Master Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Mechanism with Picmonic for Medicine

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Mechanism

Peacock with PCOS
Picmonic
PCOS occurs in patients with insulin insensitivity. This causes increased levels of insulin to influence GnRH secretion, ultimately yielding increased LH and normal or slightly decreased FSH. Increased LH causes androgen production in theca cells, increasing testosterone. Increased testosterone decreases binding-globulins, leading to even more free testosterone, which is more physiologically active.
7 KEY FACTS
MECHANISM
Hyperinsulinemia Increases GnRH Pulse Frequency
Hiker-insect-syringe causing Up-arrow Gonad-gopher with Frequency-waves

PCOS begins with hyperinsulinemia in patients, typically those who are insulin- resistant. Through an unknown mechanism, the excess insulin leads to increased GnRH pulse frequency from the hypothalamus.

Large Increase in LH
Large Up-arrow Luge

GnRH release influences the anterior pituitary to release LH in large amounts.

Small Decrease in FSH
Small Down-arrow Fish

FSH levels stay normal or decrease by a small amount. These levels would normally increase, however there is LH over FSH dominance, which allows LH to increase in this disorder (estrogen inhibits FSH, but anovulation increases LH).

Increased Androgen Production From Theca-Lutein Cells
Up-arrow Android-genie Thinks-of-Loot

Due to increased levels of LH, theca-lutein cells begin to increase androgen production, (androstenedione). Through a few conversion steps, this is typically converted to estrogen. However, there is so much androgen production, that a large amount of it is not converted.

Decreased Steroid Hormone-Binding-Globulin (SHBG) Causes Increased Free Testosterone
Down-arrow Steroid-Stair Bound-Goblin with Up-arrow Testes-stereo

High levels of insulin and testosterone decrease levels of steroid hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). Typically, SHBG binds to testosterone, making it less active in the bloodstream. As these SHBGs decrease, testosterone becomes more physiologically active, as there is more free testosterone available.

Obese Patients Have Increased Estrogen
Obese-person with Up-arrow Easter-eggs

Due to aromatase in fat cells, patients who are obese also have increased estrogen levels. This occurs because aromatase converts androgens to estrogen.

Increased Risk of Endometrial Cancer
Up-arrow Risk of Tumor at Inner-layer of uterus

As these patients have ovarian cycle disorder, there is no cyclic secretion of estrogen and progesterone. Instead, these patients (the obese ones) have excess unopposed estrogen. This influences the endometrium to proliferate unchecked, and can lead to endometrial cancer.

Unlock all 7 facts & definitions with Picmonic Free!

JOIN FREE

Take the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Mechanism Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

START QUIZ NOW

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Ace Your Medical (MD/DO) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 870,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Medical (MD/DO) student study app.

Picmonic for Medicine (MD/DO) covers information that is relevant to your entire Medical (MD/DO) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer the USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK, COMLEX Level 1, or COMLEX Level 2, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Medical (MD/DO) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.