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How to Deal with a New Diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome


Updated October 08, 2009

Unless you know someone who has polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), it's not surprising if you haven't heard of. Many women haven't, despite PCOS actually being one of the most common diseases affecting women of child bearing age. Learning about the syndrome and taking control of your treatment is essential to living with it. Here are five tips in how to deal with a new diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome.

1. Learn About PCOS

When the doctor first tells you that you may have PCOS, it is important to learn as much as possible about the disease -- risk factors for other diseases, complications, how to manage it, treatment options, etc. Being informed about these issues is a key step to getting control over PCOS. Make sure to check out reliable online sources, or ask your doctor for a recommendation. You can start here.

2. See a Specialist

While many physicians treat women with PCOS, it can’t hurt to see a specialist who frequently deals with women with this concern. Ask your primary care physician for a recommendation, or ask your OB/GYN if she has experience with PCOS. These experts can help you find a treatment protocol that works for you, especially if you don’t wish to take the typically prescribed birth control pill. Don’t hesitate to get a second opinion if you’re not happy with your physician or her recommendations. Check out About.com’s UCompare HealthCare to help find a qualified endocrinologist near you.

3. Determine Your Goals for Treatment

Before seeing your doctor, determine what your goals for treatment are. For example, if you would like to begin a family, make sure that your doctor is aware of that before he puts you on any medication. If you are more concerned about hair removal or acne, there are particular medications that can be considered as well. It may be helpful to think about and write down what you hope to accomplish from treatment. This can help you focus your conversation with the doctor and ensure that you get all of your questions answered.

4. Make a Lifestyle Change

Studies have shown that as little as a 10% weight reduction can be effective in restoring regular ovulation and menses. This can help reduce the level of androgens in your body and may even help reduce your symptoms and make infertility treatment more effective. Regular exercise has also been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and improve the quality of your sleep.

5. Find Support

This disease and its effects can become very overwhelming. There are a number of resources you can access to 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 resources or support.
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