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Q:  My doctor recently did a test on my testosterone and prolactin levels due to a suspicion of PCOS. He said my levels were normal, but I wanted to know if this definitely means that I do not have PCOS or if there are other tests that can be done. I have many of the symptoms for PCOS and I was wondering if the levels will always be high or if they can be low sometimes and high other times? Thank you so much for your help.

A: I am asked this question very frequently. Testosterone problems in women are due to two factors: the level of this hormone and her body's sensitivity to it. Many women with PCOS or other testosterone problems have normal levels but their hair follicles are very sensitive to testosterone. The most useful thing I can point out is that even if levels are normal, treatment can still help. Someone should never feel discouraged because a test is normal.

This situation of normal tests when a hormone problem is present is discussed in my articles on PCOS and on increased hair growth.

Hope this is helpful.

Geoffrey Redmond, MD

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