30 Interesting Facts About PCOS
  1. Despite being one of the most common endocrine disorders, PCOS receives less than .1% of funding from the National Institutes of Health.
  2. Worldwide, PCOS affects 6% to 10% of women, making it the most common endocrine disorder in women of childbearing age.
  3. By age 40, 40% of women with PCOS will develop pre-diabetes or diabetes.
  4. The diagnostic criteria for PCOS states that a woman has PCOS if she has at least 2 of the following 3 criteria: a. Irregular or absent periods, b. blood tests or physical signs that show high androgens, c. Polycystic ovaries
  5. The United States spends an estimated $4 billion annually to identify and manage PCOS.
  6.  Women with PCOS are at a higher risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea due to the influence of androgens affecting sleep receptors in the brain
  7. Women with PCOS can have monthly menstrual cycles and still have PCOS.
  8. Despite its name, not all women with PCOS actually have cysts on their ovaries.
  9. Eating disorders including anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder are common among women with PCOS.
  10. Women with PCOS have higher rates of anxiety and depression than women without the syndrome.
  11. Both myo and d-chiro inositol and n-acetyl cysteine (NAC) have been shown to improve fertility and metabolic aspects of PCOS.
  12. PCOS is the most common cause of ovulatory infertility.
  13. Know your numbers: women with PCOS have a 70% prevalence of elevated triglycerides and low HDL (“good” cholesterol). Changes to diet and lifestyle can improve levels.
  14. In PCOS, there is a rapid conversion from impaired glucose tolerance to type 2 diabetes. For this reason, the Androgen Excess and PCOS Society recommends yearly blood screening.
  15.  Women with PCOS have more testosterone and can build muscle easier than women without the syndrome.
  16.  It is important if you are taking metformin or oral contraceptives to also take a B12 supplement as the drug can interfere with absorption of the vitamin. A lack of B12 can cause permanent and serious problems.
  17.  The follicles typically seen in PCOS are actually the result of a hormonal imbalance, not the cause of the syndrome.
  18.  One of the earliest signs of elevated androgens in adolescents with PCOS is acne.
  19.  Women with PCOS may have more difficulty breastfeeding and producing sufficient milk for their babies.
  20. Inositol in a 40:1 ratio of Myo to DCI, can improve both metabolic and hormonal aspects of PCOS.
  21. Eating protein and/or fat-containing foods every 3 to 5 hours throughout the day may help to stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent cravings in PCOS.
  22. Regular exercise is an effective way to improve insulin levels in PCOS.
  23. As women with PCOS get older,they are likely to experience more regular menstrual cycles.
  24. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes in women with PCOS at middle age is 6.8 times higher than that of the general female population.
  25. Fatty liver affects 15% to 55% of women with PCOS and can be improved by diet changes.
  26.  The optimal treatment for PCOS is a multi-factorial approach involving diet and lifestyle modification, medications and supplements.
  27.  Women with PCOS have a higher incidence of gestational diabetes, miscarriages, preterm deliveries, and stillbirths.
  28.  It is estimated that 50-70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance.
  29.  Vitamin D, a hormone and a vitamin, has been shown to play a role in insulin resistance and egg development.
  30.  Sleep disturbances have been found to be twice as common in women with PCOS compared with those without.
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Comments (16)
  • Regan

    September 5, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    I wish I had this list when I was 16 instead of 34. But I’m thankful it exists now.

  • Jennifer

    September 10, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    PCOS: the gift that keeps on giving.

  • Marcia

    October 30, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    I have PCOS, with as few as 3 periods a year and was ovgerwieht.my doc perscribed me metformin 750 mg 2 times a day, and told me i needed to diet and exercise. the pill alone i dont think will help you loose weight. i think you have to exercise. i know it just helped me not crave sweets like i use to.anyways, the first month of taking it i had a period. the second month, missed my period. thrid month took a pregnancy test and it ended up positive!I have no insulin problems, so dont let that other post scare you.because i had none, and it still helped me. as a matter of fact all my lab work was normal , and i thought the doc was crazy for putting me on metformin. but after years of trying it worked on the second month!the side effects are kind of crappy at first. but it is so worth it. they will eventually go away!!good luck. and i hope this helped!

  • tarryn

    November 19, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    These are really interesting facts – thanks so much for sharing them! It’s amazing how PCOS impacts on every area of life…

  • Natalie

    November 20, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Great post! Very informative. Thank you.

  • Lori Hurst

    March 30, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    i am 41. Diagnosed with PCOS about 4 yrs ago. I take metformin 500 bid and Spironolactone 100mg od. lately i have had an increase in irregular periods, acne and facial hair. also have ovulation pain.. I also have fibroids. I am unable to take birth control due to a clotting disorder than runs in my dads family… I would really like to know if there is anything i can do about the facial hair and acne. Any ideas….

