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PCOS

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Got a question about Student Finance? Ask the experts this week on TSR! 14-09-2014
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    Hi- I have pcos, or polycystic ovarian syndrome.

    This only affects women - as guys dont usually have ovaries, and has a range of symptoms, such as;

    acne
    irregular periods
    flooding when you do menstrate
    difficulty conceiving/infertility
    hirsutism- or excess body hair
    weight gain/difficulty losing weight linked to insulin resistance
    thinning of hair on top of the head

    most women usually notice from their mid teens to early 20's, however some women do not know until they try to concieve.
    it is diagnosed using blood tests and an ultra-sound of your ovaries.
    there is no cure, however metformin can help with the ovarian cysts and a dietary change with the weight loss.

    the symptons can be very stressful and upsetting for women who feel sensitive about their bodies or are worried about irregular periods.

    This is a thread for women who suffer from it, suspect they may have it, or anyone who knows someone who has it or is curious to know more to discuss pcos.
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    Its really common - I have it, albeit only the irregular periods and wacked up hormones but no actual cysts (though I do have bulky ovaries). Weirdly enough all three of my best friends have it too, and another friend of ours is being scanned for it this week.
    #1

    Hm Ive been worrying that I have it a lot lately, i booked an appointment with the doctor to put my mind at ease but is it a waste of their time? I think I'm just going to cancel it because it's not til july. If I do have it and don't know, is that bad? Can you get properly treated for it?

    My period is quite regular, but I have hair on my lower back and stomach (ugh) and I do have a bit of acne.... But not on my neck and chin. Also I have gained a bit of weight recently, but that could easily just be because of lifestyle change. Am i just being paranoid?
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    Hey all,

    I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was about 15 (now 22). My main symptom was periods - crazy heavy, long and irregular. It was awful, I hated it. Tried a few different meds to help - tranexamic acid (not sure of spelling) was fab - but meant I was constantly taking loads of pills (not to mention all the iron I had to take too). Have been on the pill now since diagnosis and it's so much better - actually manageable now!

    I don't really have other symptoms (besides being overweight) and when I was scanned didn't have cysts.

    To the above poster: If you were worried enough to make an appointment, you might as well keep it. Even if it turns out to be nothing - at least you'll know. If you do have PCOS there are ways to manage your symptoms.
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    Its a stupid name for a condition.
    1. you can have PCOS and not have any 'cysts' which I find weird.
    2. They're not even 'cysts' they are follicles.
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    (Original post by Sean3000)
    Its a stupid name for a condition.
    1. you can have PCOS and not have any 'cysts' which I find weird.
    2. They're not even 'cysts' they are follicles.
    that is a valid point. there is no one thing that diagnoses you with pcos; there is just a cocktail of symptons all linked, and often appear together. The follicles are eggs that grew and developed, but were never actually released. As a result they cause elevated levels of testosterone, and mean the ovaries become enlarged.
    Sometimes women have to have operations to remove the unreleased eggs - which are now often refered to cysts, which you are calling follicles.

    This technicality however does not detract from physical and emotional effects the syndrome has on its sufferers.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Hm Ive been worrying that I have it a lot lately, i booked an appointment with the doctor to put my mind at ease but is it a waste of their time? I think I'm just going to cancel it because it's not til july. If I do have it and don't know, is that bad? Can you get properly treated for it?

    My period is quite regular, but I have hair on my lower back and stomach (ugh) and I do have a bit of acne.... But not on my neck and chin. Also I have gained a bit of weight recently, but that could easily just be because of lifestyle change. Am i just being paranoid?
    There is no cure for pcos, however there are medications and treatments to help you deal with the symptoms.
    It won't be a waste of your doctors time, because although pcos is not as bad some other diseases, it can still have effects on your health and your life. I suspected i had pcos for a while as it is hereditory, my mum has it, and i displayed the symptoms. It got better once it was diagnosed, because I was advised on what action to take.

    I was tested by blood test and an ultrasound of my ovaries.My periods were not regular, but they are improving. This could be because I was put on metformin, however, i also changed my lifestyle.
    I had weight issues; women with pcos often have this as it is linked to insulin resistance. I avoided high carbs like pasta, bread and rice, stuck to protein and salad.
    if when trying to lose weight, you find meat to be too fatty or calorific Quorn may be lower calorie, with good amounts of protein, depending on the product.
    Don@t forget to do plenty of exercise.

    I have small hairs on my neck and chin, and am having electrolysis to remove these as they are sparse. Like you, I have hair on my stomach - this is more dense so i am having epilight treatment.
    I had acne, and it still sometimes comes back. for this I have been prescribed Retin-A face cream.

    once my course of epilight/electrolysis is over, and i have lost weight (which is going well), i will still have pcos, but the symptoms will have no effect as long as I stick to the lifestyle.

    did you know that victoria beckham has pcos?
    having it doesn't mean you are doomed to a life of over-hanging stomach, shaving your lady-beard, covering a hairy stomach and being lucky to have children - i thought it was when it started. but these are all very treatable.

