Definition of PCO disease
PCO disease: PCO stands for PolyCystic Ovarian. PCO disease is an hormonal problem that causes women various symptoms including:
Women with PCO are at a higher risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and uterine (endometrial) cancer. Much of this risk can be reversed by exercise and weight loss. It is also important for women with PCO to have regular periods -- if a woman does not have regular periods, her risk of endometrial cancer rises -- so medication is prescribed to induce regular periods.
For acne or excess hair growth, a water pill (diuretic) called spironolactone can help. For PCO women who desire pregnancy, a medication called clomiphene (CLOMID) can be used to induce ovulation (cause egg production).
A type of surgery called a "wedge resection," in which a piece of the ovary is removed, seems to help some women.
No one is sure what causes PCO. However, the ovaries of women with PCO contain a number of small cysts. Hence, the name poly (many) cystic ovarian disease. The name "Stein-Leventhal" is after the late American gynecologists Irving F. Stein, Sr. and Michael Leo Leventhal.
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012
Back to MedTerms online medical dictionary A-Z List
Need help identifying pills and medications?
- Allergic Skin Disorders
- Bacterial Skin Diseases
- Bites and Infestations
- Diseases of Pigment
- Fungal Skin Diseases
- Medical Anatomy and Illustrations
- Noncancerous, Precancerous & Cancerous Tumors
- Oral Health Conditions
- Papules, Scales, Plaques and Eruptions
- Scalp, Hair and Nails
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- Vascular, Lymphatic and Systemic Conditions
- Viral Skin Diseases
- Additional Skin Conditions