Polycystic ovarian syndrome, also known as PCOS, is the most common hormonal disorder affecting women that are of reproductive age. In the US alone, PCOS affects 6-12% of women (of reproductive age), and up to 75% of women with PCOS go undiagnosed when visiting the doctor. It’s very possible that until recently, you’ve never even heard of it.
The intention of this article isn’t to scare anyone; it’s to share medical knowledge of PCOS and offer up an affordable, easy-to-use at home solution for discovering whether or not this is something you’re suffering from.
At the end of the day, the health implications for women with PCOS can be widespread and when left untreated, can start affecting your health in more drastic ways. That’s why understanding the symptoms and getting tested is so incredibly important to taking the first steps for your health.
LetsGetChecked has always been at the forefront of at home health testing. Like other testing providers like Everlywell and Modern Fertility, they offer at-home tests that bring all the benefits of in-person medical services to the comfort and convenience of your own home. And today, we’ll dig into LetsGetChecked’s PCOS tests, its services, how they compare to Everlywell and Modern Fertility, and more. Because they’re a pretty awesome solution to a problem that no one wants to have.
Table of Contents
What is PCOS, and why should I care about it?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS is caused by hormonal and metabolic imbalance in women of reproductive age, with heredity also thought to play a role. The condition affects ovaries and ovulation and women with PCOS may have cysts on one, or both, of their ovaries. These cysts are fluid-filled follicles containing immature eggs that never ovulate. As a result, this causes women with PCOS to experience irregular or absent periods.
Not all that much is known about the causes behind PCOS, and PCOS often goes undiagnosed for women struggling with it. In fact, according to this recent study, one-third or more of women report going through more than two years and three different health professionals before reaching diagnosis – and only 15.6% of these women were satisfied with the information they received.
A PCOS diagnosis leaves a lot to be desired, but educating yourself about its signs and symptoms is a good place to start. If left untreated, PCOS can lead to further complications, including potential infertility, and other associated health risks like sleep apnea or even cancer.
While all women should be made aware of PCOS, you should pay particularly close attention to the following risk factors that may indicate a greater chance of experiencing PCOS:
- High cholesterol levels
- A prior diagnosis of type 1 or type 2 diabetes
- A prior diagnosis of gestational diabetes
PCOS Symptoms Checklist
PCOS can show up in various ways across different women and symptoms can range quite widely from mild to more severe.
Common symptoms to look out for include the following:
- Irregular or absent periods
- Hirsutism – excess hair growth on the face, chest, back, and/or buttocks
- Hair loss/thinning from the head
- Weight gain
- Acne and/or oily skin
- Infertility and/or difficulty getting pregnant
- Fluid-filled follicles on the ovaries
It’s worth noting that not all women with PCOS will experience all of these symptoms. In general, two or more of the above symptoms need to be confirmed for a diagnosis of PCOS to be made. Typically, symptoms will present in women in their late teens or early twenties.
PCOS Treatment and Diet
Although there is no cure for PCOS, a proper diagnosis can help jump start planning how to manage symptoms more effectively. Depending on the symptoms, there are a range of lifestyle-oriented and medicinal treatments to get PCOS under control. These typically involve dietary changes or hormonal therapies. We’ve broken these down for you in the following sections:
Dietary and lifestyle changes
Being overweight can exacerbate the symptoms of PCOS. For some women, even minimal weight loss can lead to significant improvements of PCOS symptoms. And while there is no confirmed causal link between PCOS and food allergies and intolerances, some foods that cause excess inflammation could potentially worsen existing symptoms.
With these insights in mind, maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly makes for an essential first step to managing PCOS.
Some symptoms of PCOS are treatable with medications, a prime example being irregular or absent periods. If you find your menstrual cycle is off course, you can talk to your doctor about your options such as taking progesterone supplements. Regaining regular periods (if possible) will reduce other long-term associated risks such as endometrial cancer.
Even though PCOS can affect fertility, this doesn’t mean having children is out-of-the picture at all. Most women diagnosed with PCOS are still able to get pregnant if they manage their symptoms well. For those struggling with fertility, IVF is an option. Meanwhile, medications like Clomifene, Metaformin, and Letrozole can also be prescribed as a way to stimulate ovulation.
Treating hair growth
If you’re experiencing excessive body or facial hair growth as a result of PCOS, there are several solutions to remedy that. Oral contraceptive tablets can block excess male hormones and reduce body hair growth. Topical creams like eflornithine can also help reduce excessive facial hair growth. You can also manage excessive body hair with non-medicinal options like laser removal.
