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Hormone Testing and PCOS: Everything You Need to Know

In this blog, hormones are the topic of conversation. PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is generally a result of the imbalance of hormones. The ovaries produce an excess of male hormones called androgens, and a variety of symptoms occur as a result. We’d like to explain why hormones are so significant in diagnosing and treating PCOS.

Diagnosing PCOS

Looking at the abnormal values of certain hormones can help diagnose PCOS because it is, first and foremost, an endocrine disorder. Blood tests help identify the following chemical imbalances associated with PCOS (1):

  • Lutenizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH): an elevated LH to FSH ratio, often 3:1, disrupts ovulation
  • DHEA-S: an androgen found in much greater quantities than normal
  • Testosterone: total testosterone is the complete amount that exists in your body, while free testosterone is the amount active in your body. Increased levels of both types can inhibit ovulation and menstruation
  • Prolactin: high levels of this milk-producing hormone
  • Androstenedione (ANDRO): large amounts can interfere with testosterone and estrogen levels
  • Progesterone: some women show signs of ovulation without actually ovulating; progesterone levels can identify what is happening

Treating PCOS

Hormonal birth control lowers androgen levels and protects the inner lining of the uterus from abnormal cell growth. It can also diminish acne flare ups and excessive hair growth (2).

Gonadotropins are hormonal injections that may increase fertility.

Metformin can help lower insulin levels, as well as androgen levels.

BINTO provides supplements that contain N-acetyl cysteine (NAC). NAC improves insulin levels, balances your hormones, and helps regulate your menstrual cycle. For more information see our previous blog post on NAC & PCOS.

Resources:

  1. http://www.obgyn.net/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos/hormone-levels-and-pcos
  2. http://www.pcosaa.org/pcos-treatments/

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