Does PCOS have developmental origins?

The pros and cons of the proposition that PCOS has developmental origins are laid out based on the best available evidence.

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Stephen Franks, M.D., F.Med.Sci. and Sarah L. Berga, M.D.

Volume 97, Issue 1 , Pages 2-6


PRO—The similarity of reproductive and metabolic phenotype between prenatally androgenized sheep, or monkeys, and women with PCOS provides strong supportive evidence for developmental programming being important in the etiology of PCOS. CON—While one would not exclude altogether developmental determinants of PCOS, it is difficult to view PCOS as purely developmental or resulting only from intrauterine exposures or simply an adaptation gone astray.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.