​Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects women of reproductive age. When you have PCOS, your ovaries become enlarged and contain follicles, which are fluid-filled sacs. These follicles are under-developed sacs in which eggs develop, and are harmless. These sacs are unable to release an egg leading to absence of ovulation. PCOS is linked to hormonal imbalance and is a leading cause of infertility in women.

The most common symptoms of the disease include irregular menstrual cycle, abnormal hair growth on face and body, acne and weight gain.

Symptoms often appear after a woman begins having periods, but can also be triggered by weight gain. The exact underlying cause of this disorder is unknown; however, risk factors include weight gain, lack of physical exercise and a family history of the disease.

If you are suffering from polycystic ovaries syndrome, you may experience the following complaints:

  • Irregular periods, including less than 8 cycles a year and very light or very heavy flows

  • Unexplained weight gain, especially around the waist

  • Excessive growth of facial and body hair (Hirsutism)

  • Difficulty in conceiving

  • Skin tags (small growth of skin)

  • Darkening of skin in certain areas including back of the neck, armpits and under the breasts

  • Male-pattern baldness

  • Skin acne

  • Mood changes, including depression ​

If you are experiencing irregular periods, excessive hair growth or weight gain, have problems conceiving, or have some of the other symptoms, you may be suffering from PCOS and should consult a doctor for diagnosis and a disease management plan.

Make an appointment with a doctor in the Women’s Health Care Service Line​ at The Aga Khan University Hospital.

You can also consult doctors working with the Family Health Services at The Aga Khan University Hospital, for a preliminary examination.​

Your time with your doctor may be limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here​ are some tips to help get you started.

Your physician and their team will take a medical history, ask you relevant questions and perform a physical examination, if needed. The commonly performed investigations for PCOS include blood tests and ultrasound.​

There are multiple concerns in relation to polycystic ovary syndrome and the treatment plan will depend on your symptoms, and whether you wish to conceive. For PCOS, this usually includes a combination of lifestyle changes for weight reduction, and medication.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage. ​

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.


​The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.