Does anyone know how much it costs to test for PCOS?!
I am a college student at Purdue University, and need to be saving every penny right now. But I would like to also know what kind of tests I should push for when I visit a doctor. And one last question would be whether I should visit a Gyn or just a physician? I would appreciate any information you guys can provide!!
I guess the cost would depend on whether you have insurance and where you have tests done. I would very highly recommend going to a gynocologist, as they would have much more experience with treating PCOS than a GP would.
As far as typical tests.there is no one test for PCOS. It's more of a set of tests. You want to have your hormone levels checked. The most common ones will check your LH, FSH, testosterone, and prolactin levels. If you're on hormonal contraception, though, it might cause the results of these tests to be incorrect. You would also want to have your thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) checked because hypothyroidism can mimic PCOS. This would help ensure that you get the right diagnosis.
If you do have PCOS, I would recommend being tested for insulin resistance or diabetes as this is closely linked to PCOS. This is generally done with a 2 hour glucose tolerance test. And finally, you should have a lipid panel done. This test checks your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and you might be able to get it free at some clinics or health fairs. I would expect it to be quite affordable anyway. Even if you don't have PCOS, it's an important test to have, but many women with PCOS also have high cholesterol.
One thing I would not recommend is an ultrasound to check for cysts. It would be expensive, and more importantly, it's unnecessary because you can have PCOS without having cysts. I would only recommend having that if you have cyst pain or ruptured cysts, and even then it might not be necessary.
The most common treatments for PCOS include birth control pills (if you have irregular periods, and can also treat some other symptoms), metformin (may or may not be useful for you--it can treat some symptoms and sometimes cause you to ovulate), spironolactone (treats male-pattern hair growth), and clomid (a fertility drug used for women who are trying to get pregnant but aren't ovulating). If you decide to take the birth control pill, look into getting it at your campus clinic, Planned Parenthood, or the local health department. Usually you can get it fairly cheaply. There is no cure for PCOS--these things can only treat the symptoms.
If you need any more info, please feel free to contact me. I was diagnosed with PCOS four years ago, so I know what it's like.