Can Hypothyroidism Be Misdiagnosed As PCOS?

PCOS, Hypothyroidism

Yes, it is likely. Polycystic ovaries are seen in women with hypothyroidism. PCOS and hypothyroidism have many symptoms in common, such as “anovulation” i.e. menstruation without releasing an egg. Some believe this is a possible cause of PCOS if anovulation is long term with its related low progesterone.

Other common symptoms of the two conditions are:

  • Insulin resistance
  • Blood sugar problems leading to diabetes
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Heavy periods
  • Weight gain (obesity)
  • Hair loss
  • Ovarian cysts

Generally, if an ultrasound examination reveals polycystic ovaries, the doctor should not jump to a “PCOS” diagnosis. Thyroid disorders should be excluded while diagnosing PCOS. However, at times, the overlap in the symptoms is so confusing, that it is likely that women with hypothyroidism are misdiagnosed as PCOS.

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