Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder affecting young women, and about 10% of all reproductive age women.
We make the diagnosis based on menstrual problems, abnormal male hormone issues, and cystic ovaries.
Traditional method of assessing the ovarian morphology has been transvaginal pelvic ultrasound. At Women’s Health Practice we still suggest that the ultrasound is important.
There are new blood tests that can help us get clues, not only about diagnosis, but about how the condition might affect your fertility. Recent studies support that serum anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) levels correlate with the number of ovarian follicles and cysts. Hence, measurement of AMH can help support the diagnosis.
Traditionally, male hormone excess, also called, hyperandrogenemia has been assessed by measuring total-testosterone. We support checking sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) measurements and bioavailable-testosterone and free-testosterone calculations.
PCOS can affect your weight and overall nutritional health because women with PCOS may have a problem metabolizing their sugars and carbs due to problems with insulin levels. Using an insulin blood level test is also important.
A PCOS patient who is insulin resistant can have low SHBG, which can lead to changes in blood test results. testosterone, and leads to under-estimation of bioavailable- and free-testosterone.
It is also important to diagnose insulin resistance before development of glucose intolerance and diabetes. This requires measurements of not only blood sugar and the insulin, but also HgBA1 can be informative as well.