This article has been sponsored by Randox Health. All views are The PCOS Collectives’ own.
Getting an appointment with your GP to check key hormones is no easy feat. Unless you’re undergoing private treatment it is unusual to have your hormone and key nutrient levels checked regularly if you have PCOS. Randox Health has introduced a solution – PCOS blood tests in the UK. We reviewed the new PCOS blood test from Randox Health so keep reading if you’re curious about blood tests for PCOS.
What does Randox Health measure and why?
Each Randox Health test for PCOS measures over 45 data points across hormonal health, thyroid health, full blood count, iron status, heart health, diabetes health and nutritional health. We’ve explored some of the key tests below:
Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH)
Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) is a hormone produced by cells in the developing ovarian follicles. It can be used as a marker for ovarian reserve which refers to the number of eggs a person’s ovaries still have. A higher ovarian reserve is generally associated with more chances for a successful pregnancy.
In 2023 the Monash PCOS Guidelines state that serum AMH levels could be used for defining PCOM (polycystic ovarian morphology) in people with PCOS i.e. suggesting that AMH testing could be used instead of an internal ultrasound in the diagnostic process for PCOS. It is important to note that these guidelines haven’t been incorporated by NICE yet but this is a promising development in the world of PCOS.
Testosterone is part of the androgen family and is a primary sex hormone in people assigned male at birth. One of the main symptoms of PCOS is hyperandrogenism, high androgen levels in the body, which presents as oily skin, acne, alopecia, hirsutism and more. Knowing your testosterone levels can help with diagnosing PCOS and monitoring the condition.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that has many functions in the body including the metabolism of fatty acids and amino acids, normal blood formation and neurological function. In people with PCOS, there does appear to be a link between low concentrations of B12 and people with PCOS and insulin resistance. Also, those taking Metformin (the insulin-sensitising medication) should be conscious of their B12 status because long-term use of the medication is associated with B12 deficiency.
Monitoring your B12 status should be essential, especially if you take metformin to manage your PCOS.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble hormone that the body can produce from direct sunlight on the skin. Vitamin D levels appear to be lower in people with PCOS, and evidence suggests that vitamin D supplementation may improve insulin resistance, fertility and mood. Knowing your vitamin D status can be helpful to manage your PCOS symptoms and improve overall health.
Who is this PCOS blood test suitable for?
This is suitable for people who believe they have PCOS and are unable to access testing via their doctor, and for people already diagnosed with PCOS to monitor their health status.
Our experience at Randox Health
We were invited to try the PCOS blood test at Randox Health and documented our experience.
Before the appointment
Upon booking of the appointment, we received a pre-test document with details about the tests, and information about how to prepare for the test, helping us feel at ease. It advised that a 6-hour fast was required for the appointment to accurately measure diabetes health markers like HBA1C.
During the appointment
Upon arrival, we were greeted by a member of the team and given a consent form to sign, plus offered water whilst we waited. We were taken into a consultation room by the health assistant who confirmed our details.
Basic measurements were carried out, and blood pressure and pulse were measured. Then blood was taken ready to be sent to their in-person lab. The health assistant put us at ease and made us feel comfortable, answering any questions we had. The entire appointment only took about 15 minutes, making it easy to squeeze into a lunch break!
After the appointment
Within 2-4 working days you receive your results via their online portal. From here you can download four documents including your key findings for easy reading, and a complete document which is a comprehensive report to dive into or show your healthcare team. We received our report just over 48 hours after the appointment.
The reports are easy to understand and contain a lot of information. If you feel overwhelmed by the results or want further support following the appointment you can purchase and book a follow-up GP appointment with one of Randox’s GPs.
Key takeaways: PCOS blood tests
PCOS blood tests at Randox Health can be a great way to get tested to see if you may have PCOS or to check your health status if you currently live with PCOS. They check a plethora of different health markers and provide an easy-to-understand report that you can discuss with your own healthcare team. There are clinics all over the UK and Ireland