Most women know what is polycystic ovaries syndrome; a common female gynecological disorder that creates problems with fertility, insulin resistance, weight gain and other symptoms. A diagnosis of PCOS is not as straightforward as we may believe; not all women with polycystic ovaries have PCOS and not all women with the syndrome have multiple cysts in their ovaries.

Also it is not just menstrual problems, or infertility that signals the presence of PCOS; there are many other factors that are to be considered to make a diagnosis. So to make the definitive diagnosis of polycystic ovaries syndrome, there are several other parameters that are considered:

What is Polycystic OvariesThe careful consideration of symptoms; particularly the four symptoms of weight gain, disturbed menstrual patterns, absence of breast development and Hirsutism (excessive growth of hair) are important indicators of PCOS.

Gynecological Ultra-sonography is an important diagnostic tool for PCOS since it will be able to detect the other definitive symptom of the condition: a string of pearls like appearance of the ovaries when the follicles are oriented on the periphery of the ovaries.

The ultrasound also reveals whether the size of the ovaries is increased (which it is, between 1.5 to 3 times as large as normal).

A laparoscopic exam can also help to make the definitive diagnosis of polycystic ovaries syndrome because it will reveal the characteristic smooth, thickened and pearl white outer layer of the ovary. Sometimes PCOS may come to light if a laparoscopic exam is conducted for some other purpose as well.

A blood test is the other facet of making a proper diagnosis, since it will reveal whether the levels of androgen are testosterone are higher than normal. Higher male hormone levels are markers of PCOS. The blood test will also reveal blood sugar levels, since insulin resistance is another significant PCOS symptom.

Further the blood test may also help by revealing the ratio of the luteinizing hormone to the follicle stimulating hormone at certain days of the menstrual cycle which could offer additional diagnostic clues.

So the question what is polycystic ovaries syndrome is not answered simply by the presence of multiple cysts but by observing other parameters of a woman’s health as well. This is why PCOS is not a disease; rather it is a collection of conditions that may impact a woman’s life in various different ways.

Women, who suspect that they have PCOS or have been diagnosed with the condition, should be aware of another term relating to the syndrome and that is Bilateral Polycystic Ovaries.

What is polycystic ovaries bilateral?

While many women may have multiple cysts only in one ovary, some women may have bilateral cysts; or cysts that develop simultaneously in both ovaries. This means that the situation of a woman’s PCOS may be further complicated and that her symptoms may be more pronounced and worrisome.

What is polycystic ovaries bilateral symptoms?

Studies have found that the symptoms of bilateral PCOS such as LH to FHS ratios, androgen levels and so on may be more acute than with unilateral PCOS.