Do You Have PCOS? Here's What You Need to Know

Amanda Montell

Urban Outfitters

The words polycystic ovary syndrome are Googled over 100,000 times every month. It's no surprise the search volume is so high—PCOS is the most common hormonal disorder in women of reproductive age, though it isn't discussed often in everyday life.

According to Dr. Fiona McCulloch, a PCOS sufferer herself, the condition affects "10% to 15% of women and upward of 7 million women in the U.S. alone." It is the number one reason women in their 20s and early 30s experience fertility issues, she says, so it's really a wonder we don't talk about PCOS as much as we talk about periods, birth control, and other reproductive matters.

For as widespread and life-altering as PCOS can be, it is not entirely understood by science—at least not yet. "It is a complex syndrome, and I think one that is gaining more and more traction," says Dr. Sara Twogood, an ob-gyn at USC.

To help those of us who didn't attend med school get up to speed about PCOS, we consulted three specialists who know the syndrome best: McCulloch, Twogood, and Dr. Joshua J. Berger, medical director of the CHA Fertility Center in Los Angeles. If you have PCOS, think you might have it, or simply want to know more, keep reading.

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