Regular periods and PCOS?

by shannon
(washington)

I was diagnosed with PCOS without two major symptoms: irregular periods and ovarian cysts.

I have hirsutism controlled by saw palmetto, a blend of testosterone reducing herbs and laser removal (which works best on pale-skinned, dark-haired women).

I started losing my hair three years ago when my dad died and have had ups and downs with it since - stress related and bereavement related each time.

Taking biotin and prenatals to help there along with a biotin-enhanced shampoo.

Acne has increased in the last two years when we first started to get pregnant but it's still only during ovulation or my period. I use goldenseal root and a natural clarifier for that.

I have gained weight over the past three years but again, stress and grief have played a huge part in that causing depression and lack of desire to exercise. I do crave carbohydrates but not sugar.

I've been on medications for three plus years to get all my chemical levels in line: Vitamin D and B12/folic acid were so low they wouldn't register, testosterone so high it wouldn't come down, progesterone not maintaining.

I feel my naturopath has me on the right types of meds based on all the research and even what is recommended on this site.

However, I now have a mass (noncancerous) in my breast most likely caused by the progesterone and added fatty's in my diet! I'd like to have a child without causing long-lasting damage to my breasts. All my chemical levels are in normal range with the exception of testosterone which fluctuates between low 70's and mid 80's naturally. Bloodwork is done every three months, sometimes three months in a row.

I had a transvaginal done earlier this year which resulted in nothing the first time and enlarged follicles the second time, which was on day 21, when I normally ovulate (so they should be enlarged). But due to the enlargement, high testosterone, hirsutism, hair loss and acne I was diagnosed with PCOS.

I have missed maybe two periods in my entire life (in addition to two pregnancies). One February just due to having a 35 day cycle, and this past March due to bereavement (my niece's baby died and I just couldn't take it).

I've been pregnant twice only to lose it around week 8 (three weeks to the day after having implantation spotting both times). Each time I was under a huge amount of stress in my job.

Like clockwork I ovulate day 21, start my period day 35. In March I had a period and did not have another until the middle of May when we received my niece's baby's autopsy report. The next month I ovulated on day 14 and then on day 21, then day 14. Because I am using a donor who overnight ships his swimmers to me (my best friend), I really need to know when I am going to ovulate so I was recently put on a trial of clomid to regulate my cycle again.

I've seen two specialists who say I'm doing everything I can be doing (with the exception of using fresh sperm), and feel I don't really have PCOS.

Can I really have it without the irregular periods and cysts? Should I be treated instead for syndrome x and put on metformin or something?

Does anyone else out there relate to the regular periods/no cysts aspect who has suggestions?

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Editor's comments:

Most of us, including some doctors, seriously underestimate the damaging effects of chronic stress, especially if you have PCOS. Do whatever you can to deal with this, including grief counselors, self-guided imagery and relaxation, etc.

By the way, what are you doing to nurture yourself? Do kind, enjoyable things just for you. We've talked about this in past newsletters, which can be viewed in our newsletter archive.

Irregular periods and ovarian cysts do not necessarily constitute a diagnosis for PCOS. Different doctors have different opinions as to what is PCOS and what is not.

To have a viable pregnancy and a healthy baby, your folic acid and B12 levels must be built up. It may take quite a long time for B12 levels to get replenished. Consider B12 injections if necessary.

Optimal vitamin D levels are crucial for many functions, including fertility and reduced insulin resistance.

Keep up the good work! I'm sure your naturopathic physician is a good resource for you.

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