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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Message Board
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Old 09-13-2009, 04:55 PM   #1
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ssjup81 HB User
What are my options?

Hello all. I know I've posted here before, but the thread is probably locked and long gone. Anyway, I really feel that I have PCOS, as I show pretty much all of the symptoms. The absent periods (been happening on and off since I first started at 12), facial hair (started in my teens), and I do have cysts on my ovaries. I was told this back in my teens. I guess they determined this from the blood tests. I was told that cysts on the ovaries was normal, though. I'm going on 28 now.

Anyway, as I mentioned, I'm turning 28 soon and I haven't had a period in a very long time. A very long time. A few years. I don't recall how many, though. I want to say maybe 2003 or 2004 and a big gap before that. The incident in 2003 or 2004 I was given pills to bring on my period (estrogen) and I pretty much bled week after week after week with no breaks. Back then, my pap tests also always came back negative for anything. I lost the insurance round about that time, so I never went back and just let the entire thing go when I finally stopped! I was relieved. I had it for months, even after I ran out of the medication.

That all aside, I am now unemployed and haven't had fulltime work since the recession hit in 2007. I'm worried now since it has been so long since I've had a period. Even when I was working, I couldn't afford to see a doctor and my being a Type II Diabetic meant unreasonable premium prices for having a "pre-existing condition" so I just went without the insurance and went without the GYN visits.

What should I do? I have no income and no insurance. If I go to a doctor, what should I ask about? What types of tests should I have done? What type of doctor should I see aside from the obvious GYN?

 
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Old 12-10-2009, 10:15 AM   #2
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Re: What are my options?

Sorry, just bumping this, as I'm still having this problem, and didn't want to make up a whole new thread asking the same exact thing...

Oh, and something I forgot to mention in the original post, when I was on my period because of the estrogen, all I felt was excruciating pain and I was so heavy, had to wear two pads at a time.

Last edited by ssjup81; 12-10-2009 at 10:18 AM.

 
Old 12-11-2009, 03:16 AM   #3
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Re: What are my options?

If I were in your situation I would contact your local dept. of Health/Human Services and ask about low or no cost woman care. A standard GYN would be able to do something for you.

And if you had a good health insurance plan a GYN doc would likely referr you to an endocrinologist.

Sorry to hear about your situation. I hope you can find a way to get the needed medical care. Good Luck!

 
Old 12-11-2009, 10:24 AM   #4
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Re: What are my options?

I only work part-time and ended up getting my own health insurance since it obviously isn't provided by my employer. I can barely afford it and it hardly covers anything, but my dad freaks out at the thought of me having no health insurance so I get it mainly to keep him off my back. Since I meet the income level for low-income in my state, any care provided under the hospital (which, my doctors are under the hospital umbrella) ends up being paid for if I send in a financial aid application. I don't like to do this, and rarely do this, but I simply don't feel like I can handle a full-time job at this time and can't afford expensive tests and procedures. You should look at what your state's laws are on this, though the thing is that doctors' offices expect payment up front if you don't have insurance. I let the bills go through my insurance first before I get the decision to pay or do financial aid. They also give the option of a $25 a month payment plan for any bill (though I don't know if this can be done up front).

Have you tried Planned Parenthood? I've heard of women getting low cost or free birth control from PP. I unfortunately don't have one in town, or I would've checked it out. You may even be able to see a doctor there. I'm not sure how it works. Hormone pills (bc) is what appears to be the most prescribed treatment for PCOS - it shuts everything down so your body isn't struggling to ovulate. Thus, more cysts don't build up. I was on it for a few months, but I didn't like the side effects so I went off and am now on metformin (you can read my recent thread about it).

I would say try the health department, but at least in Ohio, they won't do anything for young people unless they're disabled or pregnant. Kind of stinks, young women can't get lower-cost health insurance unless they're pregnant - then they suit you up with a free apartment, free healthcare, food stamps, etc. I can see the attraction when there are so few jobs out there, and the ones that are available are crappy, but I actually want to attempt to provide for myself and be a contributing member of society.

