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How is PCOS Diagnosed & What Tests Are Done?

Unfortunately there is no test for PCOS diagnosis but speak to your medical professional if you are experiencing any of the below.

How is PCOS Diagnosed & What Tests Are Done?

How is PCOS diagnosed?

PCOS diagnosis can be a defining moment in your life – particularly if you’ve been suffering for a while. A diagnosis can help you take back control and begin to understand how to move forward.

Unfortunately, there’s no single test for PCOS diagnosis, but speak to your GP if you’re experiencing the criteria below.

PCOS is officially diagnosed using the Rotterdam criteria — when you meet TWO of the following THREE criteria:

Ovulatory disorders: Often indicated by menstrual cycle disturbances such as infrequent periods (oligo-menorrhoea) or absent periods (amenorrhoea).

Hyperandrogenism: Evidence of raised androgen e.g testosterone 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 an ultrasound scan of multiple small follicles just below the surface of the ovary.

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 even have PCOS without actually having polycystic ovaries (small cysts on your ovaries).

What tests are done for PCOS?

Blood tests can be taken in order to test for hyperandrogenism and also can help to diagnose ovulatory disorders. Ovulatory disorders are often diagnosed when looking at your medical history as well.

An internal transvaginal ultrasound is used when looking for any cysts in your ovaries. This type of scan allows a doctor to look much more closely at your womb and ovaries. “Transvaginal” means “into the vagina”. The procedure requires you to lie on your back with your knees up, then a small ultrasound probe is gently passed into the vagina.

I’ve been diagnosed with PCOS! What next?

Most of us will get Googling, which can be confusing with lots of conflicting information available on the internet.

Instead, take time to read through our Fertility Family website and remember to take a list of questions with you to your next doctor’s appointment.

Referral to a specialist

If you’re diagnosed with PCOS, you’ll either be treated by your GP or referred to a specialist gynaecologist for the treatment of fertility problems, or you’ll see an endocrinologist for treatment of a hormonal imbalance.

The doctor will discuss the best way to manage your symptoms. In most instances they’ll recommend lifestyle changes and start you on any necessary medication.

Follow-up schedule for PCOS

Your main symptoms, age and weight will determine the follow-up procedure. Typically, you’ll be offered annual appointments to check your blood pressure and screen for diabetes.