Children's National Health System offers the only comprehensive Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
(PCOS) program for young girls and teens in the Washington, DC area. The Polycystic Ovarian service
ensures young women have easy access to all of the necessary specialists in pediatric gynecology, endocrinology, and nutrition to help them
effectively manage PCOS.
The PCOS service is coordinated by Rinku Mehra, MD, a pediatric endocrinologist at Children's
National, and an obstetrician/gynecologist with expertise in pediatric gynecology who practices at
MedStar Washington Hospital Center (MWHC). These doctors work together to provide care for each
patient, making sure that all gynecological and endocrine concerns are considered for treatment.
This unique partnership between Children's National and MWHC enables us to monitor a young
woman's reproductive health over time and during her transition to adult care. And as an
adult, she has the option to see an obstetrician/gynecologist who knows her medical history.
Hours and Appointments
PCOS appointments can be scheduled for the second and fourth Tuesday of every month by calling
About Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, also called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS, is indicated by a
hormonal imbalance and often runs in families. The exact cause, however, is unknown. Signs of the
condition and severity of symptoms vary for every young woman, and may include:
- Excess body hair (hirsutism)
- Irregular or missed periods
- Higher levels of insulin, a hormone
- Ovarian cysts (harmless sacs of fluid, usually small in size) on or inside the ovaries
- Unexplained weight gain
Personal Care for Every Patient
Your child's doctor may refer your daughter to our team when PCOS is suspected or after the
condition is confirmed. Our team can help with the diagnosis, treatment and coordination of related
care, and we do not require a lab test from patients to come to see us.
The PCOS service is located in the Division of Endocrinology, and
meets with patients on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month. For the convenience of families, a
patient sees several specialists during a single visit. This means you don't have to travel to
the hospital as often, but expect to stay at the appointment for a few hours.
We listen to and work with each patient individually to develop a program to manage their PCOS and
related health conditions. One goal is to reduce the likelihood of complications or illnesses,
including diabetes, which is associated with an elevated level of insulin.
Because diet and healthy lifestyle habits can benefit patients, the service has a dedicated
nutritionist, Erika Davies, who specializes in PCOS. Our team can also consult with specialists from
the more than 40 disciplines at Children's National to ensure your daughter has the most
Our physicians are also leading research to advance knowledge in the recognition, diagnosis and
treatment of gynecological conditions affecting young women, including polycystic ovarian syndrome
(PCOS). Research aims to better recognize the condition and understand how PCOS specifically affects
adolescents. To learn more about our research efforts, please speak with a member of the PCOS team
or your child's primary care physician.
As well, families are encouraged to visit the website for Children's Research Institute on the upper
floors of Children's National, to read about our current studies and clinical trials. With
research at the hospital, we are able to successfully and efficiently translate positive research
findings into practice for the benefit of patients.