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Even if you’re not considering having children, reproductive health is central to overall health. For instance, your sexually transmitted infection (STI) status, hormone levels, and contraception use all affect your physical, emotional, and mental health.
If you have ovaries, it’s particularly important to be aware of conditions that can affect you, like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), so you can advocate for your own health.
According to the Office on Women’s Health, PCOS is an issue that affects
If you’re experiencing symptoms of PCOS, such as irregular periods, acne, weight gain, or unusual hair growth, you may want to consider at-home testing. PCOS test kits allow you to assess your hormone health without visiting a doctor or clinic.
Continue reading to learn all about at-home PCOS testing and five of the best options.
Strictly speaking, there’s no such thing as a “PCOS test” since no single test can diagnose PCOS. It’s not like testing for HIV, where a negative or positive test shows your status.
Instead, a PCOS test is a series of blood tests that measure hormone levels. They’ll check for higher-than-usual male hormone levels.
Additionally, if you visit a doctor in person, they may perform a pelvic exam, perform an ultrasound, or use blood tests to check your cholesterol, insulin, and triglyceride levels.
However, an at-home PCOS test provides information that may prompt you to seek further medical advice. Your doctor would then use a combination of blood test results, ultrasound imaging, physical examination, and your medical history to diagnose PCOS.
When doctors diagnose PCOS, they look for three characteristics, according to the
- absence of ovulation
- cysts on the ovaries
- high levels of androgens or sex hormones
Research from 2016 suggests your doctor will ask about your medical history and menstrual cycle to diagnose PCOS.
They’ll also use ultrasound imaging to look at the number of follicles on your ovaries. These fluid-filled sacs contain immature eggs. In someone with PCOS, there will be 12 or more.
If you have one or all of the above symptoms and your doctor rules out other potential conditions, like thyroid problems or excessive hormone production, they may diagnose PCOS.
It’s important to understand what an at-home PCOS test can and cannot do. It can provide information about your hormone levels, but it can’t say for certain that you have PCOS.
The at-home testing market is growing in popularity, and numerous PCOS tests are available. So to select the best, we considered the following:
- Ease of use. All of these options require a blood-prick sample and provide the proper equipment to do so. Some tests may require additional samples, like urine or saliva.
- Convenience. Most at-home tests come with prepaid return labels, provide easy access to digital results, and allow you to virtually meet with healthcare professionals should your tests indicate high hormone levels.
- Speed of results. Test results will vary by company, but it’s something we took into account when making our list.
- Price point. At-home testing kits tend to be on the pricier side. However, we still included tests at a wide variety of prices to best fit your budget. Additionally, some options accept flexible spending account (FSA) and health savings account (HSA) cards.
- Medical support. It’s important to have healthcare professionals in your back pocket if you need to discuss your results further. Many of these at-home tests allow you to virtually meet with a doctor or nurse practitioner after receiving your results.
- Reviews. All of the testing kits on our list have high reviews from customers.
Wherever possible, we also looked for companies that process test samples in
- $ = under $150
- $$ = $150–$200
- $$$ = over $200
LetsGetChecked PCOS Test
LetsGetChecked provides one of the only specific PCOS tests on the market. We rate it best overall thanks to its good reviews, accessible price, and the number of hormones tested.
The test looks at levels of:
If possible, collect your saliva and finger-prick blood sample on days 3, 4, or 5 of your menstrual cycle. However, if your period is infrequent or absent, you can take the test any weekday. After collecting both your samples, mail them to the laboratory on the same day using the prepaid envelope.
Within 2 to 5 days, your results are made available on the secure online dashboard. There’s also a dedicated team of nurses available to talk you through your results and discuss the next steps if necessary.
Best for comprehensive testing
Everlywell Women’s Health Test
The Everlywell Women’s Health Test is the most comprehensive in our lineup, as it tests for 11 biomarkers. Of these biomarkers, 10 are hormones and 1 is an antibody. The test analyzes estradiol, LH, FSH, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free T3, free T4, free testosterone, and thyroid peroxidase antibodies.
The test isn’t marketed specifically for PCOS. Instead, it measures key female hormones, many of which are associated with the condition.
Everlywell has great reviews, and the test is reasonably priced considering how many hormones it tests for. Also, Everlywell works with laboratories that hold
Testing is simple. After you place your order and receive the kit, register it online. You’ll then need to collect a finger-prick blood sample and saliva sample and return them in the mail for analysis. Your physician-reviewed digital results are delivered to the secure platform within a few days.
Best for health insights
Thorne Fertility Test
Thorne provides detailed insights into your health using their Onegevity Health Intelligence platform. Based on your results, they’ll identify potential health risks and areas for improvement and tailor a personalized health plan for you.
Although it’s not aimed specifically at PCOS, this at-home test helps you learn more about key hormones, including testosterone estradiol, FSH, LH, and SHBG. It’s also a great option if you’re concerned about your overall fertility.
