How PCOS is diagnosed
PCOS is officially diagnosed using the Rotterdam Criteria. PCOS is therefore diagnosed when a woman has any TWO of the following THREE criteria:
- Ovulatory disorders, often indicated by menstrual cycle disturbances such as infrequent (oligo-menorrhoea or absent periods (amenorrhoea)
- Hyperandrogenism: Evidence of raised androgen levels in the blood, either from a blood test or from clinical signs, hirsutism (unwanted hair) and skin disorders such as acne and greasy skin.
- Polycystic Ovaries: The presence on ultrasound scan of multiple small follicles just below the surface of the ovary.
It is recommended that other causes of hyperandrogenism and ovulatory disorders are excluded.
PCOS is a variable condition that affects women in different ways. Some women have only a few, minor symptoms, whereas others may have severe symptoms across all categories. You could have PCOS without actually having polycystic ovaries.
If you think you have any typical symptoms of PCOS you should see your GP who will ask about your symptoms. You may be referred for an ultrasound scan to investigate whether you have a high number of cysts in your ovaries (polycystic ovaries). The cysts are under-developed sacs called follicles, in which eggs develop.
You may also need a blood test to measure your hormone levels and to screen for diabetes or a high cholesterol level. Once other, rare causes of your symptoms have been ruled out, a diagnosis of PCOS can usually be made if you have 2 or more out of the following 3 criteria:
- Irregular or infrequent periods; this indicates you are not regularly ovulating
- Blood tests show high androgen levels (e.g. testosterone) or you just show the physical signs of excess male hormones (e.g. unwanted hair growth)
- Scans show you have multiple small follicles, or cysts, on your ovaries
As only two of the above are needed to make a diagnosis, you will not necessarily have to have both an ultrasound scan and blood test before the condition can be confirmed.
Referral to a specialist
If you are diagnosed with PCOS, you will either be treated by your GP or referred to a specialist gynaecologist for the treatment of fertility problems or an endocrinologist for treatment of a hormonal imbalance.
The doctor will discuss the best way to manage your symptoms. In most instances they will recommend lifestyle changes and start you on any necessary medication.
Follow-up schedule for PCOS
Your age and weight will determine the follow-up procedure. Typically, you will be offered annual appointments to check your blood pressure and screen for diabetes.Buy Inofolic Alpha now
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