Surprising Symptoms of PCOS & How to Diagnose


Have you been misdiagnosed?

PCOS is notoriously difficult to diagnose, and the criteria has changed- why is an ultrasound just not enough anymore?

PCOS is a multi-factorial condition and often presents completely differently between women- the symptoms are hard to put inside a neat little box. – facial hair? irregular periods? no periods? weight gain? weight loss?

It can get confusing, even for professionals. 

And so is the diagnosis of PCOS.  Time and time again I have women coming into the clinic saying they have been tested for PCOS. But with a little questioning, I soon realise that all they have had is an ultrasound for the presence of cysts.⁣

Now this may be one cyst, or it may be multiple. But majority of the time, they are being diagnosed with PCOS. 

Nowadays this isn’t enough to diagnose PCOS; and you can even have PCOS without any cysts at all (likewise you can have cysts and no PCOS).⁣

An article by Jean Hailes puts this into perspective, clearly and concisely; 

Criteria for a diagnosis of PCOS

1. Irregular periods or no periods

2. Higher levels of androgens are present in the blood (hyperandrogenism), shown by:

  • a blood test, OR
  • symptoms such as:
    • excess facial or body hair growth
    • scalp hair loss
    • acne.

3. Polycystic ovaries are visible on an ultrasound, meaning:

  • more than 20 follicles (partly developed eggs) are visible on one or both ovaries or
  • the size of one or both ovaries is increased (more than 10ml).

And just at the bottom of that criteria, they add; You do not need to have an ultrasound if you have criteria 1 and 2.

This is something that I’m finding with my clients,  is being missed.

The combination of symptomatic picture, blood tests for; testosterone, DHEA, insulin, LH/ FSH (to name a few)  AND possibly and ultrasounds, is what is required to diagnose PCOS efficiently. and thoroughly.
So where to from here?⁣

⁣There are three scenarios here;  

If you DON’t fit the mould:

  • You have been diagnosed with PCOS via ultrasound, but don’t fit the symptomatic picture and think something else may be going on
  • Find a GP or natural health professional who SPECIALISES in these conditions, and go from there.  

If you havn’t yet been diagnosed but want to find out: 

  • You have the symptoms, and may have done an ultrasound but havn’t been diagnosed with PCOS, and you suspect it may be 
  • Again, find a health professional who SPECIALISES in these conditions, and go from there

You want to know how to treat your PCOS or symptoms naturally-without or alongside medication

  • Get in touch with a Naturopath who loves everything about treating Women’s Hormones, you may be interested in finding out more about what we can do for you by booking a Free 30 Minute consultation with us (via phone or in person).
Have further questions? Get in contact with Kirra today. 

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