Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Diagnosis

January 21, 2013

From the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) fact sheet on Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

“How is PCOS diagnosed?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects 5-10% of women. The diagnosis of PCOS is made by a woman having two of the following three characteristics:

1. inability to release an egg from the ovaries on a regular (monthly) basis (chronic anovulation),

2. increased male hormone levels and/or an increase in hair in the midline of the body (hyperandrogenism), and

3. polycystic-appearing ovaries on ultrasound. Because of the variable nature of PCOS, its diagnosis is based upon the combination of clinical, ultrasound, and laboratory features.

Women who have PCOS may have irregular, infrequent menstrual cycles; hirsutism (increased hair growth); acne; and/or infertility. Many women with PCOS have ovaries that are enlarged with many small cysts (fluid-filled sacs) that are visible on ultrasound.”

In our next post, we will discuss the risks of PCOS and how it is treated for those seeking pregnancy.


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