15 with PCOS. Metformin is the answer

by Niki
(Birmingham England )

I was diagnosed with PCOS at the age of 15, however after having all my blood tests and ultra sound scan on my ovaries done the doctor told me there was nothing wrong with me and I was sent on my way.

At the age of 16 I signed up to join the army and it wasn't until I got my medical forms came back and I read for myself that I had PCOS.

I'd always been overweight and quite hairy, and my periods were never regular. I made an appointment to see the doctor and she told me I had PCOS and that metformin was a solution to my problems.

I turned it down but after reading up on the PCOS and the effects that it could cause cancer and women with PCOS can develop type 2 diabetes I haven't been certain about whether declining the drug was the best option.

I still want to join the armed forces, however, would rather take the medication and be healthy within myself.

After reading these comments I've decided to make an appointment with the gp and start taking metformin.

Thank you alot girls and good luck.


Editor's comments: The value of metformin is in its ability to reduce insulin resistance . It is possible to have polycystic ovary syndrome and not have insulin resistance. However, I would guess that the majority of women do have some degree of insulin resistance.

The best course of action is to at least get a fasting insulin, a glycohemoglobin A1C, and a fasting glucose test to get some data that might suggest you have insulin resistance. The lab data, along with your clinical symptoms and medical history, should give the doctor enough information to give a suspected diagnosis of insulin resistance.

The fact that you're overweight would suggest that you could have insulin resistance.

But -- if you do not have insulin resistance, there is no point in taking metformin.

Secondly, metformin has side effects, such as nausea and GI upset. A lot of women cannot tolerate it. But give it a try; it may work for you.

There are non-pharmaceutical alternatives to metformin, such as changing your diet and getting more exercise. These measures are just as effective as metformin over the long run.

Also, there was a recent study showing that NAC (a nutritional supplement) is as effective as metformin .

If you end up taking metformin for a long time, you're likely to induce a vitamin B12 deficiency because metformin interferes with your ability to absorb B12 from your diet.

Best of luck with your career in the Army!

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