-10% of women of reproductive age. The disorder affects hormone levels and reproductive abilities in part by altering follicular development in the ovary. The disorder is a major cause of infertility in women. PCOS has been associated with hyperandrogenism, insulin resistance, and hyperinsulinemia, suggesting an interaction between glucose metabolism and the ovary. There are differing criteria established to diagnose PCOS, which complicates its diagnosis. Gene studies have not led to many conclusions regarding a genetic basis of PCOS, but an inheritance pattern has been demonstrated in some phenotypes. There is no known cure for this syndrome, but there are treatments used to care for its symptoms. It is important to establish reliable diagnostic criteria and potentially establish subgroups with differing symptoms for better treatment of PCOS and to study the origins of the disorder. This thesis aims to review the current literature regarding the diagnosis, treatment, and origins of PCOS.