Tests You Should Be Getting When you Have PCOS
PCOS is the most common hormonal condition in women of reproductive age affecting 6-12% of the population. It is a life-long health condition that has health effects lasting beyond child bearing years.
Since PCOS is a syndrome, it doesn’t always present the same way. This can make it challenging to identify and once identified, can alter the way that it is treated.
PCOS is a complicated condition that can present many challenges to a woman. A woman with PCOS has increased risk of fertility challenges, miscarriage, acne, obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, thyroid conditions, and fatigue. Certain labs tests can help you and your health care provider to learn more about your PCOS. Whether you simply suspect that you have PCOS or if you have a confirmed diagnosis, appropriate evaluation and monitoring can help you to gain a clearer picture of what is happening in your body and the best way to manage your PCOS.
This is used to confirm diagnosis, gain and understanding on whether or not you are ovulating, and identify what hormones are out of balance.
- Total and free testosterone
- LH and FSH
- Full thyroid panel
Blood sugar and insulin resistance
For many women with PCOS, insulin resistance is a driving factor in the hormone imbalance that they experience. Treating insulin resistance if it exists is key to improving hormone levels, re-establishing ovulation, feeling well, and preventing long term metabolic issues.
- Fasting insulin
- Fasting glucose
Calculating HOMA-IR- this measure uses fasting insulin and fasting glucose to determine level of insulin resistance.
Inflammatory markers are often high in PCOS and can be a useful measure of the success of treatment if monitored over time.
- White blood cell count
There are other tests that may be important depending on your case. If you haven’t been diagnosed and we need a clearer picture we may add in additional tests to confirm diagnosis.
For some cases we may need to monitor metabolic health more closely, or if fertility is a concern there are other tests that can be useful. Your evaluation and treatment should be individualized to you depending on what your health goals are and your risk factors.
I love to help women with PCOS gain a deeper understanding of their diagnosis, their individual hormonal and metabolic needs, and design a health plan that will address their current health concerns as well as the future of their health. If you are interested in working with me, If you are looking for a tailored approach to your health, follow the link to book your alignment call.
Dr. Lisa Maddalena, ND