Saturday, 13 February 2010

PCOS,what to look for and ways to diagnose

I'm a pcos sufferer and quite a few times I've asked what the symptoms are or how do I know if I got it. Well I wanted to do this post so that for those people there is proper information from a real sufferer. It could be quite long so if you don't need to read this I won't take offense if you go somewhere else :)

Right let's start with the symptoms, there are many symptoms on PCOS but people don't neccasarily have all of them so don't think just because you don't have a symptom, you don't have pcos.

**TMI alert **
Symptoms:
1. Irregular or absent menstrual cycles. Not everyone has irregular or absent cycles, some women have perfect cycles. But for me my menstrual cycles are extremely heavy, and very irregular, sometimes every 2-3 months sometime 6-8 months.

2. Hirsutism is another common symptom with pcos, hirsutism is excess hair growth, most women get it on the face, I get it on my face, back and stomach. Hirsutism can be treated.

3. Sometimes women with pcos get the exact opposite of hirsutism which is hair loss, such alopecia.

4. Acne is also a very common symptom of pcos, I get really bad acne, which I treat with normal acne/spot treatment but you can also get medication from your doctor to treat the acne.

5.weight gain/ struggling to lose weight. This is one of the most unhelpful symptoms of pcos, you put on weight or struggle to lose it because of the hormonal imbalances or insulin resistance but insulin resistance is not always a symptom for all women.Metformin can be used to help weight loss.

6. Fertility issues. This is one of the most irritating symptoms/problems that comes with pcos. A lot of women don't even know they have pcos until they encounter issues trying to get pregnant, clomid is usually prescribed to help this but if that doesn't work there are other options such as iui or ivf.

7. Skin tags/darkening of the skin. Skin tags normally appear under the arms, on your bra line and also on your neck, skin tags can normally be ignored, but a dermatologist can remove them if there troublesome. Darkening of the skin round the neck, back, chest or even face is a sign of insulin resistance as well as pcos. There isn't treatment for palmers cocoa butter from superdrug in the uk is really good for it as well as stretch marks or scars.

I can't comment on any treatments such as metformin or the birth control pill as my doctor refuses to treat me. If you see any of these symptoms, see your doctor and asked to be tested for pcos. Next we are gonna cover ways to get diagnosis.

Ways to diagnose.
**TMI Alert**

1. Blood tests. Blood test are used to help diagnose pcos by looking for hormone imbalances and also insulin resistance. They test for glucose levels and also for thyroid under/over activity, which can be a problem with pcos.

2. Ultrasound. This can be done either pelvic, or the same ultrasound you have when your pregnant. I had a pelvic ultrasound, which isn't particularly nice, I found it a little bit painful but mainly uncomfortable, if your worried or unhappy having a pelvic ultrasound then ask the sonographer to do the other type. The results are then sent back to your doctor who puts your ultrasound with the blood tests to make a diagnosis of pcos.

I hope that this post has been helpful, and remember that if you have any of the symptoms then please go see your doctor ! If you have any other questions then follow me on Twitter, my user name is iwillbeatpcos and I will be happy to help anyway I can.

Thankyou for seeing this post through to the end ! I'm sure there were better things for you to do !

Cara x

1 comment:

The Quest For Baby Hang said...

A lot of the symtpoms are like Endometriosis. Man I feel for everyone who has PCOS.

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