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Why take this test?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in women that affects the ovaries - resulting in the development of cysts on the ovaries which can become enlarged. PCOS is a common condition and in the UK affects around 7 in every 100 women. Investigations of PCOS focus initially on medical history, incidence of irregular periods (or none at all) and the existence of high levels of male hormones (androgens) in the body.
Our Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Check includes tests for testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and the free androgen index (FAI) to indicate the amount of available androgens circulating in the blood. It also measures lutienising hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH); a high LH/FSH ratio of between 2:1 to 3:1 may indicate PCOS.
Our doctors will interpret your resutls and let you know what action you should take next.
This test is for women who are experiencing any symptoms of PCOS and wish to investigate further.
We send you an easy-to-use kit to collect your blood sample.
Post your sample to our lab in the prepaid envelope provided.
View results securely in your own personal dashboard.
Our tests are not a substitute for seeing your doctor, especially if you are suffering symptoms. Our doctors will interpret your results based on the information you have provided, but will not diagnose, consult or provide any treatment. You will be advised to see your doctor for any necessary follow-up action.
Testosterone is a male sex hormone which is produced in the testicles of men and, in much smaller amounts, in the ovaries of women. It is responsible for bone and muscle strength, as well as mood, energy and sexual function.
Testosterone levels decline with age and it is unusual to find naturally elevated levels in men. Low testosterone is more common than raised testosterone in the absence of supplementation.
In women, raised testosterone can result in male characteristics such as body hair, greater bulk, a deeper voice and acne - all symptoms of polycystic ovaries, a condition in which elevated testosterone is commonly seen.
Most of the sex hormones - testosterone, oestrogen and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) - found in your blood are bound to Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) which means that they are unavailable to your cells. Measuring the level of SHBG in your blood gives important information about your levels of "free" or unbound hormones which are biologically active and available for use.
Elevated SHBG indicates that there is less testosterone or oestrogen available for use whereas low levels can mean an excess of available hormones.
The free androgen index (FAI) is a calculation used to determine the amount of male hormones (androgens) which are free (unbound) in the bloodstream. Most testosterone is bound to proteins - sex hormone binding globulin and albumin. The FAI is a calculation based on the ratio of testosterone and SHBG and is a measure of the amount of circulating available testosterone.
A low FAI in men can indicate reduced levels of testosterone available to the cells which can lead to symptoms such as loss of libido, difficulty gaining muscle mass and erectile disfunction.
In women an elevated FAI may signify polycystic ovary syndrome.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone is produced in the pituitary gland and is important for women in the production of eggs by the ovaries and for men in the production of sperm. Levels of FSH rise in women as egg production declines, therefore raised FSH often coincides with the onset of the menopause and is a measure of ovarian reserve.
Elevated FSH in women indicates reduced egg supply whereas low levels can signal that you are not ovulating or are pregnant.
Levels of FSH in men rise with age, but can also indicate testicular damage and reduced sperm production. Low levels of FSH are detected when men are not producing sperm.
Luteinising Hormone (LH) is produced by the pituitary gland and is important for male and female fertility. In women it governs the menstrual cycle, peaking before ovulation. In men it stimulates the production of testosterone.
Raised LH in women can signal that you are not ovulating, that you are menopausal or that your hormones are not in balance (as with polycystic ovaries).
Raised LH in men can signal that the testes are not producing enough testosterone.
We will send you your Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Check finger-prick blood sample collection kit which contains everything you need to take your blood sample in the comfort of your own home. If you are unsure about completing a finger-prick blood sample collection you will have the opportunity to select a clinic-based venous blood sample option during the checkout process.How to collect a finger-prick blood sample
Your Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Check includes 1st class postage and packaging for you to send your blood sample directly to our laboratory for analysis. If you live in an area where you cannot rely on the post or you simply want to ensure that your sample arrives at the laboratory the following day, you may wish to send your blood sample guaranteed next day delivery for extra reassurance.
Your blood sample will be analysed at one of our chosen laboratories. You can be assured of fast, accurate results from one of our accredited independent providers of clinical diagnostic tests.
Our medical team will comment on out-of-range blood results and give you follow-up advice where necessary. If you need it, a PDF copy of your Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Check results can be downloaded for your doctor.
Once you have placed your order you can visit my.medichecks.com where you can manage your account, track your orders and view your Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Check results.
Stay motivated by filling in your online health and lifestyle questionnaire and seeing how improvements in your lifestyle can influence your results. Your medical and family history gives us vital information when interpreting your results.