I was first diagnosed at 18 (I'm 35 now) and given birth control pills. From what I read and from what I hear from other patients, PCOS sufferers don't do well on BC pills long term.
At 23, a doc took me off BC pills because my cholesterol and blood pressure were elevated. My weight skyrocketed up from there. When I complained that my symptoms (not just weight) had gotten much worse, she gave me a dismissive "Oh, when you're ready to have kids, we'll just give you fertility drugs." I didn't like that answer.
I checked out some PCOS support groups in my area, but they all seemed to be targeted toward older women (30s+) who hadn't been diagnosed with PCOS until they tried to have kids. Instead of being PCOS support groups, they seemed to be infertility support groups. Seemed like no one at the time was concerned that PCOS would lead to further health complications down the road. I disagreed.
Fortunately, in my mid-twenties, I found a doctor who agreed with me and put me on Metformin. That helped tremendously. (Until childbirth knocked my thyroid out of commission, but that's another story.) On Metformin, I lost the extra weight, my cholesterol and BP went back to normal, my skin cleared up, and my facial hair problem became a little less aggravating. And because I believed the doctor who said that I would need fertility drugs, I became accidentally pregnant at age 32. (Best accident that ever happened to me!)
I think the word is getting out among the medical community to screen for PCOS at a younger age, and to focus more on preventing future complications that untreated PCOS can lead to, like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and endometriosis (just to name a few). It's no longer viewed as just a fertility problem among more progressive healthcare providers and support groups. At least that's been my observation in the changes I've seen in my care over the past 17 years.
However, I know that it takes more than 17 years to change everyone's attitude. I'm saddened to hear that there are still doctors out there who think BC pills and fertility drugs are the only options. I'm disappointed to hear that there are support groups who focus only on the infertility side and ignore the other repercussions of PCOS. (Just call your group a PCOS infertility support group if that's the case - there's nothing wrong with that.)
The good news is that there is much more information available to the average person than there was 17 years ago. www.pcosupport.org
is a great place to start.
Good luck! Good for you for taking control of your care early on. Let us know how you're doing.
Gluten-free since 5/27/2008!
| current weight: 284.8