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Old 03-05-2012, 01:14 AM
 
Location: New York
880 posts, read 1,668,648 times
Reputation: 537

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Hi,

I finally had the courage to go to an endocrinologist after many years of hair loss, thick facial and body hair and fast-growing hair. I started losing a lot of hair 6 years ago (I was 13 going on 14), especially on the sides. I thought it was a shampoo problem since I've noticed I didn't wash my hair thoroughly back then because it was so long. I've tried to not wash my hair as much over the years, hoping hair would grow back but it still hasn't. I get acne on my head from time to time, as gross as it sounds.

I've also noticed that i've gotten a lot of backacne in recent years and thick hair growing on my back. My endocrinologist told me I definitely do have the symptoms of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) - including irregular menstruation and once my blood results come back, she will prescribe me medication..which she isn't sure how long it'll take to be in affect.

So i was wondering if anyone is going through the same thing or have had PCOS and how you treated it? I've heard that acupuncture helps with ovulation but I'm afraid of needles, lest a whole bunch of needles all over my body. TIA
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:24 AM
 
14,719 posts, read 18,835,433 times
Reputation: 20265
There are a LOT of threads and posts about PCOS on this forum. Just do an Advanced Search for PCOS on the health forum and you'll find them.
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,593 posts, read 26,269,493 times
Reputation: 26659
Quote:
Originally Posted by FOReverxpeace View Post
Hi,

I finally had the courage to go to an endocrinologist after many years of hair loss, thick facial and body hair and fast-growing hair. I started losing a lot of hair 6 years ago (I was 13 going on 14), especially on the sides. I thought it was a shampoo problem since I've noticed I didn't wash my hair thoroughly back then because it was so long. I've tried to not wash my hair as much over the years, hoping hair would grow back but it still hasn't. I get acne on my head from time to time, as gross as it sounds.

I've also noticed that i've gotten a lot of backacne in recent years and thick hair growing on my back. My endocrinologist told me I definitely do have the symptoms of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) - including irregular menstruation and once my blood results come back, she will prescribe me medication..which she isn't sure how long it'll take to be in affect.

So i was wondering if anyone is going through the same thing or have had PCOS and how you treated it? I've heard that acupuncture helps with ovulation but I'm afraid of needles, lest a whole bunch of needles all over my body. TIA
Forget the acupuncture.

PCOS is a hormone problem and one that is treatable.

The hardest thing to treat is the excess hair growth. You have to be patient. There are things that will help, but they take a while, usually months, for an effect to be seen. They work by preventing new hair growth, and they cannot do much for the hair that is already there. As that hair stops growing, goes into a resting stage, then falls out, you will see improvement. But that takes time. Many women with PCOS do end up using some form of cosmetic hair removal. If that is a concern for you, your endocrinologist should be able to refer you.

Unless you want to get pregnant, it is not necessary to ovulate. Since skipping ovulation can cause some undesirable changes in the uterine lining, most women who are not trying to get pregnant will use birth control pills, which also help reduce the excess androgens that cause the hair growth and acne. Birth control pills protect the uterine lining by preventing the overgrowth that the high estrogen levels of PCOS cause.

If you do want to get pregnant, different medications are used. The first is a drug used to treat diabetes, metformin. There are others that can be used if metformin alone does not work.

There are other metabolic abnormalities that your endocrinologist will want to address. That is important to reduce the risk of things like heart disease down the road.

Women with PCOS usually are overweight and find it difficult to lose. However, for a significant number of women losing weight will help with the metabolic abnormalities. Some will even ovulate just by losing weight. Metformin actually helps with weight loss for many women.

There are ovarian surgical procedures that can help with ovulation, but because they are invasive, more expensive, and do have some risks, the first line treatment should be medical.

Are you thinking about getting pregnant soon?
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Islip,NY
16,973 posts, read 19,781,693 times
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My Neighbor has PCOS and she's 37. has two daughters the youngest is 17. After she had her daughter they told her she could not have anymore children. Well in 2009 she had a boy. So I guess in some rare cases it is possible to have another child after being told you couldn't. She also takes metformin for her type 2 diabetes and PCOS and it helps. She's been on the drug since was 30. Not sure if she takes anything else. She has blood work done every 3 months. She has Also had a D&C. Has the Dr. recommened a D&C for people with PCOS?
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,593 posts, read 26,269,493 times
Reputation: 26659
Quote:
Originally Posted by lubby View Post
My Neighbor has PCOS and she's 37. has two daughters the youngest is 17. After she had her daughter they told her she could not have anymore children. Well in 2009 she had a boy. So I guess in some rare cases it is possible to have another child after being told you couldn't. She also takes metformin for her type 2 diabetes and PCOS and it helps. She's been on the drug since was 30. Not sure if she takes anything else. She has blood work done every 3 months. She has Also had a D&C. Has the Dr. recommened a D&C for people with PCOS?
She may very well be able to thank the metformin for the 2009 pregnancy, if she was taking it then.

PCOS produces infertility, not sterility. Some women get pregnant without any treatment at all.

A dilatation and curettage (D & C) is a diagnostic procedure. Most of the time, the same information can be gained from a simple office biopsy. It is not a treatment for PCOS.
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:00 AM
 
56 posts, read 74,260 times
Reputation: 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by FOReverxpeace View Post
Hi,

I finally had the courage to go to an endocrinologist after many years of hair loss, thick facial and body hair and fast-growing hair. I started losing a lot of hair 6 years ago (I was 13 going on 14), especially on the sides. I thought it was a shampoo problem since I've noticed I didn't wash my hair thoroughly back then because it was so long. I've tried to not wash my hair as much over the years, hoping hair would grow back but it still hasn't. I get acne on my head from time to time, as gross as it sounds.

I've also noticed that i've gotten a lot of backacne in recent years and thick hair growing on my back. My endocrinologist told me I definitely do have the symptoms of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) - including irregular menstruation and once my blood results come back, she will prescribe me medication..which she isn't sure how long it'll take to be in affect.

So i was wondering if anyone is going through the same thing or have had PCOS and how you treated it? I've heard that acupuncture helps with ovulation but I'm afraid of needles, lest a whole bunch of needles all over my body. TIA
A very close friend of mine has suffered from this condition, both from the symptoms and from doubt/confusion over diagnosis.
She has had 3 examinations including an x-ray/image-thing and each doctor told her something different!

She is now on Metformin (500mg ER) which she handles well but she can't take the 1000mg dose.
She was also prescribed BC pills for a while for this condition but this made her feel awful so she has stopped. She also tried a few.
She has all the symptoms you have described above except hair on her back & loss of head hair.
Her back has broken out into all kinds of spots/acne (the rest of her skin is really nice & blemish-free) and there are lots of small white blotches/spots with no real "point" to them - a dermatologist said these were scars?
She also has facial hair and has to wax every few days, plus there is excessive hair growth in the groin area, which upsets her.

There appears to be no cure in sight but she is most worried about having children.
I have helped her for many years with this issue but I worry about what can be done for her.
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