Answer from: Kate Davies, RN, BSc (Hons), FP Cert
Often, the first indication if you have PCOS is that you might notice that your periods have become more lengthy, your cycle lasts longer and your periods become irregular. That can often be the first time that you realize that something isn’t quite right. A lot of women with PCOS also experience other symptoms, for example, you notice an increase in acne than you would normally or you notice you have more bodily hair where a woman would not necessarily want it or you might notice your hair becomes quite thin. So women will have a range of different symptoms with PCOS. But like I said, the first indication which you might notice that isn’t quite right, is that cycles become more lengthy.
Answer from: Sibte Hassan, MBBS, FCPS, MRCOG, MSc
In some cases, the PCOS runs in the family so there could be a first degree relative which could be affected and that could raise suspicion. The early symptoms could be obviously menstrual cycle problems. If the cycle is prolonged or it is irregular or a bit heavier, you could suspect polycystic ovary, specifically if it is associated with more weight gain which is gradual and difficult to lose. Also if there are symptoms of high testosterone or male hormone in the body and these symptoms are increased hair growth gradually worsening and the hair are more thicker and some skin changes which is acne and again because of increased male hormone production. If these symptoms are there and if somebody’s in their productive age and they’re trying for pregnancy and they are not able to achieve it, the combination of irregular cycles weight gain, hair growth, difficulty in conception – any combination of the symptoms with possible family history could raise the suspicion.
What are the first signs of PCOS?
How is PCOS being diagnosed? What are the criteria to determine PCOS? Are there levels of severity of PCOS?