Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a commonplace hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. It is characterised by a combination of symptoms, including irregular menstrual cycles, high levels of male hormones (androgens), and the growth of cysts on the ovaries. These cysts are follicles that contain immature eggs, which are unable to mature and release as they should during ovulation.
Women commonly experience irregular or even missed periods but can also encounter unwanted hair growth on the body and face (hirsutism), loss of hair from the head (alopecia) and acne.
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but is believed to be associated with hormonal imbalances, insulin resistance, and genetic factors. High levels of insulin cause the ovaries to produce too much testosterone. The condition can have a definite impact on a woman's quality of life, affecting her fertility, metabolism, and mental health. Women with PCOS can also be at higher risk for medical conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and endometrial cancer.
For a doctor to diagnose PCOS, generally they will take a thorough medical history, perform a physical examination and request a blood sample for laboratory testing to evaluate hormone levels and assess insulin resistance. If PCOS is suspected, often an ultrasound is performed, which can reveal the presence of cysts on the ovaries.
At present, PCOS cannot be cured, but treatments are designed for managing symptoms, therefore reducing the risk of long-term health problems and of infertility. Lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, and engaging in regular physical activity, are often the first line of defence. There is evidence that a weight loss of just 5% can deliver a significant improvement in symptoms.
Medications, such as birth control pills, can also be used to regulate menstrual cycles and reduce the risk of endometrial cancer. The Mirina coil, a small plastic ‘t’ shaped device that contains progesterone and is put into the uterus (an intrauterine system or IUS) can also be helpful, as it keeps the lining of the uterus thin, but it can also stop periods altogether. Some cases may also be treated with surgery, where a laser is used to destroy the tissues in the ovaries that are responsible for the production of the excess androgens, which can restore normal ovarian function and correct hormone imbalances.
BioSure have introduced a new diagnostic tool that can help women with PCOS monitor their own condition more effectively. BioSURE PCOS Hormone Self Test is a simple and highly accurate test, where the finger prick blood sample can be collected at home and provides women with information about their menstrual cycle, ovulation status, and hormonal imbalances.
The test analyses the 5 key biomarkers for PCOS to help you assess if you may be suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. You send your small finger prick sample back to the lab, and generally get your clinically valid, detailed and easy-to-read results within 24 hours of receipt. Your results will show your levels of your
- luteinizing hormone (LH), which is an indicator of ovulation,
- follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which is an indicator of hormonal imbalances,
- testosterone levels, which are responsible for many of the symptoms
- Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), which helps regulate the amount of sex hormones that are active in your body and is used as a surrogate indicator of insulin resistance
- Free Androgen Index (FAI), which is better for determining the presence of excessive male (hyperandrogenism) than testosterone alone.
If you know you suffer with PCOS, testing with BioSure PCOS Self Test at regular intervals can help you track changes in your hormone levels over time and identify any patterns or trends that may indicate a shift in your condition. This information can be valuable in helping you make informed decisions about your health and treatment options. BioSure will never share your results, but because the laboratories we work with are all accredited and CQC registered, should you wish to share them, your doctor will recognise your results.
One of the advantages of the BioSURE test is that it is readily accessible and easy to use. Women who want to know what is causing their symptoms or who have already been diagnosed with PCOS can use the test in the privacy of their own home, without the need for a doctor's appointment. This saves both time and money, as well as reducing the stress and anxiety associated with medical appointments.
In conclusion, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can have a significant impact on a woman's quality of life and health, and effective management is essential. By using the BioSURE test regularly, women with PCOS can record changes in their condition and make informed decisions about their health and treatment options, timeously and stress-free.
In recognition of International Women’s Day, there is £20 off BioSURE PCOS Hormone Self Test throughout the month of March 2023
BioSure is a UK company that has unique market insight and specialises in the development, manufacturing, and distribution of self-tests both for use in healthcare and importantly direct-to-consumer use. Our driving passion is to give accurate, reliable and innovative products, so everyone can feel empowered to take responsibility for their own wellbeing. We truly believe that self-testing will revolutionise healthcare, helping alleviate the clinical bottleneck and reducing late diagnosis, resulting in far better health outcomes.