Polycystic Ovarian Sonogram
Polycystic ovaries (PCO) occur when there is a buildup of small cystic follicles (usually less than 1/2 inch each) when the ovary does not ovulate. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is the association of PCO with infertility, hair growth, abnormal hormones and missed periods.
A sonogram can determine if the ovaries are PCO but not if PCOS is present. PCOS requires history or laboratory evaluation. The sonogram has a compact enlarged central stroma surrounded by multiple small cysts, usually of a similar size of about 8 mm.
PCO appearance is contrasted with multicystic ovaries (MCO). The cystic areas in this sonogram are less than 2 cm in size and appear to represent multiple ovulatory follicles due to clomiphene stimulation. The central stromal area in normal size.
A normal ovary also has small cystic areas called follicles that vary from less than 4 mm up to 8 mm early in the cycle. This increase as ovulation approaches and can be up to 30 mm with normal ovulation.