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What does echo pattern PCO of ovaries mean?

Q: My wife had a sonography test on the 6th day of her period. In the report the following was mentioned: Follicles Echo pattern PCO. Kindly explain what does the above term mean? We have been unsuccessfully trying for conception.

A:Follicles are the structures found in the cortex (superficial layer) of the ovary, which contain an oocyte. Normally, at the time of ovulation, a follicle ruptures and the oocyte, surrounded by some other cells, migrates to the Fallopian tube where it may possibly be fertilized by a spermatozoid. The fertilized ovum then migrates further to the cavity of the womb where it will implant, and progressively develop into an embryo. Echo pattern PCO means that the ultrasound appearance of the ovaries was that of a polycystic ovarian disease. This entity is characterized by a disturbance of the hormone levels and a cystic (dilated) appearance of the ovarian follicles. PCO is frequently associated with infertility. This latter problem should be tackled by a gynaecologist with expertise.

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