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Ovarian disorders 

Ovarian disorders
Ovarian disorders

Stephen Franks

, Kate Hardy

, and Lisa J. Webber

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date: 02 March 2021

Ovarian disorders are very common. Involuntary infertility affects an estimated 15% of couples and disorders of ovulation account for 25–30% of the causes of infertility. In most cases, disorders of ovulation are attributable to a treatable, endocrine abnormality. Indeed, polycystic ovary syndrome, a major contributor to endocrine-related infertility, is the commonest endocrine disorder in women, with a prevalence in excess of 5% in the female population of reproductive age. Disorders of ovarian function usually manifest themselves as irregular, infrequent, or absent menses. Hirsutism, or excess, male-pattern body hair is another common manifestation of ovarian (and, less often adrenal) dysfunction. In this chapter, ovarian development, the physiology of the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis, and the hormonal changes of the normal menstrual cycle will be described as a preface to the description of disorders of ovulation, their investigation, and management. The causes, investigation, and management of hirsutism will also be elucidated.

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