How do doctors diagnose polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?

While there is no exact test for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), your doctor can complete certain tests to help with the diagnosis.

Below are some tests the doctor may use to diagnose PCOS:

  • Blood tests
  • An ultrasound of the uterus and ovaries

How do doctors treat PCOS?

PCOS symptoms can be managed with help from your child’s care team. Management of obesity can help lower the risk of long-term health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and sleep apnea. Early diagnosis and treatment of PCOS can reduce the risk of endometrial cancer.

One of the most important things your child can do is lose excess weight through healthy lifestyle changes. This can include a healthy diet and increased exercise. Weight loss through healthy lifestyle changes can help with the following:

  • Improved insulin resistance (improved ability to use insulin properly)
  • Lower androgen levels
  • Less acne
  • Fewer issues of facial or body hair
  • More regular menstrual cycles
  • Lower risk of diabetes and heart disease
  • Fewer or improved symptoms of depression

Along with weight loss and lifestyle changes, your doctor might recommend one or more of the following to manage your child’s symptoms:

  • Oral contraceptives (birth control pills) to help regulate hormone levels
  • Progesterone pills, taken for 10-12 days every month or every three months to induce periods
  • Metformin, a medication to treat insulin resistance
  • Other prescription medications to reduce facial and other body hair
  • Acne treatments
  • Hair removal products
  • Electrolysis or laser hair removal

Rev. 3/2020. MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.