Cytochrome P450-C17 enzyme (CYP17) is an important component of the androgen synthesis pathway, a pathway that is dysfunctional in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Variation in 11-beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD11B1) is associated with cortisone reductase deficiency, a condition with a phenotype similar to PCOS. Both CYP17 and HSD11B1 genes have been previously studied for their possible relationship with PCOS, yielding inconsistent results. In this study, we evaluated the association between variation in these genes and PCOS. Two-hundred and eighty-seven Caucasian PCOS women and 187 Caucasian controls were genotyped for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that were specifically chosen to allow full coverage of CYP17 and HSD11B1, including four SNPs in CYP17 and eight SNPs in HSD11B1. SNP and haplotype association analyses were conducted. Our results indicate that variants in the two genes are not associated with PCOS, or with the quantitative traits characteristic of PCOS, suggesting that these genes are not major risk factors for the syndrome. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved.