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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Message Board
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:02 PM   #1
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Is it really that bad?

Hi everyone. I was diagnosed with PCOS back when I was about 15 or 16 years old. The doctor didn't do anything about it and I never thought much of it (then) because the doctor didn't (and I liked not having a period on a regular basis [for all of my teen years and the majority of my 20s, it was pretty much absent and even now, it's more absent than not]). I'm going on 31 now. I still have the irregular periods. I'm so bad with the period thing, I still don't know the proper way you're supposed to keep track of it (like with the calender and stuff).

I was just wondering, aside from infertility (which wouldn't bother me in the least), what is the biggest danger of having PCOS and not doing anything about it? Anything particularly life-threatenting? What happens if you do nothing about it?

For the record, I'm a Type II diabetic, and I have used Metformin, but the infrequent periods were even more infrequent and more absent. So in that regard, I would have to say that the Metformin didn't work for that issue.

I guess I'm just curious and would like to be educated more on PCOS since the doctors themselves never really did and would like to hear from those who actually have it, as they're experienced with it and all.

Last edited by ssjup81; 08-20-2012 at 11:04 PM.

 
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:27 PM   #2
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Re: Is it really that bad?

Anyone? ^^;

 
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:37 AM   #3
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Re: Is it really that bad?

Hi,I'm new to PCOS,but I would say it is a big deal.
For one,it can increase your risk of getting diabetes,which you already have.
Not getting periods at least every 3 months also increases risks for cancer as abnormal cells build up when they aren't shed.

It can increase cholesterol levels,which puts you at risk for heart attack/stroke.

For me,it has been the effect it has on my appearance that has been the most disturbing.I have gained weight and have trouble keeping it off when I was always slim and in shape.I have had male qualities from the testosterone such as facial hair,and acne.And my moods are always crazy.

Now I'am on Spironolactone which gets rid of my acne and facial hair,
but I'm desperately waiting to be put on Metformin and possibly estrogen to even out my moods.

My FH and LH levels are that of a menopausal woman (I'm only in my early thirties!) and a sonogram did show numerous cysts on my ovaries.
I have not had a period since the beginning of summer and I feel like I have constant PMS.

 
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:10 AM   #4
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Re: Is it really that bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhenItRains View Post
Hi,I'm new to PCOS,but I would say it is a big deal.

For one,it can increase your risk of getting diabetes,which you already have.
Yeah. I've had it since my early 20s, but there was a huge chance of my getting that anyway. It runs rampant in my family...both sides. My father has it, his mother had it, my mother's mother have it, my mother's father had it, and the list goes on.
Quote:
Not getting periods at least every 3 months also increases risks for cancer as abnormal cells build up when they aren't shed.
I never thought about that. The increased risk of developing a type of cancer never even came to mind. I'd love to have menopause though. ^^; I hate periods and I don't want to "physically" have kids. Why go through the agony? If I ever DO decide on kids, meaning the urge to have them even comes back (it died back in my mid-20s), I'd rather adopt. No physical pain involved.
Quote:
It can increase cholesterol levels,which puts you at risk for heart attack/stroke.
Now this I didn't know. It may explain why my cholesterol level is so high. I got it checked recently (part of my health check here), and my good cholesterol was okay...not too low, not too high (about average), but my LDL level was like 223. Not sure if the doctor is going to put me on a cholesterol medication or not, though or if I could try something else. I guess I could say the PCOS is an attributing factor in that. I also got a liver test done saying that I have a lot of fat around my liver. I definitely want to rectify that problem.
Quote:
For me,it has been the effect it has on my appearance that has been the most disturbing.I have gained weight and have trouble keeping it off when I was always slim and in shape.
I've been overweight for the majority of my life, so...can't really relate in that regard. First time I unusually gained a lot of weight was when I was 7 and the second time was when I was about 12/13. Doctors couldn't figure out what the problem was back then, especially since I didn't particularly eat unhealthy and (at 7), I was still pretty active. I think now that maybe it was a reaction from the two tonsillectomies I had. First time, I was 7. Although it's rare, they grew back, and had to be taken out again (I also had tubes put in my ear that same day), when I was about 12. Two operations in one.
Quote:
I have had male qualities from the testosterone such as facial hair,and acne.And my moods are always crazy.
I've never had pimples/acne in my entire life. I didn't know that PCOS could increase your chances of getting it, though. I hope I never do. I don't even know what to do if you do get zits. I've never had to deal with them. Anywho, I have had the hair problem, though. I usually have to pluck a few hairs from my chin. That's pretty much the only place it grows. Hair doesn't grow on my legs or back or any of those other places that's usually associated with men.
Quote:
but I'm desperately waiting to be put on Metformin and possibly estrogen to even out my moods.
God I hate Metformin. My body doesn't take well to it, which is why my diabetes is so out of control now. I always had to stop taking it (and other equivalents that caused the same probs) so I could function throughout the day. I'm on insulin now at my insistence and I've never been happier. I just hate the fact I had to move to another country for the doctor to agree with what I felt was best for my body.

