Polycystic ovaries are often seen on ultrasound scan and many women are labelled as having PCOS. In many women this is incorrect and also unhelpful.
Multiple small follicles are often seen on the ovaries, it is important to have some definition about what is normal and abnormal. It is probably sensible that we should be able to see at least 20 follicles on the ovaries to call this PCO.
Strictly speaking this should still not be labelled as PCOS unless it is accompanied by a metabolic syndrome.
This is a condition where there are both multiple follicular cyst on the ovaries (>20) accompanied by a hyper androgenic metabolic syndrome.
Women with this syndrome have period problems, may find that they easily put on weight, have a male pattern hair distribution with acne and have a tendency to develop type 2 diabetes and hypertension in later life.
Most women with PCOS will have a longer menstrual cycle in excess of 35 days, they may have irregular periods and may miss periods altogether. When they do have periods these are usually heavier and prolonged.
This is as a result of difficulties with ovulation which may lead to fertility problems.
Polycystic ovaries are enlarged and tender so there may be pain with ovulation and during and after sex.
This includes a detailed history which will be taken during your 30 minute appointment with a consultant.
A complex range of blood test will be performed looking at a whole range of hormones, Testosterone, Insulin and cholesterol.
Once all the test results are available they will be discussed with you in detail so that the correct treatment can be given to you. This usually involves a very personal decision and depends very much on your treatment goals.
This is a complex issue and requires careful investigation and counselling, do come and see us if you are concerned about your diagnosis and the help that you are being offered. We will give you a thirty minute consultation to address all of your concerns and make a proper diagnosis.