Abstract Endocrine responses to laparoscopic ovarian electrocautery were studied in 14 patients with polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD), resistant to clomiphene citrate. Patients who did not conceive within 6 months of treatment were evaluated for up to that period. Testosterone and androstenedione levels decreased after electrocautery in a way which is comparable with the reduction in androgens after wedge resection of the ovary. Androstenedione levels tended to return to pretreatment values at 6 months; four of the five pregnancies were achieved within this period. The reduction in androgens may break the vicious circle of PCOD, and lead to normal menstrual cycles.