Being Diagnosed With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Dr. Sabrina Gill, MD, MPH, FRCPC, discusses the diagnosis of PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).

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Dr. Sabrina Gill, MD, MPH, FRCPC, discusses the diagnosis of PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).
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Featuring Dr. Sabrina Gill, MD, MPH, FRCPC

Duration: 1 minute, 38 seconds

So when a woman has a history of irregular periods, symptoms of excess testosterone such as hair growth or acne or hair loss, then it's important to see your physician and have yourself evaluated.  

It's important to get some blood tests done to test your hormones, not only for male hormone levels but other hormones that could potentially be causing the symptoms.

Polycystic ovary syndrome, it's diagnosed primarily based on your symptoms and excluding other causes so we always call it a diagnosis of exclusion. Your physician may wish to get an ultrasound done to assess for polycystic ovaries but you have to remember that about 20 percent of women who do not have polycystic ovaries have this finding on ultrasound so it's not absolute.

Because there is an increased risk of other hormonal and what we call metabolic abnormalities with polycystic ovary syndrome, if the risk of having this syndrome is high, it's also important to get your physician to check for diabetes, check your blood pressure, check your cholesterol levels and syndromes such as sleep apnea.  

And those can be done just again by a routine blood test. For diabetes, it's sometimes worthwhile getting a 75 gram glucose tolerance test which means you drink a very sugary drink and you sit there for about two hours and they check your blood sugars before and after the drink.

And for sleep apnea, there are sleep studies that can done so it's important to discuss this with your physician and have those tests done.

Presenter: Dr. Sabrina Gill, Endocrinologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Endocrinologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.