Making The Diagnosis of PCOS
The diagnosis of PCOS is often not very difficult with appropriate medical evaluation.
It is made by the doctor and not by a relative,friend or even a website
that suggest you might have all the right symptoms of PCOS.
mere presence of polycystic ovaries does not make the diagnosis because
some women without PCOS will have polycystic ovaries while some others
with PCOS will not have polycystic ovaries.
No single test is
sufficient to make the diagnosis, though ultrasound of the ovaries is a
very important tool. Your doctor will have to put all your findings
together to come up with the diagnosis.
Main Diagnostic Processes
- Medical history. Your doctor will ask you questions
to look for changes in your weight, skin, hair, and menstrual
cycle.Other symptoms may also be requested as well as family history of
PCOS or diabetes. Be sure to tell your doctor whatever you feel which he
does not mention and your major concerns.
- Physical examination. This
will include a general exam to look for body signs of PCOS as well as a
pelvic examination to examine the size of the ovaries. Your weight and
BMI will also be noted.
- Laboratory tests. The
common lab tests often requested include measurement of androgens,
blood sugar and blood lipids. Other test may be requested based on your
specific case including a pregnancy test,prolactin, liver and kidney
tests, insulin levels, thyroid hormones and others.
- Ultrasound. A pelvic ultrasound will often be requested to look for signs of polycystic ovaries and also the thickness of the endometrium.
Regular Medical Follow-up
Once the PCOS is diagnosed, you will need to have regular follow-ups with your doctor to look for any complications.
- Diabetes. You
should have a diabetes test by age 30. You may do so earlier if there
are any other diabetes risk factors present. After that, your doctor
will guide you on how often you should do the check up.
- Heart disease. Your
blood pressure and cholesterol levels will be regularly checked by your
doctor because PCOS increases your risk of having heart disease and
- Endometrial cancer screen. You may be screened initially by ultrasound or endometrial biopsy.