How do doctors diagnose polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?\nYour doctor may suspect you have this syndrome if you have eight periods per year or less, excess body hair, hormonal irregularities, high blood sugar, androgenic hair loss, acne, or irregular periods. After obtaining a clinical history that suggests PCOS, the doctor will rule out other diseases that could cause similar symptoms. Some of these diseases include:\n\nExcessive production of hormones by the adrenal glands called adrenal hyperplasia\nProblems with the function of the thyroid gland\nSurplus\/overproduction of prolactin hormone by the pituitary gland, known as hyperprolactinemia\n\nComplete family history\nThe doctor will ask about your menstrual cycle and about any history of infertility. The doctor will also ask if your mother or sister has PCOS or symptoms similar to yours since PCOS is usually hereditary.\nComplete physical examination\nThe doctor will perform a physical exam and look for excessive growth of hair, acne or other signs of high androgen levels. He\/she will take your blood pressure, measure your waist and calculate your body mass index, a measure of your body fat that is calculated from weight and height.\nBlood samples\nThe doctor will check the levels of androgens, cholesterol and blood sugar.\nPelvic exam or ultrasound to check the ovaries\nDuring the pelvic exam, the doctor will insert two fingers into your vagina and put pressure on your abdomen to feel for ovarian cysts. To help see ovarian cysts, the doctor may recommend an ultrasound, a test that uses sound waves to obtain images of the pelvic area. Your doctor will also check the thickness of the lining of the uterus; If your periods are irregular, the lining of the uterus may be thicker than normal. A woman who has at least two of the following three problems may have a diagnosis of PCOS:\n\nThe long-term absence of ovulation (the process of ovum ovule release) that causes menstrual irregularities\nHigh levels of androgens that are not the result of other causes or diseases or signs of high androgen levels, such as excess facial or body hair\nMore than 12 cysts of a specific size in one or both ovaries (detected by ultrasound)\n\nSome women with a diagnosis of PCOS have the first two symptoms but do not have ovarian cysts Stay tuned for next week’s installment: Treatment and Management Legal Disclaimer\n\nThis article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not medical advice and should not be used to replace the advice of a trained physician. If you have any suspicion that the information in this article may apply to you, be sure to contact your doctor for more details! References\n\n\nhttps:\/\/www.healthline.com\/health\/polycystic-ovary-disease\nhttp:\/\/www.acog.org\/~\/media\/For%20Patients\/faq121.pdf?dmc=1\u0026amp;ts=20120510T1116545699\nhttp:\/\/www.womenshealth.gov\/publications\/our-publications\/fact-sheet\/polycystic-ovary-syndrome.html\nhttp:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pubmedhealth\/PMH0001408\n\n \n\nYou can see all of Jesse's posts here.