Researchers discover potential PCOS cause

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may be due to a hormonal imbalance before birth, according to new research.

The study, carried out by the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), found that the syndrome may be caused by excess exposure in the womb to a hormone called anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH).

It found that pregnant women with PCOS have 30 per cent higher levels of the hormone than women without.

The researchers explained that since the syndrome is known to be hereditary, they wanted to explore the idea that the imbalance in pregnancy might induce the same condition in daughters.

To do so, they injected AMH into pregnant mice. As the offspring grew up, the scientists found they had many symptoms of PCOS, including infrequent ovulation and fertility struggles.

They explained that the excess hormone appeared to overstimulate a set of brain cells that raises testosterone levels. However, the mice stopped showing these symptoms after being treated with cetrorelix - an IVF drug used to control women’s hormones.

Group leader of the Development and Plasticity of the Neuroendocrine Brain team at INSERM Dr Paolo Giacobini told New Scientists: “It could be an attractive strategy to restore ovulation and eventually increase the pregnancy rate in these women.”ADNFCR-2094-ID-801846730-ADNFCR