Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: What You Need to Know

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital August 21, 2014

There are a number of treatment options for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Author: Dr. Rachel Ashby, Director of the Donor Egg and Gestational Carrier Program at the Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) affects between five and ten percent of women. This common endocrine disorder can cause disruption in ovulatory and menstrual cycles, as well as an excess production of male type hormones, all of which can cause infertility. The cause of PCOS is likely a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There is a twenty to forty percent incidence of PCOS in women where either a mother or sister has also been diagnosed with the disorder.

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Attention All Women, Do You Experience Mittelschmerz?

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital September 17, 2012

Pain in your lower abdomen may be a sign of mittelschmerz.

If you have regular pain in your lower abdomen during the middle of your menstrual cycle, you may be experiencing mittelschmerz – a condition affecting roughly a quarter of all women.

“Mittelschmerz is a German word meaning ‘middle pain’ and is used as a medical term for pelvic and abdominal pain occurring around the time of ovulation, which usually occurs in the middle of the menstrual cycle,” explained Dr. Robert L. Barbieri, Chief of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Hmm, who knew?

About 25 percent of women experience mittelschmerz. Some women experience ovulation pain with every cycle, but most notice the symptom in occasional cycles.

“For most women, the symptom of mittelschmerz lasts for hours, but some women experience symptoms for up to two or three days, Dr. Barbieri said.

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