  • Jennifer

    September 30, 2013 at 9:17 pm


    I have had your workbook and following the website since they first started talking about PCOS and most doctors didn’t know what it was somewhere between 1998-2000.

    I can’t afford your new book right now, but if have so many new questions I would love to be able to sit and ask you about. You have helped me immensely over the years. I need help now with newer symptoms possibly from the PCOS, however as the the first fact says I have had depression and anxiety also for a long time, and this is the worst episode of major depression I have ever had and I just started more intense therapy for that. I now believe the I was in denial that the depression was making the PCOS symptoms worse and not the other way around.

    My hope is that by treating the depression and anxiety will get me back on track managing the PCOS. I still have questions and would like some guidance, but this might not be the time.

    Two main questions are regarding preion medications besides Metformin and birth controll pills are there? Secondly, how do you find an endocrinologist who is current on the information? I will admit I put other health issues over following up closely with the second doctor. I live in Pittsburgh if you have any recommendations.

    Diet and supplements have really helped the most . There are some new things you have listed I haven’t tried. As I get older the symptoms have changed and I have had trouble changing with them.

    Thank you for all of your information and advocacy. This is more a letter than a comment.



  • susan

    October 30, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    does menopause stop a woman from having PCOS? thank you.

  • Abigail

    February 14, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Hello , I’m Abigail and I’m 16 years old. About the beginning of last year I discovered I had PCOS. I have had numerous problems ever sense. I went to see a nutritionist about a diet but the diet was for a diabetic. I am currently wearing the birth control patch because my periods were unbalanced. With me being 16 I couldn’t stay on that diet. I’m currently over weight and I feel like if I don’t get this under control it will be to late to fix my weight problem. Please help me ?

  • Cynthia

    November 3, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Hello, I found out I had PCOS back in 2009. I’ve been having trouble with the facial hair lately. I can’t seem to find any of the facial hair remover creams that work for me, for some reason. If anyone has some good advice on that, please let me know. Thanks

  • Liz

    September 7, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    hey! I’m 18years old, 184 lb, and I’m ready to start following this page! My mom has PCOS and I genetically inherited it from her. I remember sitting in geography class 9th grade and noticed my teacher’s coarse chin hair. I started noticing my chain hair was kind of dark as well but I made nothing of it. then I strutted getting comments on my side burns and how I looked asian to my friends (instead of the light skinned Latina that I am). I started letting my hair down all the time and never pulling it out of my face after that. One day I saw my mom up close and noticed that she had black dots on her face like how my dad had, so I asked her if she shaved her face. (I didn’t know she had PSCO or what it was.) She was very embarrassed and said no. Another day at church, a little girl looked up at me and asked Why do you have hair on your chin? I was so embarrassed at how loud she asked that question. That night I cried and didn’t know what was wrong with me. My whole life I’ve felt ugly and fat and manly. I did play basketball during high school to stay active and I joined Tai Kwon Do in middle school. play many instruments and I love to sing. I sing in choir at church. I am the Pastor’s daughter and I absolutely dread it! Because of PCOS I wear BB cream and Foundation to cover up the spots that the hair leaves behind and our doctrine (Apostolic/Penticostal) rejects the idea of makeup and I absolutely hate being looked down upon by the members of the church and be an excuse for others to disobey the pastor, my dad. I don’t have true friends because of this and I try not to let it get to me but life is hard. Lately, overtime I eat I get grossed out, feeling as if I’m about to throw up. I just started college and I’m looking for a new start on life. One where I can be free and feel great about who I am.

  • Dilly

    September 14, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Hello, I found out that I have PCOS a month ago and since then life is hard, feeling depressed, unmotivated, headaches and severe pelvic pain. I’m on the birth control and metformin, my cycle is back which is a plus, but this thing is annoying. Good thing I’m not over weight. Trying to keep it that way.

  • Laura

    November 4, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    My facial hair became worse as I got older. Ladies… Stay out of the sun.. laser hair removal is an expensive god send that works best on dark hair and light skin( I’m Puerto Rican and Italian and I live in Florida ugggggghhhh). My belly still looks good after two year as , but facial hair is an evil mistress. Just buy the lifetime package that gives discounted touch ups. For those that can not afford there is an Fda approved home laser called tria. Sites like hsn offer easy pays. We are no less of a woman than anyone else. We deserve, need and are fully capable of giving love.

  • PCOS Tips

    January 30, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    These are good facts about PCOS. I know that living with PCOS is not the easiest thing and takes a lot of discipline and focus but it is possible.

    Keep up the quality content 🙂

  • life update: still here – softer bodies

    January 5, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    […] (Other PCOS facts over here.) […]

  • Furocyst

    October 4, 2018 at 2:33 am

    An estimated 1 out of every five women has Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or more commonly known as PCOS. Though, few know anything about PCOS let alone the symptoms, which can often go undetected. This means millions of women have this disorder and don’t even know it.

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