In most situations, the start and progression of puberty in girls with PCOS is no different than for girls without PCOS. While puberty is a difficult time for all young women, it may be particularly tricky for young women with PCOS.
The tricky part is that symptoms of PCOS may start to appear, but are frequently confused with the normal signs of puberty. Often, it can take several months before a regular menstrual cycle is established. Some women may never develop regular periods, and instead get a period every few months or so. Additionally, adolescents frequently have acne, and abnormal hair growth, both of which are also signs of puberty. For this reason, many women are not diagnosed until adulthood.
If a parent has concerns about her daughter’s failure to develop a regular menstrual cycle, or thinks that she may have PCOS, it may be appropriate to bring her to see a pediatric endocrinologist, or even a gynecologist who has experience in treating teens. This can help both the teen and her parents get answers, and develop a treatment plan.