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How is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome diagnosed?

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In brief: Diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

An ultrasound scan can show that the ovaries are enlarged or polycystic, usually with 10 or more cysts, 6-8 mm in diameter, on the surface of the ovary.
An affected ovary is around three times larger than usual. Sometimes only one ovary is affected. If obvious features such as acne and hirsutism are present, there may not be any need to do blood tests, but raised levels of a luteinising hormone and testosterone will confirm the diagnosis.


Women with PCOS can have a number of different hormone-related imbalances and in some countries, such as the US, it is hormone levels and symptoms, rather than the presence of cysts that are the key to confirming a diagnosis.


The problems caused by PCOS come on gradually. If there’s a sudden development of male features such as rapid body hair growth or enlargement of the clitoris, blood tests should be done to rule out conditions such as adrenal gland over activity or ovarian tumours. The doctor may refer women with suspected PCOS to a hospital specialist in endocrinology (medicine relating to the hormones) or, if applicable, a fertility specialist.

In brief: Diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

An ultrasound scan can show that the ovaries are enlarged or polycystic, usually with 10 or more cysts, 6-8 mm in diameter, on the surface of the ovary.
An affected ovary is around three times larger than usual. Sometimes only one ovary is affected. If obvious features such as acne and hirsutism are present, there may not be any need to do blood tests, but raised levels of a luteinising hormone and testosterone will confirm the diagnosis.


Women with PCOS can have a number of different hormone-related imbalances and in some countries, such as the US, it is hormone levels and symptoms, rather than the presence of cysts that are the key to confirming a diagnosis.


The problems caused by PCOS come on gradually. If there’s a sudden development of male features such as rapid body hair growth or enlargement of the clitoris, blood tests should be done to rule out conditions such as adrenal gland over activity or ovarian tumours. The doctor may refer women with suspected PCOS to a hospital specialist in endocrinology (medicine relating to the hormones) or, if applicable, a fertility specialist.
Quality HealthCare Team
Quality HealthCare Team
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