You need to provide a finger-prick blood sample and saliva sample using the equipment in the test kit. You’ll then need to return your samples in the prepaid shipping envelope. Results take a little longer than some other tests, so you’ll have to wait for around 8 to 10 business days to receive them.
Best for doctor’s consultation
myLAB Box Women’s Health and Fertility Test
The myLAB Box Women’s Health and Fertility Test measures 10 hormones, including testosterone, TSH, LH, FSH, and DHEA. Plus, it includes a free telemedicine consultation with a doctor to discuss your results if they’re out of range. So, it’s a great option for anyone who appreciates the reassurance of qualified medical support.
MyLAB Box states that the test is 100 percent pain-free, but you will require a finger-prick blood sample and a saliva sample. Once you take your samples, mail them in, and expect to receive your results online in 2 to 5 days.
You’re assured of accurate testing, as the company uses CLIA certified labs and is listed with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Best for customized testing
Modern Fertility Hormone Test
Modern Fertility is a great option if you’re currently on birth control. The test is customized based on any additional hormones that may be triggered by birth control. Plus, you can choose to either take it at home or go to your local Quest Diagnostics lab to have them take the sample.
The company claims that they offer the same hormone tests offered by reproductive health professionals for a fraction of the price. The kit tests a multitude of hormones, including:
However, it does not analyze your testosterone level.
Once you send in your finger-prick blood test, you’ll receive your fertility profile in a few days. In addition to your hormone levels, you’ll also learn about your ovarian reserve. This will tell you if you have more or fewer eggs than average for your age and your thyroid levels.
The test also identifies any red flags, which will indicate whether you should discuss the possibility of PCOS with your doctor.
After the laboratory has analyzed your blood sample, they’ll compile your results. The report details the hormones tested for by the lab, their levels, and the reference ranges. A reference range is just a set of values that shows what typical levels are in a healthy individual.
However, blood test results for PCOS can be tricky to interpret. For example,
While at-home tests can be a good indicator of your hormone levels, it’s still important to get a full check-up. At your appointment, your doctor can use a combination of blood tests, a pelvic exam, and an ultrasound to make their diagnosis.
If you’ve decided that at-home PCOS testing is for you, it’s a matter of choosing the most suitable kit. Your decision may depend on the following factors:
- Price point. Try to pick a test that’s in your price range.
- Hormones measured. What hormones do you want to include — LH, FSH, or others too? Do you want an overall picture of your fertility?
- Results. Do you need answers within a few days, or are you comfortable waiting up to 10 days?
- Support. Is being able to chat with a nurse or doctor about your results important?
Considering these factors and reading reviews will help you choose a home PCOS testing kit that suits your needs.
According to MedlinePlus, PCOS affects fertility and puts you at an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that include high blood pressure.
Because of the health problems caused by PCOS, it is essential to contact a doctor if you’re experiencing any issues with your menstrual cycle and symptoms like acne, weight gain, or excess body hair.
Your doctor can recommend treatments depending on your desire to conceive. According to 2016 research, these include:
- lifestyle changes to help with weight loss
- hormonal contraception
- medications to help with fertility and egg release
- medications to reduce excessive hair
- cholesterol-lowering medications
- acne medications
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
Because PCOS affects hormonal balance, it can have various effects on the body. Symptoms may
- irregular or missed periods
- heavy periods
- excessive body hair
- male pattern baldness
- weight gain
- oily hair and scalp
Can PCOS be treated naturally?
PCOS is a complex condition with no known cure. Typically, treatment aims to restore hormone balance and uses hormonal medication. But some natural treatments and lifestyle changes may help the symptoms.
It’s best to check with your doctor before trying any alternative treatments, as they can assess the best options for you. They may recommend the following:
- dietary changes
- maintaining a moderate weight
- regular exercise
- stress management
- herbal supplements
What should I do if I test positive for PCOS?
If an at-home test kit suggests you may have PCOS, it’s important to visit your doctor for an official diagnosis.
Testing kits are designed to provide additional information that allows you to take control of your own health, rather than definitively diagnose a condition.
Your doctor can use various blood and imaging tests along with a medical history to provide an in-depth picture of your health. Then, if they diagnose PCOS, they can recommend suitable treatments to help balance your hormones and help with fertility.
If you’re experiencing any issues with your menstrual cycle or have concerns about PCOS, it’s best to speak with your doctor.
A range of at-home testing kits is available to provide additional information about your hormone levels. Although these tests cannot replace a trip to the doctor, they may help you take control of your health and gain further insight into your body.
Working with your doctor can help you manage PCOS symptoms and improve your overall health and well-being.
Zia Sherrell is a health copywriter and digital health journalist with over a decade of experience covering diverse topics from public health to medical cannabis, nutrition, and biomedical science. Her mission is to empower and educate people by bringing health matters to life with engaging, evidence-based writing.
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