You're likely to start by first seeing your family doctor or primary care provider. However, in some cases when you call to set up an appointment you may be referred immediately to a doctor who specializes in conditions affecting the female reproductive tract (gynecologist), one who specializes in hormonal disorders (endocrinologist) or one who specializes in both areas (reproductive endocrinologist).
What you can do
To prepare for your appointment:
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing. Include all of your symptoms, even if you don't think they're related.
- Make a list of any medications, vitamins and other supplements you take. Write down doses and how often you take them.
- Have a family member or close friend accompany you, if possible. You may be given a lot of information at your visit, and it can be difficult to remember everything.
- Take a notebook or notepad with you. Use it to write down important information during your visit.
- Think about what questions you'll ask. Write them down; list the most important questions first, in case time runs out.
For polycystic ovary syndrome, some basic questions to ask include:
- What kinds of tests might I need?
- How does this condition affect my ability to become pregnant?
- Are medications available that might improve my symptoms or my ability to conceive?
- I have other medical conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- What side effects can I expect from medication use?
- Under what circumstances do you recommend surgery?
- What treatment do you recommend for my situation?
- What are the long-term health implications of PCOS?
- Do you have any brochures or other printed materials that I can take with me?
- What websites do you recommend visiting?
Make sure that you understand everything that your doctor tells you. Don't hesitate to ask your doctor to repeat information or to ask follow-up questions for clarification.
What to expect from your doctor
Some potential questions your doctor or other health care provider might ask include:
Aug. 04, 2011
- What signs and symptoms are you experiencing?
- How often do you experience these symptoms?
- How long have you been experiencing symptoms?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- When did you last have a period?
- Have you gained weight since you first started having periods? How much weight have you gained? When did you gain the weight?
- Does anything improve your symptoms?
- Does anything make your symptoms worse?
- Are you trying to become pregnant, or do you wish to become pregnant?
- Has your mother or sister ever been diagnosed with PCOS?
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- Barbieri RL, et al. Clinical manifestations of polycystic ovary syndrome in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed June 28, 2011.
- Ehrmann DA. Polycystic ovary syndrome. New England Journal of Medicine. 2005;352:1223.
- Azziz RA, et al. The androgen excess and PCOS society criteria for the polycystic ovary syndrome: The complete task force report. Fertility and Sterility. 2009;91:456.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): Frequently asked questions. The National Women's Health Information Center. http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/polycystic-ovary-syndrome.cfm. Accessed June 28, 2011.
- Guzick DS. Polycystic ovary syndrome. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2004;103:181.
- Radosh L. Drug treatments for polycystic ovary syndrome. American Family Physician. 2009;79:671.
- Barbieri RL, et al. Treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed June 28, 2011.
- Tapanainen JS, et al. Effective regimens for ovulation induction in polycystic ovary syndrome. In: Dunaif A, et al. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Current Controversies, From the Ovary to the Pancreas. Totowa, N.J.: Humana; 2008:307.
- Gonzalez F, et al. Increased activation of nuclear factor kappaB triggers inflammation and insulin resistance in polycystic ovary syndrome. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2006;91:1508.
- Diamanti-Kandarakis E, et al. Insulin resistance in PCOS. In: Farid ND, et al. Diagnosis and Management of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. New York, N.Y.: Springer Verlag; 2009:35.
- Abbott DA, et al. Fetal origins of polycystic ovary syndrome. In: Dunaif A, et al. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Current Controversies, From the Ovary to the Pancreas. Totowa, N.J.: Humana; 2008:87.
- Berrino F, et al. Reducing bioavailable sex hormones through a comprehensive change in diet: The diet and androgens (DIANA) randomized trial. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. 2001;10:25.