Date of Paper/Work

4-2011

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing

Department

Nursing

Advisor(s)

Angelynn Grabau

Abstract

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders among adolescent and adult females. Many components are involved in the pathophysiology of the syndrome, especially markers of insulin resistance and hyperandrogenism. Although adult diagnostic criteria have become more refined; adolescent diagnosis remains obscure regardless of Base Metabolic Index (BMI). The aim of this paper is to inquire if there is an underdiagnosis of PCOS in normal weight adolescent females, identify potential underlying reasons and seek out clinical guidelines for practice. A review of the literature was completed and four overall themes emerged: a) hormones and their effects on treatment; b) glucose tolerance and/or insulin resistance; c) treatment options; and d) the need for increased awareness, early recognition, and a multidisciplinary approach to adolescent diagnosis and treatment. Weight as a variable factor was interspersed throughout majority of the studies. Results indicated that medications such as metformin and oral contraceptives are beneficial for treatment of insulin resistance, hyperandrogenism, and menstrual abnormalities. However, the primary treatment is a healthy diet and regular exercise. Implications for practice included; a need for increased awareness, early recognition, comprehensive screening, prompt treatment, and frequent follow-ups for all PCOS adolescents to prevent future morbidities. The final implication was the need for more research involving adolescent females with PCOS

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