Diagnosis and Treatment

How is PCOS diagnosed?

PCOS is most appropriately diagnosed by both blood tests and/or ultrasound. An ultrasound test can be used to assess whether polycystic ovaries are present. However, a diagnosis of PCOS should not be based on ultrasound alone because multiple cysts in the ovaries are not present in all women, and cysts can be present in normal ovaries.

Blood tests can provide a more definitive diagnosis of PCOS. Elevated levels of androgens, elevated fasting insulin and/or glucose levels, elevated levels of LH, and an elevation in the ratio of LH to FSH are all biochemical findings consistent with PCOS.

What are the treatments for PCOS?

Although there is no cure for PCOS, the symptoms are manageable by medications and changes in diet and exercise. Daily oral contraceptive pills and/or spironolactone are used to decrease excess facial and body hair. A healthy diet and regular exercise can control weight gain helping to lower insulin levels. Medications such as Clomid, metformin (Glucophage), or gonadotropins can be used to induce ovulation.