Getting any diagnosis, especially as a teenager, is a difficult thing. While PCOS itself is not deadly, there are many aspects that can be particularly frightening for a young woman. Doctor's appointments. The thought of not having children. The embarrassing symptoms. The feeling of not fitting in with her friends. Any or all of these things have the potential to cause depression or self-esteem problems in a teen. So, what is the best way to support your teen daughter?
A Little Knowledge Goes a Long Way
To diagnose PCOS, the doctor can do an abdominal ultrasound to view the ovaries. This is less invasive than a pelvic exam, so you may want to suggest this option. However, if a pelvic exam is recommended, it can be a lot less scary if she knows what to expect. Give her a chance to ask you questions and be honest with your answers. Reassure her that she will be covered except where the doctor is doing the exam, and that there won’t be a lot of people in the room. Ask her whether she wants you to be in the room or waiting outside and whether she prefers if a man or a woman performs the exam. Having some control over the situation may help her cope with it better.
While your teen daughter may still be a minor in the eyes of the law, supporting her includes involving her in the decision making process. Give her details about the disease and make sure that she has an opportunity to ask the doctor her questions as well. Discuss treatment options and let her voice her opinion. And, of course, listen to her concerns and make sure that they are addressed.
Get Some Support
There are a number of places that offer support groups for teens with PCOS. Meeting up with or talking with other young girls with the same concerns may help her feel not so alone. Of course, please do your own research and make sure that it is a safe and reputable group before encouraging your daughter to join. She may also be interested in a general PCOS group for women of all ages.
Never forget that you are your daughter’s number one source of information, support and love. Be there to listen, go running, or get manicures together. Use PCOS as an opportunity to enhance your relationship!