(Closed) Testing for PCOS, what's involved?

posted 5 years ago in TTC
Post # 3
1301 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@StaceyA:  I am commenting to subscribe to this… 

I am pregnant and always suspected PCOS. Very long cycles (sometimes gone for 6 months), combined with acne. Although I have never had weight problems.

I went to my GP and asked to be tested when I was TTC and they refused. When I had my first ultrasound the tech showed me all the cystst on my ovaries so I either have polycycstic ovaries, or PCOS.  

I am very keen to hear how it can be confirmed. I feel very lucky to be pregnant, but I still want to know..

Post # 4
242 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Ive done a bit of testing for this, but as I’m currently not TTCing, they limited what they did.

Testing that I did do was:

  • numerous bloodtests: don’t think it mattered what time of month in my case. I just couldn’t be on birth control or any other hormone related drugs
  • Pelvic ultrasound: to determine if there was cysts or what not

Since Ive never had sex, they didn’t do a physical. But apparently its common to do that while testing for PCOS *shudder*

They should ask you a ton of questions though. Its a good thing you are charting your periods.  They will ask you your whole history (when did it start, how irregular, how many days, etc.) as well as family history (anybody in your family hae PCOS?). In my case, they eliminated all the other possible things it could have been and then just diagonsed me with PCOS. 

Do you have an appointment made with a specialist?

Post # 5
1675 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I got tested for PCOS a few years (it was negative). It involved an u/s (the special up-the-hoo-ha kind) and a lot of blood work to check hormone levels. I wasn’t told to go on a specific CD for the bloodwork, but having thought about it ever since then I realize I probably should have been. I think my doctor only sent me for the testing because I basically told her to (not the same doctor I have now – thank goodness) and therefore she was pretty lax with the whole process – not cool.

Post # 6
1044 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Blood tests and transvaginal ultrasound is most likely what will be done. Neither of which need to be done at a certain time in your cycle. Although, my gyn in nyc always said that ultrasounds can be better when you’re menstruating.

Here’s my story:

I had an apple sized dermoid cyst on my right ovary in 2006, after that was removed, my doctor found other pre-cysts on my left ovary. She made the call that I have PCOS. I asked my GP’s, do you think I have PCOS and they’d ask me the regular questions about acne and body hair- I didn’t have much of either at the time. No further discussion.

Fast forward to the past two years. I have had horrible acne and long periods that I believed was tied to hormones, they finally tested my androgen levels and some other hormone that I can’t remember for elevated levels. This doc thought this would confirm of whether or not I had PCOS. Turns out my hormones are not elevated at all. My irregular cycles where due to my IUD… No PCOS.

Post # 7
3059 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I have had confirmed PCOS for 10 years now. They did blood testing to confirm. They generally test your FSH/LH ratio. I think a ratio of 3:1 signals PCOS. They also tested testosterone, women with PCOS may have a higher level of testosterone. They tested my thryroid, glucose (women with PCOS may have a insuline resistance), and prolactin. I also had the u/s but they did not fine any cysts, but I have had prior cysts.

Here’s an article I found that might help you:


Post # 8
200 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

When I was tested (positive) it was a blood test and also had to do the fasting glucose test.

Post # 9
818 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

When we started TTC last Feb. I went to my OB/GYN because my periods were so erratic and I was on CD110. He asked if I had acne problems, hair growth on my face, hard to lose weight around my stomach and of course strange periods. He did bloodwork and I know that it came back as me having twice the amount of male hormones that a woman should have. He did not do an u/s at that time but after a few months of TTC w/ clomid I had an outy and an inny done. Nothing showed up on either though.

Post # 10
5109 posts
Bee Keeper

@Yellow.Clover:  You hit the nail on the head!

Stacey, my RE does not diagnose PCOS off an ultrasound, he looks for a chronically high LH, an FSH/LH ratio that is off, insulin resistance or high testosterone… I had been diagnosed in the past off of an ultrasound and symptoms. I didn’t have any of those in my tests, so he took it away.

I’m so glad you are seeing an acupuncturist. GL with everything!!!

Post # 12
842 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

My RE suspected I had PCOS and confirmed it with bloodwork showing elevated testosterone and insuline resistance, plus an ultrasound showing the stereotypical “string of pearls” cysts on my ovaries.  The bloodwork was on CD3, but they were also testing things like FSH for ovarian reserve.  I’ve never had had b/w on 7DPO, I’m not sure how those tests relate to PCOS.

Post # 13
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I had transvaginal and abdominal ultrasounds, which confirmed small cycsts so I was given the diagnosis of “possible PCOS” and am still waiting for this to become a more solid diagnosis. I also had to do blood tests and they needed to be done between day 2-5 so I went on CD 3. They came back as normal, but something to note is that it is possible for bloodwork can come back within the normal range but its the ratio of the results that can indicate PCOS. So for example if FSH is higher than LH* then it could be indicative if PCOS but a lot of doctors wont pick up on this as numbers arent classed as abnormal.

I think my bloodwork was for 5 things, FSH,testosterone, LH and rubella, I cant remember the 5th thing,sorry!

Best thing for me was asking what each test was looking for,what it meant and what possible results would mean. Ask as many questions as you can, and good luck!

*NB this is just an example not accurate,cant remember which way round it was lol!

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