Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a heterogenous endocrine disorder with typical symptoms of oligomenorrhoea, hyperandrogenism, hirsutism, obesity, insulin resistance and increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Extensive evidence indicates that PCOS is a genetic disease and numerous biochemical pathways have been linked with its pathogenesis. A number of genes from these pathways have been investigated, which include those involved with steroid hormone biosynthesis and metabolism, action of gonadotropin and gonadal hormones, folliculogenesis, obesity and energy regulation, insulin secretion and action and many others. In this review, we summarize the historical and recent findings in genetic polymorphisms of PCOS from the relevant publications and outline some genetic polymorphisms that are potentially associated with the risk of PCOS. This information could uncover candidate genes associating with PCOS, which will be valuable for the development of novel diagnostic and treatment platforms for PCOS patients.