 
Old 12-11-2009, 07:54 PM   #5
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Re: What are my options?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pauligirl View Post
If I were in your situation I would contact your local dept. of Health/Human Services and ask about low or no cost woman care. A standard GYN would be able to do something for you.
I guess I could look into that. I wouldn't know where to start, though. I so hate those exams, but I know I'll need it at some point. It's always painful and uncomfortable for me.
Quote:
And if you had a good health insurance plan a GYN doc would likely referr you to an endocrinologist.
I'm surprised I was never referred to one in general. I still had insurance then. They always had to keep putting me on estrogen. I had it as a teenager. I'd take the dosage, then stop when I ran out. The period would stop too. I was immature at the time, though. I didn't miss having them since it was painful and always heavy. When I did go back on them after my final GYN visit about five or six years ago, I was put back on the estrogen, same thing, only this time, as I pointed out, it wouldn't stop! I couldn't afford to go back to the GYN to let them know that the cycle lasted for almost the entire year with no breaks. I didn't find out about PCOS or even of an "endocrinologist" until after the fact. I'd say about...2006 I found out about it. That's definitely the type of doc I probably should be seeing.
Quote:
Sorry to hear about your situation. I hope you can find a way to get the needed medical care. Good Luck!
Yeah, same. I just got out of the hospital because it turns out I had a Pulmonary Embolism, and had multiple ones in my lungs. I'm dreading the hospital bill since I have no insurance.

 
Old 12-11-2009, 08:07 PM   #6
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Re: What are my options?

Quote:
Originally Posted by partlycloudy View Post
I only work part-time and ended up getting my own health insurance since it obviously isn't provided by my employer.
Even with the full-time job I had, I wasn't offered it. Crazy, right?
Quote:
I can barely afford it and it hardly covers anything, but my dad freaks out at the thought of me having no health insurance so I get it mainly to keep him off my back.
Wow, I don't think my father thought much of it. Wish I could've had some insurance at least. Would've been helpful, and I'm certain I would've had more routine doctor's visits. I know for a fact that's why my diabetes is all out of whack now as well as my hormones (probably). No daily routine check ups.
Quote:
Since I meet the income level for low-income in my state, any care provided under the hospital (which, my doctors are under the hospital umbrella) ends up being paid for if I send in a financial aid application. I don't like to do this, and rarely do this, but I simply don't feel like I can handle a full-time job at this time and can't afford expensive tests and procedures. You should look at what your state's laws are on this, though the thing is that doctors' offices expect payment up front if you don't have insurance. I let the bills go through my insurance first before I get the decision to pay or do financial aid. They also give the option of a $25 a month payment plan for any bill (though I don't know if this can be done up front).
Maybe I should move to Ohio. lol I know that I didn't qualify for Medicaid, even though I was at the right income level while I was working, but since I wasn't receiving disability, wasn't blind, wasn't over 65, and didn't have children, I couldn't qualify.
Quote:
Have you tried Planned Parenthood? I've heard of women getting low cost or free birth control from PP. I unfortunately don't have one in town, or I would've checked it out. You may even be able to see a doctor there. I'm not sure how it works.
Actually, we do have one nearby. I actually went one time, but the atmosphere was so...terrible, I couldn't bring myself to stay. Everyone came across as very unprofessional and the place didn't seem very...clean.
Quote:
Hormone pills (bc) is what appears to be the most prescribed treatment for PCOS - it shuts everything down so your body isn't struggling to ovulate. Thus, more cysts don't build up. I was on it for a few months, but I didn't like the side effects so I went off and am now on metformin (you can read my recent thread about it).
I read that in other threads, about Birth Control pills. I know of the side effects of that, and would personally not want to ever be on it. I'm already on Metformin. 500mg twice a day for my Type II Diabetes. If Metformin is supposed to help those with PCOS, I wonder why it hasn't helped me. Like I said, I've never been diagnosed with PCOS, just was told back when I was like 16 or 17 that I had cysts on my ovaries and how it was nothing to worry about and how it was normal.

Anyway, how exactly does Metformin help PCOS?

 
Old 12-13-2009, 10:26 AM   #7
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partlycloudy HB User
Re: What are my options?

Anyway, how exactly does Metformin help PCOS?

My Dr. told me that it helps the pancreas and ovaries work more efficiently. I freaked out a little when reading the pamphlet that came with my metformin because it is a diabetic drug. I mean, I knew that before requesting that it be prescribed for me, but when I researched it, I only looked at it in relation to PCOS. It is also prescribed for PCOS women without diabetes; it lowers male hormones (PCOS women usually have an excess) which helps inhibit ovulation. Its main function is to fight insulin resistance - it was explained to me that most PCOS women have this, if even just a slight resistance, even if they aren't diabetic.

 
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