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Current Management of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Editors AdamBalen / StephenFranks / RoyHomburg / SeanKehoe RCOG Press , 2010 ISBN: 978–1-906985–41-7 Paperback , 227 pages, £80.00 10.1576/toag.13.2.125.27657

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Common and serious, complex and misunderstood. A focus of intense research for more than two decades. Ripe, then, for a study group analysis. To take it on, the four editors convened highly respected experts from several disciplines and many countries, although the USA is not represented. The individual parts are right up to date, with many article citations coming from 2009.

Tidily sized and pleasantly presented, this volume has 17 chapters and a helpful consensus summary. It tackles a wide range of topics, from definition, through pathophysiology and genetics, to physical symptoms, subfertility and quality of life. Following the female life journey from childhood, through reproduction and into the postmenopausal years, it even highlights questions as yet unanswered. For me, one omission is the absence of a chapter on the care of women with polycystic ovary syndrome preconceptionally or during pregnancy. Others will want more on mental health, which is dealt with in just half a page: the links between insulin resistance and depression and the associations with eating disorders and gender issues are not explored.

It was pleasing to find that the documentation of discussions in the study group is gone, but some important technical details are not included. It is not evident when the group met and, scientifically, it was somewhat frustrating to find no definition of search methodologies or the process for consensus.

To this can be added the lack of grading of key recommendations. These are issues that conveners of future study groups could consider.

The sections are generally word dense with few illustrations, but, if the reader can see beyond that, each chapter is nicely structured and the text flows well. I was easily able to finish the 215 pages in just two days and I enjoyed the read. For me, as a clinician working outside the subfertility arena, the book's greatest strength lies in the sections on hyperandrogenism, lifestyle and the management of obesity. Other readers will very much value the papers on anovulation, which include oral therapies, ovarian surgery and assisted conception.

I very much doubt this book will prove to be accessible to most consumers, and it is probably insufficiently detailed for research scientists, but it should appeal greatly to specialist clinicians and subspecialty trainees in endocrinology, gynaecology and reproductive medicine. It will also be appreciated by specialist nurse practitioners, while clinicians in primary care will find several of the chapters an invaluable reference for everyday problems. The authors are to be congratulated for a job well done. My copy now sits in a prominent position on my desk.