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PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)

One diagnostic panel – many answers. Your clear multi-disciplinary approach to PCOS.

PCOS impacts on women's lives

PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) is the most common endocrine disorder affecting reproductive aged women and is one of the most common, but treatable, causes of infertility. For this reason, it is often diagnosed when women have trouble getting pregnant. However, PCOS may begin soon after the first menstrual period and is a lifelong metabolic syndrome. Did you know:

  • PCOS affects 1 in 10 women1
  • Up to 75% of women with PCOS are going undiagnosed2
  • $13.8 billion estimated annual cost to healthcare system to diagnose and treat women for PCOS1
  • Women with PCOS have three times the risk of developing endometrial cancer as women without PCOS1
  • 50% of women with PCOS develop type 2 diabetes by the age of 401

Identifying PCOS

Several guidelines suggest using the Rotterdam criteria or variations of it for the diagnosis of PCOS. This is defined by the presence of two out of the three following criteria3:

  • Menstrual irregularity
  • Clinical and/or biochemical hyperandrogenism
  • Polycystic ovaries on ultrasound

In adolescents, both menstrual irregularity and hyperandrogenism are required, and ultrasound is not recommended for diagnosis. Guidelines also recommend certain testing to rule out other endocrine disorders with similar presentation, including thyroid disease, prolactin excess and non-classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). In some women, additional diagnoses should be considered and ruled out, such as Cushing’s syndrome, androgen-secreting tumors and other disorders associated with androgen excess.4

Because women and children have lower levels of testosterone, it is important to utilize the more sensitive liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS) methodology when measuring testosterone in these patients.5,6

Diagnosing PCOS

At Labcorp, we believe that the right testing for every patient can improve care and outcomes. We understand that PCOS is a complex condition with numerous implications to consider throughout a woman’s lifetime. To assist providers in navigating diagnosis of PCOS, we offer a PCOS panel based on guideline recommendations.

Patient management

Once diagnosed, assessment and management of reproductive, metabolic and psychological features is vital to patient care. Many significant comorbidities are associated with PCOS, and patient care may span across several types of healthcare providers and specialists.

Labcorp’s comprehensive test menu can help you care for your patients once they are diagnosed. Access fertility, diabetes, NASH, CVD testing and more as needed. Additionally, the PCOS Diagnostic Profile samples are retained for 60 days, allowing for add-on or repeat testing up to two months after the original blood draw date.

Labcorp’s Esoterix laboratories

Labcorp’s Esoterix laboratories (formerly Endocrine Sciences and Colorado Coagulation) have more than 40 years of experience in performing specialized laboratory testing and a large team of scientists and physician specialists available for client consultation.

Contact us to learn more about Labcorp's PCOS diagnostic panel.

References

  1. What is PCOS? https://pcoschallenge.org/symposium/what-is-pcos/. Accessed March 2, 2022.
  2. Wolf WM, Wattick RA, Kinkade ON, Olfert MD. Geographical Prevalence of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome as Determined by Region and Race/Ethnicity. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018;15(11):2589. Published 2018 Nov 20. doi:10.3390/ijerph15112589.
  3. Teede HJ, Misso ML, Costello MF, et al. Recommendations from the international evidence-based guideline for the assessment and management of polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertil Steril. 2018 Aug;110(3):364-379.
  4. Azziz R, Carmina E, Dewailly D, et al. The Androgen Excess and PCOS Society criteria for the polycystic ovary syndrome: the complete task force report. Fertil Steril. 2009 Feb;91(2):456-488.
  5. Goodman NF, Cobin RH, Futterweit W, et al. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American College of Endocrinology, and Androgen Excess and PCOS Society disease state clinical review: Guide to the best practices in the evaluation and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome - Part 1. Endocr Pract. 2015 Nov;21(11):1291-1300.
  6. Rosner W, Auchus RJ, Azziz R, Sluss PM, Raff H. Position statement: Utility, limitations, and pitfalls in measuring testosterone: an Endocrine Society position statement. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Feb;92(2):405-413.