Polycystic Overies

Updated on October 02, 2008
T.J. asks from Braselton, GA
15 answers

I have been having some trouble with my cycles and so I went to my OBGYN. I got some blood work done and nothing came out of the blood work. I had to go back for a second appointment so that they could do an ultrasound on my overies. They said that I have polycystic overies. I have had two children, which is good because I heard if you have this condition then it is hard to get pregnant. I was given some pills to take to jump start my cycles, the problem with that is that I also have a condition called Factor V Leiden, which I can never take any type of birth control pills again. It is a blood clotting condition (which I have already had a blood clot in my leg). My question is if any of you have had polycystic overies and what did they do for you? I also know that it can be linked to diabeties, which I am going to go and get tested for soon.

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C.W.

answers from Athens on

I have Polycystic Ovarin Syndrome. It is caused by an elevation of testosterone in my blood. I have been on Glucophage (Metformin), and the only thing I could tell that it did for me was to give me diarrhea. However, my doctor told me to eat lots of fruit, at least 5 servings a day and to lose weight, but I really could not tell a difference. I have just learned to deal with irregular cycles. It's mostly just an annoyance that I can never plan for when I will have my cycle. I am down to about 3 weeks between cycles now, and it has been that way since October. So you can try the glucophage, or you can try diet and exercise. Can you take premarin? They gave me that when I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I only took it the first 12 days of the month, and a couple of days after I stopped, I would get my cycle.

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D.W.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi T.,
Have you ever read the book, "What your Doctor may not tell you about Pre Menepause"? Its written by a doctor and its great! Its full of wonderful information in layman's terms as well as medical. Every thing from foods that cause our problems to using natural progesterone topical creams to allieviate a lot of issues. It also talks about what drugs help and hinder the process. I know you're young and aren't even thinking about getting close the the "change", but you can truly learn a lot from this book. If you're estrogen dominant and need progesterone, let me know.
D.

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K.W.

answers from Macon on

I am 34 years old and was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 23. The way I understand it is that basically my eggs form "cysts" on my ovaries instead of releasing when I ovulate. So, technically, the "cysts" are just eggs that didn't travel properly. I went through years of different pills and tests and not much ever worked. I also have severe migraines and cannot take anything with estrogen which complicated things b/c the best way to regulate is birth control(which I see you can't take, either). I went through pure hell trying to get pregnant and it ended up taking almost 6 years, but I have a beautiful 2 1/2 year old girl now. I am on the pill, now, but it is a progesterone only pill and I can tolerate it.

The link to diabetes is b/c most women with this are overweight. Not all, but most and I am one of them(although I do not have diabetes). PCOS causes your body to process insulin differently, so most women with it are put on Metformin. I couldn't tolerate it at first, but ended up a few years later trying the Rx again and it helped. I even lost 43 pounds on it(it helps to stabilize your blood sugar and therfore can curb hunger). However, b/c of some other condiditons I had to stop taking it. I do hope to start again soon, though. It is very rough on your stomach for the first month or so or until you figure out how to eat properly with it.

I would be happy to share some of my experiences with you if you would like to email me at [email protected]____.com are not alone. This is actually much more common than you think. Take care.

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A.G.

answers from Spartanburg on

T.,

So sorry you have this. But, it can be helped. Check out the PCOSupport boards online. I took 1000 mg Fortamet, which was the most easily tolerable med. My doctor regularly checked my insulin levels to make sure that it was helping in that area. Following a low-sugar diet will help. Personally, I follow a dairy, wheat, and soy-free diet. And I take a high-quality fish oil. We also eat hormone-free meat, eggs and goat milk products, and I have a garden so I can have organic produce at a cheaper price.

The doctor also said I would be deficient in Vitamin D, so to take Calciferol multivitamin to make sure to get enough Vit D. I have heard the saliva test is better, but haven't ever taken it.

I also was greatly helped by acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbal medicine. My practitioner specialized in infertility and women's health, and was very knowledgeable about nutrition and health. I cannot overemphasize how much this helped!

Exercise is also very important. I have heard (and found for myself) that an hour a day of very intense exercise is what it takes. It's hard!

Good luck.

A.

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C.C.

answers from Spartanburg on

Hey T.
A few years ago, they told me I had PCOS after I expressed concerns over not being able to get pregnant and missing periods. I was also experiencing depression and bad acne, along with skin tags and extra hair growth. I luckily had a very mild form and once I lost weight (I was taking Adipex to help) I was able to get pregnant and all the symptoms went away. With me, they also found pre-diabetes and hypothyroidism. I'll be on synthroid for my thyroid for life, but I haven't had any issues with the PCOS since. I would ask my OBGYN for a referral to an ENT to get my thyroid thoroughly checked (even if the blood test there are normal the 2 issues can be connected), and if you're overweight, work on that as well. I have a two friends with the severe version of it and they are both overwhelmed at times with depression and health issues due to the PCOS.
I really hope things go well for you. God Bless.

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R.

answers from Atlanta on

q

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B.S.

answers from Atlanta on

I too have pcos and have a family history of diabetes (I had gestastional diabetes also). Anyways, what I have been on is Metformin, which is the generic of glucaphage and drug for pre-diabetes. They have found that metformin has the side effect of helping women ovulate and sometime loose weight (all symptoms of pcos). I did become more regular after taking metformin. I do not know how this will affect Factor V. You may have to find alternative birth control methods.

