Evaluation of the Prevalence of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome among Adolescent (15-18 Years Old) Girls in Tehran during 2005-2006

Document Type : Original Article


1 Infertility and Reproductive Health Research Center, Taleghani Training Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) was first introduced by Leventhal and Stein in 1935. It has a wide range of manifestations such as hyperandrogenism, irregular menstruation and central body obesity. The lack of definite diagnostic criteria has made the diagnosis a difficult task. Moreover, the disturbing aspects of the syndrome range from hirsutism in an adolescent girl to infertility in a young woman. Based on the Rotterdam 2003 Criteria, current diagnostic criteria must include two of the following three symptoms: 1. Either oligo-ovulation or anovulation, 2. Clinical or laboratory manifestations of hyperandrogenism, 3. Polycystic ovaries on sonographic examination (more than 12 follicles of less than 10 mm in diameter in each ovary). In this study, we have focused on the enrollment of a large sample size to assess the prevalence and clinical features of PCOS such that a wide range of basic information can be utilized for further investigations.

Materials and methods
This was a cross-sectional study with multi-stage random sampling. Subjects were selected from 15-18 years old girls from a number of high schools in Tehran. After interview and clinical examination, those individuals with either menstrual irregularities, hirsutism or obesity were referred for further laboratory evaluations and abdominal sonography in order to diagnose PCOS and estimate its prevalence. We also aimed to assess the predominant features of this disorder among adolescents.

The overall prevalence of the syndrome was 3.42%. Out of the 1430 girls, 49 were diagnosed with PCOS.

Despite its high prevalence, this syndrome has not been widely studied. Most of the conducted studies have enrolled small samples within a short time period. Thus, more accurate policy making in this regard can be achieved through definition of the prevalence of PCOS and accurate estimation of its burden.