How is PCOS diagnosed?
There is no single test to diagnose PCOS. To help diagnose PCOS and rule out other causes of your symptoms, your
doctor may talk to you about your medical history and do a physical exam and different tests:
Doctor will also look at your skin for extra hair on your face, chest
or back, acne, or skin discoloration. Your doctor may look for any hair loss or signs of other health conditions
(such as an enlarged thyroid gland).
Your doctor may do a pelvic exam for signs of extra male hormones (for example, an enlarged clitoris)
and check to see if your ovaries are enlarged or swollen.
Pelvic ultrasound (sonogram). This test uses sound waves to examine your ovaries for cysts and check the
endometrium (lining of the uterus or womb).
Blood tests check your androgen hormone
levels, sometimes called “male hormones.” Your doctor will also check for other hormones related to other common
health problems that can be mistaken for PCOS, such as thyroid disease. Your doctor may also test your
cholesterol levels and test you for diabetes.
Once other conditions are ruled out, you may be diagnosed with PCOS if you have at least two of the following
Irregular periods, including periods that come too often, not often enough, or not at all
Signs that you have high levels of androgens:
Extra hair growth on your face, chin, and body (hirsutism)
Thinning of scalp hair
Higher than normal blood levels of androgens
Multiple cysts on one or both ovaries
How is PCOS treated?
There is no cure for PCOS, but you can manage the symptoms of PCOS. You and your doctor will work on a treatment plan
based on your symptoms, your plans for having children, and your risk of long-term health problems such as
diabetes and heart disease. Many women will need a combination of treatments, including:
Steps you can take at home to help relieve your symptoms
What steps can I take at home to improve my PCOS symptoms?
You can take steps at home to help your PCOS symptoms, including:
Losing weight. Healthy eating habits and regular physical activity can help relieve PCOS-related symptoms. Losing
weight may help to lower your blood glucose levels, improve the way your body uses insulin, and help your
hormones reach normal levels. Even a 10% loss in body weight (for example, a 150-pound woman losing 15 pounds)
can help make your menstrual cycle more regular and improve your chances of getting pregnant.3 Learn more
about healthy weight.
You can try laser hair removal, or electrolysis to remove excess hair.