Starting college is a huge transition especially if you are going away from home for the first time. While the needs of young women with PCOS aren’t too different from women without PCOS, there are a few things that you should consider if you are starting college when you have PCOS.
First, do you have a local doctor? Even if it’s just the college health center, make sure that they can provide routine gynecological care and make referrals for more specialized care if the need arises. Because women with PCOS frequently miss periods, you’ll need to have someone evaluate you if several periods are skipped. You may also need a new prescription for birth control pills or refills on your old prescription and it can help to have someone that you can see locally.
Second, most women worry about the “freshman 15” and for women with PCOS, gaining weight is that much easier. Quite often, it’s all too easy to overindulge in snack and junk foods when you are up all night studying, or partying. In addition, alcohol has a ton of calories, making it even easier to gain weight.
Finally, because depression is much more common in women with PCOS, making this transition can be a bit overwhelming. This is especially true for young women who have never really been away from their families and are now making that adjustment as well. If you’ve already had issues with depression or are worried about developing symptoms, check in with your campus counselor immediately. If you don’t have someone on campus, ask your health center for a referral. They should be able to provide one for you.
Above all, don’t hesitate to lean on your family, friends and personal support system to help you through this time. That’s what they are there for!