Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCO) is an endocrine disorder that mostly occurs in women of reproductive age.
Polycystic ovarian disease is diagnosed on the basis of signs and symptoms of obesity, acne, presence of excess masculinizing hormones, and irregular menstruation.
Diagnosing polycystic ovarian syndrome can be quite tricky since certain medical conditions such as thyroid disorder, diabetes, elevated milk-producing hormones, or tumors on the ovary and adrenal glands can also produce similar symptoms.
Laboratory tests for diagnosing PCOs include tests for serum levels of the male hormones DHEA and testosterone. If high male hormone levels are confirmed, further tests of hormones released by the pituitary are conducted.
The tests for PCO diagnosis include ultrasound where sound waves are used to detect any cysts in the ovaries. The cysts are sacs filled with fluid that are generally found on the ovaries of women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome. However, this observation cannot be used for conclusive PCO diagnosis.
Advanced diagnostic tools such as CT scan and MRI can also be used in detecting cysts. However, the choice of one or a combination of diagnostic methods for polycystic ovary syndrome depends on the particular case and co-morbidities.
For more information on PCOs, see below:
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