1. Health

Coping with PCOS

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Updated August 13, 2009

Coping with PCOS is a complicated, often painful challenge. From the many embarrassing symptoms, to difficulty conceiving, it’s easy for women with PCOS to feel alone. Because hormonal changes are the hallmark of this disease, almost every body system can be affected. You may have increased hair growth in strange places, or losing your hair similar to male pattern baldness. Thankfully, a number of available treatments can help you manage the symptoms, and help you conceive if you are having difficulty.

The most important thing is to initiate a conversation with your doctor as early as possible. By following his recommendations, living a healthy lifestyle and getting prompt treatment, you can minimize or eliminate many of the unwanted symptoms. Polycystic ovary syndrome has been linked to a number of health complications including type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and endometrial cancer. So the quicker you begin to manage your disease, the sooner you monitor for abnormal symptoms.

Infertility

If you are trying to conceive and have irregular cycles, you may not be ovulating, a key step in conception. Keep track of your cycles on a calendar and observe how often you get a period. Try using the home ovulation predictor kits. However, keep in mind that some women have persistently high levels of LH (the hormone that these kits detect). If you are consistently getting a positive result even when you don’t believe that you are ovulating, this method may be inappropriate for you. Finally, if you are under 35 years old and have been trying for more then 1 year or over 35 and have been trying for more then 6 months, consult your ob/gyn or a reproductive endocrinologist. You may not be ovulating on your own and require medical intervention to assist you.

Symptom Control

Women with PCOS frequently have to deal with annoying symptoms like acne or unwanted hair especially on the face. Thankfully, there are a number of possible interventions today that can help you deal with this. From basic home remedies like shaving, waxing and depilatory creams to procedures done in an office like electrolysis or laser therapy, there are many options to choose from. Don’t hesitate to speak with a dermatologist about the best option for you.

Support

Finally, this disease and its effects can become very overwhelming. There are a number of places where you can get support in dealing with the various concerns associated with PCOS. From education to message boards to internet chats, there are many sites on the web that provide resource or support. It’s important to educate yourself on this disease so that you can play an active role in monitoring for complications.
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