Ovarian electrocautery in the treatment of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Author(s): Gjonnaess H


During the years 1979-91 252 women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) have been treated with ovarian electrocautery through the laparoscope in Aker University Hospital. Ovulation was obtained in 92% of the total series, and pregnancy in 84% of the women with PCOS as the sole cause of their infertility. Additional treatment with clomiphene citrate to the non-responders increased the pregnancy rate to 89%. The response to ovarian electrocautery was influenced by body weight, with an ovulation rae of 96-97% in the slim and moderately obese women decreasing to 70% in the really obese ones. When ovulation was established, the pregnancy rate per se was independent of body weight-when ovulation was established, the pregnancy rates of slim and overweight women with PCOS being 92% and 95%, respectively. In the responders (who ovulated following ovarian electrocautery), the annual rate of cessation of ovulation was 3-4% only. Even after a period of contraceptive use following the ovarian electrocautery, ovulation was resumed and pregnancy obtained within a few months. Therefore, ovarian electrocautery is proposed as the primary treatment in women with PCOS undergoing laparoscopy for any reason, infertility being a present, future or hypothetical problem only. When, on the other hand, infertility is not an issue, PCOS per se constitutes no reason to perform laparoscopy.

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