    I hope this helps and you start to feel better about it
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    I have it. I dont suffer all of the symptoms.
    I suffer by having no periods. I use to have really heavy ones, but now they have stopped completely. Also I have hair I have to get rid of on my face.
    I was big but I have mangaed to lose a lot of weight and am now keeping it stable.

    If yu think you have it, go to your appointment.
    #1

    (Original post by brunettegirl92)
    There is no cure for pcos, however there are medications and treatments to help you deal with the symptoms.
    It won't be a waste of your doctors time, because although pcos is not as bad some other diseases, it can still have effects on your health and your life. I suspected i had pcos for a while as it is hereditory, my mum has it, and i displayed the symptoms. It got better once it was diagnosed, because I was advised on what action to take.

    I was tested by blood test and an ultrasound of my ovaries.My periods were not regular, but they are improving. This could be because I was put on metformin, however, i also changed my lifestyle.
    I had weight issues; women with pcos often have this as it is linked to insulin resistance. I avoided high carbs like pasta, bread and rice, stuck to protein and salad.
    if when trying to lose weight, you find meat to be too fatty or calorific Quorn may be lower calorie, with good amounts of protein, depending on the product.
    Don@t forget to do plenty of exercise.

    I have small hairs on my neck and chin, and am having electrolysis to remove these as they are sparse. Like you, I have hair on my stomach - this is more dense so i am having epilight treatment.
    I had acne, and it still sometimes comes back. for this I have been prescribed Retin-A face cream.

    once my course of epilight/electrolysis is over, and i have lost weight (which is going well), i will still have pcos, but the symptoms will have no effect as long as I stick to the lifestyle.

    did you know that victoria beckham has pcos?
    having it doesn't mean you are doomed to a life of over-hanging stomach, shaving your lady-beard, covering a hairy stomach and being lucky to have children - i thought it was when it started. but these are all very treatable.

    I hope this helps and you start to feel better about it
    Wow so much information, thank you so much!

    I have to admit, I did cancel the appointment this morning but now that I have read this I'll re-book it when its not as close to my birthday

    And no I didn't know about Victoria Beckham I guess I did just assume it was all doom and gloom.

    Ps sorry I'm just curious, is the electrolysis done through the NHS? Because it's due to PCOS?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)

    Ps sorry I'm just curious, is the electrolysis done through the NHS? Because it's due to PCOS?
    I'm glad you will still have an appointment. Once you have an appointement and you have a diagnosis, you can be treated.

    You may have to ask your doctor this question - however, the clinic i used did ask me if I was eligible for it to be done by the nhs, but i didn't know if it was or not.

    The clinic i use is one of the more expensive ones, but this is because the staff are well trained, have years of experience and are recommeded by the hospital.
    For electrolysis on my face it is £25 a session, and i go every 12 weeks.
    I have the same amount of time between my epilight sessions on my lower stomachm and theis costs me £90 session. This is rather steep, so if you can't get that off the NHS, you could try laser treatment, which is cheaper, or electolysis if the hairs are sparse

    also if you are put on metformin, if you are over 18 you won't have a medical exemption because it is not for diabetes. What i recommend is speaking to your doctor to see if there is anything you can do to get them for free. If you can't what i do is not tell the pharmacist its for PCOS. I do not lie and say it is for diabetes, and if asked i am truthful, but if they don't ask i see no need to mention it to them.
    I am a student and medication is expensive. plus why should i pay for a medication that will help increase my chances of having children against the most common cause of female infertility?
    You may have to push to get treated and be really stubbon, because one thing both me and my mum have found is that not all doctors take pcos seriously as a problem.
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    (Original post by brunettegirl92)
    If you can't what i do is not tell the pharmacist its for PCOS. I do not lie and say it is for diabetes, and if asked i am truthful, but if they don't ask i see no need to mention it to them.
    This is wrong. When you fill out the prescription form you should not lie to say that you have medical exemption when you don't. So by filling out the form incorrectly to say that you do not need to pay you are lying.

    You can ask to have up to 3 months on your repeat prescription (I think it is 3, most of mine are) which lowers the cost as you don't need to get it so often.



    Edit: You can afford to pay £115 every 12 weeks for expensive private treatment but you can't afford to pay less than £8 every 12 weeks for a prescription?
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    I have PCOS. It was diagnosed about a year ago (when i was 18) when i finally had an ultrasound and a blood test after years (since i started my period at 12) of suffering with ridiculously heavy, long and irregular periods, and excess hair (which is really awkward). Turns out i have loads of polyps on my ovaries. I'm on the contraceptive pill and it has helped a little bit, but i still suffer with really bad periods, and i have put a load of weight on
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    (Original post by Mini-Cooper)
    This is wrong. When you fill out the prescription form you should not lie to say that you have medical exemption when you don't. So by filling out the form incorrectly to say that you do not need to pay you are lying.

    You can ask to have up to 3 months on your repeat prescription (I think it is 3, most of mine are) which lowers the cost as you don't need to get it so often.



