Recent advances in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome

Yildiz B.

EXPERT OPINION ON INVESTIGATIONAL DRUGS, vol.13, no.10, pp.1295-1305, 2004 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex and heterogeneous disorder that presents a challenge for clinical investigators. It is the most common endocrine disorder of reproductive-aged women, yet the optimal therapeutic approach is unknown because the pathophysiological and molecular basis of the syndrome is not fully understood. Currently, the treatment is targeted to the patient's primary complaint. Treatment strategies focus on the reduction of clinical manifestations of hyperandrogenism (e.g., hirsutism), restoration of regular menses and achieving pregnancy. Pharmacological agents available for the treatment of hirsutism include androgen suppressors and peripheral androgen blockers. Combined oral contraceptive pills are the most commonly used androgen suppressor and the treatment of choice for menstrual dysfunction in PCOS patients who do not desire pregnancy. The first-line treatment for infertility in PCOS is clomiphene-citrate, whereas parenteral gonadotropins are commonly used in clomiphene-resistant patients. The benefits of insulin-sensitising agents for PCOS patients have become increasingly clear over the last decade. Metabolic disturbances associated with PCOS appear to have important long-term health implications and require further attention. This review summarises the current and emerging therapeutic strategies for the management of PCOS.