If non-invasive treatment options do not work or apply, a small surgery called laparoscopic ovarian drilling (LOD) may be required. This surgery treats the affected ovary with a laser to destroy unwanted androgen-producing tissue and restore hormonal balance.
How do LetsGetChecked PCOS tests work?
LetsGetChecked PCOS tests are straight-forward and easy to get done. All it involves is taking a small blood and saliva sample from home before sending your sample off for lab analysis.
For visual learners, LetsGetChecked also includes instructions in the box that really dumb things down, as well as provide video instructions online for those who want that, too.
In just a few simple steps, you’ll be on your way to completing your PCOS test and understanding your test results.
- Order your LetsGetChecked PCOS test online with free and discreet shipping direct to your home.
- Follow the included instructions to collect your saliva and blood sample. Be sure to read carefully, as details about when and how to collect your samples will be important to ensuring accurate results.
- Return your sample to the lab on the same day you collect, free of charge, using the shipping label included.
- Now sit tight as your sample gets analyzed in CLIA-certified and ISO accredited laboratories, the same labs used by hospitals and primary care providers.
- Within 2-5 days, you’ll be able to access your results alongside an official lab report directly from your secure, private dashboard. LetsGetChecked will then provide you with ongoing clinical support at no extra charge, to help you set your next steps in motion.
What do PCOS tests look for?
Testing for PCOS can help identify and uncover any health complications that might have otherwise gone undiagnosed. By identifying the problem, individuals can start managing their symptoms early and improve overall quality of life.
PCOS varies from individual to individual and this often makes it tough and time consuming to diagnose. Here’s where LetsGetChecked comes in. Not only are LetsGetChecked PCOS tests super easy to complete, but also they give you vital hormonal insights that can help you and your healthcare practitioner take further action.
The PCOS test kit measures key hormones and chemical messengers in the body that impact ovulation, menstrual cycle, weight, and metabolism.
Each sample sent to the lab looks at the following:
- Testosterone – male sec hormone produced in the ovaries
- Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) – a protein that transports testosterone
- Free Androgen Index (FAI) – ratio of testosterone to SHBG
- Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) – controls hair growth and ovarian follicle development
- Luteinizing Hormone (LH) – controls production of estrogen and progesterone in the ovaries
- Cortisol – a hormone released in response to low blood sugar or stress
How do LetsGetChecked’s PCOS tests compare to other ones online?
Testing with LetsGetChecked is a safe, reliable, and affordable means of obtaining test results.
All of LetsGetChecked’s labs are CLIA certified and undergo regular quality control checks to ensure that their testing standards are maintained to the highest levels.
Overall, LetsGetChecked testing kits offer convenience, competitive features, and an unmatched value for your money in the industry.
For convenience, we stacked LetsGetChecked up against their main competitor, Modern Fertility. Take note of the facts that LetsGetChecked has the one-up on Modern Fertility when it comes to both price and turnaround time. So if you’re looking to get the bang for your buck, LetsGetChecked might be your winner.
You can get an exclusive 25% off the cost of your test with our unique code ZENMASTER25.
LetsGetChecked PCOS test reviews: What are customers saying about these at home tests?
As a relatively new product to market, there aren’t yet a ton of reviews for their PCOS test, in particular.
But as we’ve covered in our full LetsGetChecked review, they boast an impressive 4.4 star rating out of 10,290 customer reviews (spread across Trustpilot, Google Reviews, etc.).
Take a look at a few customer reviews that have sprouted up on sites other than LetsGetChecked.com.
The Verdict: Are LetsGetChecked PCOS tests legit?
If you’re experiencing any PCOS symptoms, LetsGetChecked PCOS tests are a great way for you to gain the insights you need. The insights you receive are backed by accurate, lab-certified analyses of hormone levels – and they’re presented in a way that anyone can understand.
As with any other test kit that LetsGetChecked offers, PCOS tests are very easy to use and relatively inexpensive. And as a leader in the at home testing space, their operations are streamlined and they offer a wealth of information on their website. Plus, you’ll always get follow-up support from real medical professionals.
Overall, LetsGetChecked is a great fit for anybody looking into the initial stages of diagnosis and discussion surrounding PCOS. The results can arm you and your doctor with the data needed to understand your health and risk for PCOS and help point you in the right direction in terms of treatment and lifestyle adjustments. A simple testing process with professional consultations and reports, LetsGetChecked may be the solution that brings you the clarity and peace of mind you deserve.
(Use code ZENMASTER25 for 25% off)