I think I might have polycystic ovaries. I have irregular periods, i'm a bit overweight, and I have noticeable body hair in unwanted places (on my top lip, and from my pubic region up to my belly button). I know women from some ethnic origins are more "hairy" but i'm completely english and as far as i know english women don't tend to be 'hairy'. Also no other women in my family have this body hair. I'm going to book an appointment with the doctor soon - should i just tell him/her that i think i have polycystic ovaries? How is it tested for? there treatment for it? is this curable or mearly 'therapeutic'?
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Polycystic Ovaries watch
- Thread Starter
- 16-07-2007 11:26
- 16-07-2007 11:37
Do a search for polycystic ovaries as there are many threads about it. But, overall don't worry as worrying can just delay your period even more. As far as I know there is no cure for polycystic ovaries but its symptoms can be treated. You could explain to your GP that you think you have it but I would personally just tell them all the symptoms first and then suggest polycystic ovaries if they look like they don't have a clue- but I'm sure it won't come to that!
Good luck. Be happy. Keep smiling!
- 16-07-2007 11:40
Tell him/her the symptoms and they will work it out for themselves, but yes, it does sound like PCOS.
Curable? No, it can only be managed with diet etc.
It's tested for by means of blood tests and/or ultrasound scans.
There's no treatment per se as it isn't curable and it affects different people differently. It's always advisable to keep an eye on your diet if you have PCOS as you can be more susceptible to weight gain, and to establish a good skin routine as many PCOS sufferers also suffer with acne. Dianette (the contraceptive pill) can help to manage the latter, but is not so helpful with the former as it can increase your appetite and make you even more susceptible to weight gain (as I found out only recently...grr). Dianette (or any contraceptive pill, for that matter) will also help to regulate your periods (another problem associated with PCOS). As for the hirsutism (unwanted facial/body hair), you can use any hair removal method that suits you to help remove or conceal it, whether it's shaving, tweezing, waxing, hair removal creams, electrolysis or laser treatment. The latter two are more expensive and if you're going to do any of the first four make sure you use products that are suitable for your face if that's where the hair is.
Don't be afraid to go to your doctor - more people have PCOS than you might think (it's estimated about 1 in 5 women have it) and it DOESN'T automatically mean you'll be infertile or anything like that. They'll be able to help you
- 16-07-2007 11:42
i don't really know much about polycystic ovaries but i do know that Dianette, a type of the pill, is used to treat it.
It helps to regulate your peroid, makes it lighter and less painful, and after about 6months to a year, reduces body hair. It also combats acne, I don't know if that's related to polycystic ovaries or not, but that's the reason I'm on Dianette.
Hope this helps, if not try googling or NHS Direct-ing it, or looking up Dianette to see how it helps..
- 16-07-2007 12:43
There's recently already a thread on PCOS.
PCOS - under the new definition - is the presence of 2 of the 3 features:
1) polycystic ovaries on ultrasound (US) = ovaries with many cysts on its surface and can be seen by ultrasound
2) oligo-/anovulation = many / no ovulation, ie. follicles in the ovary(ies) develop but fail to actually ovulate, in this case they usually then progress to become cysts
3) clinical or biochemical hyperandrogenism = high androgen (hormone) levels which can be detected by clinical signs, or biochemically through blood tests
PCOS diagnosis is not that straight forward because of an unclear underlying cause. Ultrasound detection of cysts alone & hormone assays (blood tests) are often not enough to confirm PCOS. Clinical hyperandrogenism (ie. hirsutism = lots of hair, ie. facial hair) is also used, and Obesity, which could lead to oligo-/anovulation. Glucose tolerance tests are recommended, esp for obese women because they are prone to become diabetic, either temporarily or permanently.
Calorie reduction + weight loss with / without metformin (an insulin-sensitising drug to deal with the "diabetes") are usually preferred for obese patients.
Clomifene citrate, a drug that controls works against hormone oestrogen, is used to sort of balance the hormone levels in the body and help induce an ovulatory / menstrual cycle.
If these fail, Laparoscopic Ovarian Diathermy (operation) or Gonadotrophin treatment (to deal with unbalanced hormone levels in the body) could be used.