    Edit: You can afford to pay £115 every 12 weeks for expensive private treatment but you can't afford to pay less than £8 every 12 weeks for a prescription?
    I don't say i have a medical exemption. if you got off your high horse, you may be able to see the post enough to read it.
    when i fill out the form i don't sign that i do -as i said, i don't lie.
    diabetics get the drug for free, and they just assume i'm diabetic. when asked, i am truthful and pay. when not asked, i keep quiet.

    I get it every three months, but it is pretty expensive.
    also my treatment is private because my consultant didn't advise me that i could get it on the nhs.
    and i haven't been in months because i cannot afford it.
    i don't pay for my treatment with my own money; it gets given to me for christmas, birthday, and i try to make it stretch.

    not that my financial situation is any of your darn buisiness
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    (Original post by brunettegirl92)
    I don't say i have a medical exemption. if you got off your high horse, you may be able to see the post enough to read it.
    when i fill out the form i don't sign that i do -as i said, i don't lie.
    diabetics get the drug for free, and they just assume i'm diabetic. when asked, i am truthful and pay. when not asked, i keep quiet.
    But if you filled it out correctly then you would have to tick the box to say you have to pay, in which case they would be unlikely to question it, and if they did you would still have to pay.
    A diabetic ticks the box for medical exemption and has an exemption certificate.

    So from that information I can only gather that you are not filling it out correctly.
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    (Original post by Mini-Cooper)
    But if you filled it out correctly then you would have to tick the box to say you have to pay, in which case they would be unlikely to question it, and if they did you would still have to pay.
    A diabetic ticks the box for medical exemption and has an exemption certificate.

    So from that information I can only gather that you are not filling it out correctly.
    On mine you have to tick a box for medical exemption, and i don't tick.
    My pharmacist doesn't ask for an exemption certificate.
    I make sure I fill out the forms correctly, and i still sometimes get free medication. they just read it after i've filled it out and say "you don't pay for metformin" and i just say "oh okay", and take the meds and go.
    as money is tight - partly due to the treatment (if its really tight i only have my face done - i'm still too fat for a bikini anyway), if my pharmacist throws three months of free meds at me I'm not going to argue.
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    (Original post by brunettegirl92)
    I make sure I fill out the forms correctly, and i still sometimes get free medication. they just read it after i've filled it out and say "you don't pay for metformin" and i just say "oh okay", and take the meds and go.
    Ok. That makes sense. It sounded a bit odd before but now I understand it is totally what the pharmacist said and not the form filling out.
    I'm sorry that I clearly got the wrong end of the stick before.
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    (Original post by Mini-Cooper)
    Ok. That makes sense. It sounded a bit odd before but now I understand it is totally what the pharmacist said and not the form filling out.
    I'm sorry that I clearly got the wrong end of the stick before.
    ah nah thats fine, my pharmacist is probably more relaxed about giving out free medication than most others.
    Although i believe that the medication should be free anyway - something to do with left wing views yaddy yaddy yaddy- i wouldn't explicitly lie on the form as i see that to be immoral.
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    Hey, I went to an ultrasound since I had not had periods for 4 months and it turns out that I have Polycystic ovaries. I did my own research and found that I have the Syndrome since I have all of the symptoms. I have gained almost 10 kg in the last one year and my hair has become super-thin and it falls like anything plus the hair on my chin are growing extra long too. All this has seriously affected my self-esteem, I don't feel like going out much because I feel really ugly.
    I am going to see my GP this week and talk about medication. Apart from that, I am going to get all this flesh off my body, can't even imagine being infertile.
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    Hey, I'm 16 and just (like this morning) got diagnosed with PCOS. I'm overweight (Not just teenage girl OMG I AM SO FAT, really fat), and have unwanted hair. I've got an ultrasound next week to check my ovaries and am trying to avoid a blood test at all costs.
    I've been looking around the internet and this leaflet my GP gave me and...well I'm feeling pretty depressed so can anyone cheer me up?
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    Aww, I know it can be a struggle but it's not all bad - even some women who've had a tough time with symptoms have managed to do pretty well and have kids etc.

    I'm also quite overweight and it's not really been till this year that I've actually been motivated to do something about it. That said, I still don't go the gym anywhere near as much as I should, and chocolate is just so tempting! But I'm trying!

    I know lots of people are scared of needles etc but it really can be worth getting blood tests - as far as I was aware PCOS can be diagnosed by either scan or blood tests but scans aren't conclusive - I have PCOS but my ovaries are fine (or at least they were when I got scanned). So a blood test would confirm that you have it (rather than just the symptoms which aren't necessarily exclusive to PCOS...)

    When I was younger I spent a bit of time on some forums and it was nice to hear how other people managed etc.I think one of them was Verity? But one of them had a section for teens/young people which was nice.

    I found my teens very difficult - both before and after diagnosis but since being put on medication to control my symptoms (periods) I feel much better and my life is so much better than it was. I also felt frustrated being bounced around doctors/consultants who just didn't get me, and weren't telling me anything I didn't already know - found out a lot more useful stuff on the internet than I did from them...

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