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Andrea Dunaif Part 6, What If A Physician Thinks A Patient Has PCOS?

In part 6, the conclusion of this Exclusive Interview, Andrea Dunaif talks with Diabetes in Control Medical Editor Joy Pape about the steps to take if PCOS is suspected.

Andrea Dunaif, MD is system chief of endocrinology, diabetes & bone disease for Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Health System in New York, NY.

Transcript of this video segment:

Pape: Interesting. Well, I feel like we could go on and on talking about treatment, identification, so I’ll ask you this one thing and maybe next year we can get back together with more. And that is, so what would you tell clinicians? You got someone come in their office, what should they be aware of? What happens if they do think the woman does have PCOS? What’s the next step?

Dunaif: So, I think the message to get out to all physicians is that menses are a vital sign and they should be doing a menstrual history in any reproductive aged woman because if the menses are absent or irregular that’s a sign of an underlying hormonal disorder, usually PCOS, but it occasionally can be ovarian failure or hypothalamic amenorrhea,  and both the latter two are characterized by insufficient estrogen which can put you at risk for bone loss. So, they need to take that history. They can absolutely do the evaluation for PCOS. They can send the testosterone. But if they’re not comfortable, they can refer to their colleagues who are endocrinologists to have the individual further evaluated and screened for diabetes. And I think there’s growing awareness that we really need to do the two-hour post-challenge glucose, not just the hemoglobin A1C. So, absolutely easy for any health care provider to do the testing themselves, but certainly if they have an index of suspicion and they don’t feel comfortable, they can refer.

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