OBJECTIVE To assess insulin sensitivity, insulin secretion and metabolic profile in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in different stages of reproductive life. MATERIALS AND METHODS In a cross-sectional study, 190 PCOS women (PCOSw) and 99 controls (Cw) aged between 18 and 55years were included. PCOSw and Cw were distributed into 3 stages of reproductive life: early reproductive age (18-34years old), late reproductive age (35-40years old) and perimenopausal period (41-55years old). Waist circumference (WC), body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure (BP) were recorded. An oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) with measurement of glucose and insulin was performed. Sex steroids and lipid profile were also determined in the fasting sample. Insulin sensitivity was assessed by HOMA-IR and ISI composite, and insulin secretion by HOMA-β and insulinogenic index. Visceral adiposity index (VAI) and lipid accumulation product (LAP) were also calculated. Metabolic syndrome (MS) was assessed by the IDF and ATPIII criteria. RESULTS At early reproductive age, PCOSw showed higher BMI, WC, and VAI and a higher prevalence of MS compared to Cw (p<0.05). In addition, at late reproductive age PCOSw also showed elevated total cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin secretion, LAP and BP. At perimenopausal period, these parameters were not different between Cw and PCOSw. Within the PCOSw group, HOMA-β was lower at late reproductive and perimenopausal periods compared to the early reproductive age. Regarding control women, a deterioration of anthropometric and metabolic parameters was observed in perimenopausal women compared to early and late reproductive women. CONCLUSIONS Our results suggest that metabolic derangements associated with PCOS are more evident at the early and late reproductive ages. On the other hand, during perimenopause, there is no further deterioration of metabolic parameters. Nevertheless, a disruption in pancreatic β-cell function is evidenced at this stage.