Diagnosed with PCOS at Age 16
I'm Shannon and I'm 16, I started my periods when I was 11. After this they came every 3-4 months. I thought they would soon settle down and become a regular cycle. By the time I was 13 they had not settled down and were still coming every 3-4 months.
I went to my GP, they told me this was normal and that my periods would soon become more normal. I went back to my GP a few more times that year but I always got the same answers, that soon they would become more frequent.
When I was a bout 14 and a half I knew something more serious had to be done,
I had excessive hair growth which was very hard to deal with and made me very depressed seeing other girls my age who did not have this problem,
I was also bullied for a while about this which was extremely hard and embarrassing for me. I was also having huge migraines and mood swings.
My mum then paid for me to go to a specialist. They did some blood tests. Results came back and it showed I had very high testosterone levels and quite a few other hormone imbalances. They then gave me an ultra sound, and had a long talk with me about my symptoms.
She told me it was very likely I had PCOS, but did not want to diagnose me until I was 16.
Now I am 16 I have been diagnosed.
Obviously no success story yet as I have not been dealing with it for long.
I would mainly like to know if there is anything that can be done for excessive hair growth.
I'm also worried about the fact that when I am older and want children this won't be possible.
I think this website is great for other woman with PCOS because you know others are going through the same things as you. Thank you!
Editor's comments: PCOS in the teenage years is very troubling, especially when you don't know what's going on or what to do about it.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is something that got started well before age 16. The basic problem will last for a long time into the future.
Besides taking birth control pills or other pharmaceuticals, there's a great deal you personally can do to improve your situation.
PCOS can be effectively managed if you take a very comprehensive approach.
1) Educate yourself as to what causes PCOS so that you can make intelligent decisions for dealing with it. Read books, visit websites, talk to others who are dealing with issues similar to yours. Get second opinions from other doctors. Become knowledgeable about the various conventional and natural treatment options that are available.
2) A healthy diet plays an absolutely crucial role in managing the symptoms of PCOS, including infertility, acne, weight, hair loss, male-pattern hair growth, and depression. A healthy diet will also greatly reduce your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.
A good place to get diet advice is from The Natural Diet Solution for PCOS and Infertility.
3) Regular exercise is vital, especially if you have a weight issue. Daily exercise, when combined with the correct diet, can be as effective as metformin (Glucophage), but without its side effects.
4) Selected nutritional supplements such as vitex or d-pinitol may be useful in helping you to normalize your hormones.
There are a number of other nutritional supplements that have been shown to be helpful for reducing symptoms related to polycystic ovary syndrome.
One of your primary concerns is embarrassing excessive hair growth. Click here to learn more about what hirsutism is and what you can do about it.
You also mentioned that you're worried about your ability to start a family later on. You can improve your chances of future fertility if you improve your health practices now rather than waiting until you already have trouble conceiving.
By knowing what to do, you empower yourself and gain a sense of control over this disorder. Research indicates that a healthy lifestyle will give you some relief. So you will want to eat foods that are healthier than what your friends eat. You'll want to exercise more than they do. In essence, you'll be more attentive to healthy habits than those who are around you. This could be difficult, but if you're persistent, you should eventually see some positive results.
Most people are very ignorant about PCOS. They have no idea how difficult it is to control how you look. Stay away from anyone who says you are a freak or ridicules or bullies you in any way. Those people are not your friends.