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Sans an Ovary, Possible PCOS and the Pill
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LunaMusings posted:
I've recently being doing some research on PCOS because it is possible that I have it and want to be well informed when I talk to my OB-GYN about this. I lost my right ovary back in 2006 to a 15 pound ovarian cyst and was immediately put on birth control in hopes that it would protect the other ovary. I can understand that to a certain extent. But what I have been seeing in my research has left me with some questions.

First of all, if PCOS is a hormonal imbalance that includes excess androgens, why are pills given that often contain more androgens? Doesn't that defeat the purpose?

Second, if the goal in treating PCOS is to establish regular menstruation and ovulation, why is a pill given that forces a "fake" cycle on the body and prevents ovulation in the first place? At the moment, I couldn't say if I'm really experiencing PCOS symptoms because of the fake cycle.

Related more to my own issues, why would PCOS be suggested as a problem for me, when I had one large cyst and not many little ones? As I understand it, the little "string of pearls" cysts are what doctors look for as part of the diagnosis process.

Overall, I'm very confused as to why the pill would be a viable option for someone with PCOS when it forces a false state of "balance" that the body may not be able to continue once the medication isn't present. I understand that diet and exercise are part of the treatment as well, but for me, who has had no history of drastically irregular (just little differences) or heavy periods, would the pill really be of use?

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Mel2day responded:
I have PCOS and was diagnosed with it in 2006, I do have irregular periods (a majority of the time none at all), have insulin resistance with it, and pretty much every symptom you could think of. I have been put on Metformin (which is actually a diabetic med) to help regulate the insulin resistance and in turn helps with regulating my periods.

It has been explained to me that with PCOS, you have excess estrogen in your system that prevents regular menstrual cycles so from time to time they may give you Provera or Prometrium to supplement the progesterone that allows you to shed your uterine lining. The birth control pill has both estrogen and progesterone which is why they seem to prescribe it the most. But "special" people like me, who have developed multiple Pulmonary Embolisms while on birth control because of an even larger dose of estrogen, can't be put on it because of the high risk and the only options to help me is the Metformin, diet, excercise, anything without hormonal help.

I have had times where they have done an ultrasound and I have not had a cyst present at the time in my either of my ovaries, and other times I have had several small cysts but I do have show all the other symptoms of PCOS.

I hope this helps!
 
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LunaMusings replied to Mel2day's response:
This does help some. Thanks! It makes me wonder if I'm one of those "special" people, not necessarily as drastic but in that it doesn't seem to improve my quality of life.

I guess the thing that still confuses me is the fact that some of the pills's synthetic hormones are androgenic, meaning that they are inherently male and if I recall correctly, that's one of the imbalances a woman with PCOS can have. They tend to cause weight gain (along with some other fun symptoms like excess hair) which in turn causes more estrogen to be released from the excess fat cells. Maybe I'm confused on how this works but that seems like it would defeat the purpose of the pill regulating estrogen and makes me wonder why the combination pill would be proscribed rather than the mini pill which only contains progestin (synthetic progesterone).
 
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AnayansiRW responded:
Hello Luna,
I will encourage you to research about PCOS and Acupuncture.

I work at a Wellness clinic, specialized in Women's Health, and we are experiencing amazing changes with our PCOS patients. Nutrition, adequate supplements, acupuncture, botanical herbs... can help you improving your reproductive health and quality of life.

There are other ways to help you balance your body, more natural and healthy than drugs....

If you need more information, you can contact me at ana@ReproductiveWellness.com


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