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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Message Board
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:15 PM   #1
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Will lab tests tell me anything if my BCP has stopped my cycle?

I am trying to figure out if I have PCOS. I am going to see my obgyn on Friday and I want to talk to her about this but I like to have a firm opinion before doing so (3 years of battling doctors over hypothyroid treatment will have that effect unfortunately).

These are the reasons I think maybe I might have PCOS:

1. As a teenager (before interference of birth control pills and later a copper IUD) my periods were irregular and spaced far apart, 29-40 days from cycle to cycle. I didn't know any better and my mom just thought everyone was different. They were also heavy and I had bad PMS and cramping.

2. I was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2005 (soon after stopping BCP and getting the IUD) and as a result I have gotten several ultrasounds in the last 8 years. I remember at least one where there were a bunch of circles on my ovary and the doctor told me they were just follicles and they were normal and would go away. Since I knew we were looking for big chocolate cysts I didn't bother worrying about it at the time. Maybe he was right but I don't have much faith in doctors anymore! I don't even remember which doctor that was to get a copy of the ultrasound.

3. Neither my mom or sister has been diagnosed (they are the never-go-to-the-doctor types so that doesn't mean much) but my first cousin does have PCOS.

4. I am hypothyroid and I know that often goes hand in hand with PCOS for some reason.

5. I am about 30lb overweight which I have mostly attributed to hypothyroid but when I first started on synthroid 3 years ago I lost about 22lb but then 6 months later it came back plus more. Despite meticulous food logging, daily intense exercise (plus full time job as a gardener) and tracking my calories burned with a BodyMedia armband I have been unable to shed a pound. But I carry my weight in my butt, hips and thighs not waist/belly.

6. Last summer I had an insulin test which was pretty low 4.1 (2.6-24.9) so that certainly doesn't indicate insulin resistance I don't think but at the same time I had a Hemoglobin A1c test 5.5 (4.8-5.6) and serum glucose 94 (65-99). So it seems I might be borderline pre-diabetic or this is a complication of PCOS and/or hypothyroid.

7. Since I have been struggling so much to get my thyroid in better shape my doctor did a bunch of blood tests I've never had before, including a bunch of sex hormones. I'm not sure these numbers mean anything because I don't have a cycle (haven't had a period since Feb 2010 when I had my IUD taken out and started taking Loestrin 24FE to control my endometriosis) but the results were:

LH 0.7 (follicular phase range:2.4-12.6, ovulation phase:14-95.6, Luteal phase:1.0-11.4, postmeno:7.7-58.5) What phase is it with BCP??

FSH 3.6 (follicular:3.5-12.5, ovulation:4.7-21.5, luteal:1.7-7.7, postmeno:25.8-134.8)

Prolactin 8.8 (4.8-23.3)

Estradiol 8.3 (follicular:12.5-166, ovulation:85.8-498, luteal:43.8-211, postmeno:<6-27)

Progesterone 0.4 (follicular:0.2-1.5, luteal:1.7-27, ovulation:0.8-3, postmeno:0.1-0.8)

Testosterone 78 (8-48)!

The testosterone was the only one marked high but most of the others seem to fall in the menopause range! I'm 32! Is this just a result of the BCP? I'm hoping my dr will know but like I said I've had so many bad dr experiences I don't have much hope.

When my PCP saw these results (along with a low TSH and high reverse T3) he got nervous and shipped me off to an endocrinologist. Well endos and I do NOT get along (back to the thyroid thing) but I made an appt with this new one anyway and waited the 3 months for the new patient appt. Well that was last week and it was a total bust. She was so incredibly rude I never even got a chance to ask her about the high testosterone. But in the last 3 months the research I've done shows PCOS as being the number one cause of high testosterone in women, or at least it seems that way. Shouldn't my BCP be supressing the testosterone? Every other sex hormone is supressed...But I don't have many obvious signs of high testosterone. The only unwelcome hair is on my big toes and I do have periodic hair loss at the top corners of my forehead (looks like I have a receding hairline but then it grows back then thins out again).

When I go to my obgyn Friday if she requests tests I'm afraid she won't be able to diagnose from them because of the supression cause by my BCP. I'm afraid to go off the BCP though because I get chocolate cysts very easily and I've already had 2 surgeries for them (which did almost more harm than good ) and Ive had several burst which is so painful. But I imagine even an ultrasound would be useless with my entire cycle on hold?

I'm soooo confused!! What should I do? If tests can't show anything maybe I'm wasting my money going to see the dr. I'd like to try metformin but I don't know if she'll prescribe it without a definitive diagnosis.

Any advice? Thanks!

 
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:11 AM   #2
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Re: Will lab tests tell me anything if my BCP has stopped my cycle?

If you are on bcp then you need to have blood drawn the day before you start back on your active pills - in other words, on the day of your last placeo pill.

 
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:41 AM   #3
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Re: Will lab tests tell me anything if my BCP has stopped my cycle?

Oh really? Thanks I didn't know that, that's very helpful!

Hopefully that still applies even though I only have 4 placebos per pack instead of 7? I suppose that's why I don't get a period. Apparently 4 days is enough to give me acne but nothing else lol.

Thanks!

 
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:58 PM   #4
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Re: Will lab tests tell me anything if my BCP has stopped my cycle?

That's going to be more problematic as you need to be off as long a possible. Since most are 7 days, that's what my gyno told me back when I was in your position. You could talk with your gyno which would be your best bet at this point.

 
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