Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder that mostly occurs in women of reproductive age. Symptoms include obesity, acne, presence of excess masculinizing hormones, and irregular menstruation.
Diagnosing polycystic ovarian syndrome can be difficult since other medical conditions such as thyroid disorder, diabetes, elevated milk-producing hormones, or tumors on the ovary and adrenal glands can produce similar symptoms.
Serum tests are the primary method of PCOS diagnosis. These tests determine levels of the male hormones DHEA and testosterone present in a female.
An ultrasound, MRI, or CT scan may also be used to help diagnose PCOS by testing for fluid-filled cysts on the ovaries. The use of any of these testing methods depends upon the particular medical case.
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