There's no specific test to definitively diagnose polycystic ovary syndrome. The diagnosis is one of exclusion, which means your doctor considers all of your signs and symptoms and then rules out other possible disorders.
During this process, your doctor takes many factors into account:
Aug. 04, 2011
- Medical history. Your doctor may ask questions about your menstrual periods, weight changes and other symptoms.
- Physical examination. During your physical exam, your doctor will note several key pieces of information, including your height, weight and blood pressure.
- Pelvic examination. During a pelvic exam, your doctor visually and manually inspects your reproductive organs for signs of masses, growths or other abnormalities.
- Blood tests. Your blood may be drawn to measure the levels of several hormones to exclude possible causes of menstrual abnormalities or androgen excess that mimic PCOS. Additional blood testing may include fasting cholesterol and triglyceride levels and a glucose tolerance test, in which glucose levels are measured while fasting and after drinking a glucose-containing beverage.
- Pelvic ultrasound. A pelvic ultrasound can show the appearance of your ovaries and the thickness of the lining of your uterus. During the test, you lie on a bed or examining table while a wand-like device (transducer) is placed in your vagina (transvaginal ultrasound). The transducer emits inaudible sound waves that are translated into images on a computer screen.
- Wilson EE. Polycystic ovarian syndrome and hyperandrogenism. In: Schorge JO, et al. Williams Gynecology. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aid=3157034. Accessed June 28, 2011.
- 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.