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A.K.

answers from Atlanta on

I have PCOS but never had cysts just other symptoms like infertility and weight issues. I was put on fortamet to help get pregnant which worked 2x but was never really taking anything for maintenace. Some people stay on meds and others don't, prob depends on each individual case. I dont have diabetes either but it is linked because of insulin. there is a good forum www.soulcysters.net where all your questions and then some will be answered. I just got mirena put in and that doesn't have same stuff it has in pills so you can maybe look into that. With mirena, you could have periods or you may not and it can stay in up to 5 years. hope that helps

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K.M.

answers from Atlanta on

I have PCOS and have never been able to have children. PCOS has several "symptoms" which include male pattern baldness, skin tags, weight gain, diabetes or pre-diabetes, excessive hair growth (chin, face, etc). Sounds like fun, huh? I am on birth control pills to regulate my cycle, but do not ovulate. I also have the weight gain (I gained 60 lbs in a year after going off the pill) and skin tags. I take Metformin for my pre-diabetes. My understanding is that you become insulin resistant with PCOS which means that your cells think they have too much insulin and will not absorb insulin as they should. This causes the weight gain because you're always craving carbs. My advice is to monitor your overall health very closely and work with your doctor to control the symptoms of this disease.

There are several very good PCOS support groups that you could join to get more info. My advice is to research and talk to people with the disease.

K. in GA

Mommy to 2 wonderful boys from Guatemala.

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D.B.

answers from Augusta on

T. first of all you are indeed blessed to have your kids cherish them. I had to adopt because I was never able to birth any, but the Lord has been gracious with my children. They are wonderful. I was given Metformin to treat my PCOS. At the time they were only using two methods to treat it one was Birth Control pills and the other one was Metformin. When I didn't have a cycle sometimes for up to 8 months they would give me Progestrin I think it was to start my cycle. I've been blessed that each of my test for diabetes have been negative, but it is closely related. Our bodies don't process insulin as it should. It also causes obesity and abnormal facial hair growth. Take care of yourself and I pray that the course of treatment helps. God Bless, Lenay

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S.S.

answers from Savannah on

I forgot to mention the book "What you Dr may not tell you about premenopause" by Dr. John Lee. It will give good insight into how progesterone works as well as other hormones and our need for a balance. The saliva test is the most accurate over a blood test. I hope that you will see that once you get levels in check it will be much better.

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R.P.

answers from Savannah on

I have PCOS.pm me I'll call you and we'll talk if you'd like it can cause alot of things and would be lots of typing..I take 1000mg of Metformin for my PCOS with insulin resistance.Make sure youre tested for insulin resistance and your free testosterone levels.It's elevated in women with PCOS.I have pelvic pain daily,cysts that burst

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A.E.

answers from Augusta on

I have PCOS too...I was put on birth control to regulate my cycle. However, my OBGYN sent me to an endocrinologist who did the actual diagnosis. Because it is a hormone issue (they aren't sure of all the hormones but they are related to LSH/FSH levels, the way your body processes insulin, and a couple of others) I would say seek an opinion with a physician or OBGYN who is familiar with dealing with ovarian cysts, consult an endocrinologist, and don't take the birth control pills (if that is what your OBGYN gave you) until you get an actual diagnosis. One of the side effects or issues with PCOS is insulin resistance, which can turn into actual diabetes. The endocrinologist may recommend putting you on metformin or glucophage or some other type medicine to help your body process the insulin in your body. I would also educate yourself on ovarian cysts by going to WebMD and some of the websites dedicated to PCOS. Also, get a second opinion by an OBGYN who is familiar with polycystic ovaries, usually the websites I mentioned can provide names of physicians.
Too often our doctors will just thrust a pill in our hands and say here, try this, it will work, but...that isn't always the case, and can do more harm than good. If the pills your OBGYN gave you are actually birth control, and you have a condition that precludes you taking them, shouldn't your doctor have realized that and thought to try that? I'd be really concerned about that, which is why I suggest getting a second opinion with a different OBGYN, an endocrinologist, and a PCP or women's specialist who knows about PCOS and treatment options.
Hope this helps!

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C.B.

answers from Spartanburg on

I, too, have polycystic ovaries. With them cam irregular periods, heavy bleeding, painful cramps, and bleeding in between. I had surgery last year (Nov.) to remove the cysts, along with D&C. For about 4 months I had regular periods (every 28 days) and normal flow. But the last 3 months or so my cycles have been increasingly more irregular with all the symptoms I had before. Went to Dr. last week and he did a sonogram which revealed more cysts. We discussed my options which included just waiting it out to see if things get back to normal, bc pills (which I don't need--had tubal ligation 10 years ago), or hysterectomy. Of course I haven't decided on anything yet, but am leaning towards hysterectomy. He said cysts will just keep coming back. My sister also had this problem years ago.

I have not heard that polycystic ovaries are linked to diabetes. Both my parents are diabetic and I have my sugar checked every year. I do not have diabetes, nor does my sister.

Hope everything works out for you. I know it can be a very frustrating thing to deal with. I went to library and checked out books on the subject. It helped me keep sane. Good Luck!

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