I have taken estrogen before. The GYN at that time gave it to me. It was horrible. It brought on my cycle, but it wouldn't stop, and was incredibly heavy (had to use like two - three pads at a time), painful, and I got many headaches. It went on for an entire year, even after I stopped taking the estrogen pills (not that I had a choice...I'd run out anyway and had no insurance to even go back).
Quote:
My FH and LH levels are that of a menopausal woman (I'm only in my early thirties!) and a sonogram did show numerous cysts on my ovaries.
I know I was told I had PCOS, but I can't for the life of me remember what was done for them to discover it. I have had a sonogram before...but I can't remember if the PCOS diagnosis was discovered through that or not. Way too long ago. I'm also not certain of my LH and FH levels (whatever they are ^^). How do you get that checked.

Right now, I'm living in Japan. I tried the GYN thing here...god-awful. The atmosphere was awful and the majority of GYNs are men. Female GYNs are a rarity, apparently. When I tried the visit, I just couldn't go through with it. I'd describe as being a woman on a conveyer belt. They're so concerned with getting it done, they don't really think much about the actual patient. Also, when trying to explain PCOS, they seemed confused about it as they didn't even know of the actual condition. I'm assuming I'd have to go to Tokyo or an area like that. I haven't done a GYN visit in nearly 10 years, until I tried a couple of weeks ago and couldn't get through the exam.
Quote:
I have not had a period since the beginning of summer and I feel like I have constant PMS.
Now for me, I've never had mood swings and all that. I was pretty much the same whenever I had a cycle and whenever I didn't. Only main change is that whenever one does come, I start to crave sweets and have an increase in appetite. That's the biggest difference. I guess I'm just used of the convenience of not having one, if I did have mood swings and stuff, I never really noticed. It's just so normal to me now given how long it's been. I guess I do feel a bit more annoyed at things than usual at times or maybe depressed at those times (big maybe).

That aside, I see what you mean about these risk factors. Wish I could do something about it, though. Personally, wish I could just get a hysterectomy and be done with it.

 
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:55 PM   #5
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Re: Is it really that bad?

Quote:
I never thought about that. The increased risk of developing a type of cancer never even came to mind. I'd love to have menopause though. ^^; I hate periods and I don't want to "physically" have kids. Why go through the agony? If I ever DO decide on kids, meaning the urge to have them even comes back (it died back in my mid-20s), I'd rather adopt. No physical pain involved
They can give you pills to induce a period at least every 3 months if it is something you are concerned about.Some women don't care though and decide to take the risk.


Quote:
Now this I didn't know. It may explain why my cholesterol level is so high. I got it checked recently (part of my health check here), and my good cholesterol was okay...not too low, not too high (about average), but my LDL level was like 223. Not sure if the doctor is going to put me on a cholesterol medication or not, though or if I could try something else. I guess I could say the PCOS is an attributing factor in that. I also got a liver test done saying that I have a lot of fat around my liver. I definitely want to rectify that problem.
I don't think I have had PCOS my whole life,and I think something has caused me to suddenly develop it in the last few years.I actually have a 14 year old daughter,so getting pregnant wasn't an issue for me in the past.
I can tell you,that since I have been having these ovary issues,my cholesterol has been through the roof.It went from like 220 to 283 in a year's time!
My doctor wants me to start taking lipator.



