How Is PCOS Diagnosed?

By: Fertilityauthority

(text on screen): Fertility Authority. Your Most Trusted Source Ask the Experts How is PCOS diagnosed? Dr. Keri Greenseid, The Institute of Reproductive Medicine and Science at St. Barnabas Medical Center: PCOS stands for polycystic ovarian syndrome, and the definition of PCOS, or how we can give a patient the diagnosis of PCOS, is they need to have two out of the following three findings: The first is oligomenorrhea, which otherwise describes not having regular menstrual cycles. Often, patients complain of longer menstrual cycles where they don't get a bleed every 28 to 35 days, but it's often long than that, and they're not ovulating regularly.

The second criteria is clinical or biochemical hyperandrogenism. And, to explain that a little bit further, it's when patients complain of excess androgens, or male hormones, which sometimes can be described as hirsutism or excess hair growth in unwanted places. Or acne. Or balding in certain, specific areas of the head and the temporal areas. Or, clinical hyperandrogenism, which is an elevation of androgens in the bloodstream that your doctor can check with some blood tests. And then the third criteria is polycystic-appearing ovaries on an ultrasound. So, having two out of those three findings actually gives the diagnosis of PCOS. You don't need to have all three.

However, many women do. So, that's how the diagnosis is given. In addition, we need to rule out anything else that could otherwise cause these findings. The polycystic-appearing ovaries on an ultrasound is typically described as having 12 or more small follicles on each ovary, and the follicles often surround the ovary on the exterior, and the ovaries are often a little bit larger than a normal-sized ovary, and there's some thickness in the middle of the ovary. That's where the stromal portion of the ovary is, and that's a little bit thicker, and then all of those small follicles surround the ovary and it looks like; it's often described as a "ring of pearl" appearance with the follicles surrounding the ovary.

(text on screen): Fertility Authority. Your Most Trusted Source.

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