For polycystic ovary syndrome, you might first see your family doctor or primary care provider. However, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in conditions affecting the female reproductive tract (gynecologist), one who specializes in hormone disorders (endocrinologist) or one who specializes in treating infertility (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 medications, vitamins and dietary 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.
- Bring a notepad or electronic device with you to take notes. Use it to record important information during your visit.
- Think about what questions you'll ask. Write them down so that you won't forget important points you want to discuss with your doctor.
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?
- 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?
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 health care provider might ask include:
Sept. 03, 2014
- What signs and symptoms are you experiencing?
- When did each symptom begin?
- Have you had symptoms since you first started having periods?
- How often do you experience these symptoms?
- How long have you been experiencing symptoms?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- When was your last 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?
- Hoffman BL, et al. Williams Gynecology. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=768. Accessed June 2, 2014.
- Barbieri RL, et al. Clinical manifestations of polycystic ovary syndrome in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 4, 2014.
- Barbieri RL, et al. Treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 4, 2014.
- AskMayoExpert. What is the initial therapy recommended for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) fact sheet. Womenshealth.gov. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/polycystic-ovary-syndrome.html. Accessed June 4, 2014.
- Sirmans SM, et al. Epidemiology, diagnosis, and management of polycystic ovary syndrome. Clinical Epidemiology. 2014;6:1.
- Legro RS, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome: An Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2013;98:4565.
- Strauss JF, et al. Yen & Jaffe's Reproductive Endocrinology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa. Elsevier Saunders; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 11, 2014.
- Gonzalez F. Inflammation in polycystic ovary syndrome: Underpinning of insulin resistance and ovarian dysfunction. Steroids. 2012;77:300.
- Golden AK. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 25, 2014.
- Coddington CC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 6, 2014.
- Domecq JP, et al. Lifestyle modification programs in polycystic ovary syndrome: Systematic review and meta-analysis. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2013;98:4655.