Diagnosis

There's no test to definitively diagnose PCOS. Your doctor is likely to start with a discussion of your medical history, including your menstrual periods and weight changes. A physical exam will include checking for signs of excess hair growth, insulin resistance and acne.

Your doctor might then recommend:

  • A pelvic exam. The doctor visually and manually inspects your reproductive organs for masses, growths or other abnormalities.
  • Blood tests. Your blood may be analyzed to measure hormone levels. This testing can exclude possible causes of menstrual abnormalities or androgen excess that mimics PCOS. You might have additional blood testing to measure glucose tolerance and fasting cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • An ultrasound. Your doctor checks the appearance of your ovaries and the thickness of the lining of your uterus. A wandlike device (transducer) is placed in your vagina (transvaginal ultrasound). The transducer emits sound waves that are translated into images on a computer screen.

If you have a diagnosis of PCOS, your doctor might recommend additional tests for complications. Those tests can include:

  • Periodic checks of blood pressure, glucose tolerance, and cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Screening for depression and anxiety
  • Screening for obstructive sleep apnea