Quote:
I've been overweight for the majority of my life, so...can't really relate in that regard. First time I unusually gained a lot of weight was when I was 7 and the second time was when I was about 12/13. Doctors couldn't figure out what the problem was back then, especially since I didn't particularly eat unhealthy and (at 7), I was still pretty active. I think now that maybe it was a reaction from the two tonsillectomies I had. First time, I was 7. Although it's rare, they grew back, and had to be taken out again (I also had tubes put in my ear that same day), when I was about 12. Two operations in one.
For me it was a rapid weight gain in about a year's time.About 30 pounds and I barely eat at all. I'm also hypothyroid though,so that probably contributed to some of it.





Quote:
I've never had pimples/acne in my entire life. I didn't know that PCOS could increase your chances of getting it, though. I hope I never do. I don't even know what to do if you do get zits. I've never had to deal with them. Anywho, I have had the hair problem, though. I usually have to pluck a few hairs from my chin. That's pretty much the only place it grows. Hair doesn't grow on my legs or back or any of those other places that's usually associated with men.
Yes, alot of women with PCOS suffer from acne...You should consider yourself very lucky to never have had it! I had it quite severely at one point, and after years of going to the dermatologist,I knew something was wrong with me that was causing it.And I was right,it was my hormones.As soon as I started on Spironolactone, my acne cleared right up.
(Spironolactone is prescribed for PCOS and blocks testosterone.It also helps with the hair growth issues too)
It is also prescribed to women with PCOS to help with the bloating that we get.






Quote:
God I hate Metformin. My body doesn't take well to it, which is why my diabetes is so out of control now. I always had to stop taking it (and other equivalents that caused the same probs) so I could function throughout the day. I'm on insulin now at my insistence and I've never been happier. I just hate the fact I had to move to another country for the doctor to agree with what I felt was best for my body.
I have heard Metformin has gastrointestinal side effects.Is that why you didn't like it? How long were you on it?
I'm glad the insulin works for you though.I doubt they will put me on that though.My glucose levels are actually pretty good.

Quote:
I'm also not certain of my LH and FH levels (whatever they are ^^). How do you get that checked.
Fsh is Follicle-stimulating hormone,and LH is Luteinizing hormone.I believe women with PCOS usually have a high ratio of LH to Fsh.It is easy to get tested,just a simple blood test.



Quote:
Now for me, I've never had mood swings and all that. I was pretty much the same whenever I had a cycle and whenever I didn't. Only main change is that whenever one does come, I start to crave sweets and have an increase in appetite. That's the biggest difference. I guess I'm just used of the convenience of not having one, if I did have mood swings and stuff, I never really noticed. It's just so normal to me now given how long it's been. I guess I do feel a bit more annoyed at things than usual at times or maybe depressed at those times (big maybe).

That aside, I see what you mean about these risk factors. Wish I could do something about it, though. Personally, wish I could just get a hysterectomy and be done with it.
You are so lucky you also don't have mood swings.I have read many women with PCOS also have depression issues,and I definitely have those.
Even more so since I have not had a period in 3 months.But I also heard once they are treated (usually with Metformin,which also stabilizes hormones) that they tend to feel better.So maybe since you are on insulin treatment your moods aren't affected?

Trust me,I don't want anymore kids either-but menopause is no joke.
At least if it is anything like how I have been feeling...Crying one minute,angry the next,hot flashes,weight gain,night sweats.
It really is like PMS 24/7.Which is why I so desperately want to get my hormones straightened out.I wasn't always like this and I really miss how I used to feel.
I'd get a hysterectomy tomorrow if I could! Being a woman is a huge pain at times.

Last edited by WhenItRains; 08-23-2012 at 11:57 PM.

 
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