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Video

Dr Dawn:

We’re getting lots of questions here on the Embarrassing Bodies website regarding polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS. Many of you are concerned it can affect your fertility which it can. Unfortunately PCOS can be associated with erratic periods and with not ovulating. But the good news is that if you manage to lose weight often your fertility improves and we also have an operation available, something called ovarian drilling where we laser your ovaries to improve your fertility.

And a question here from a lady who has PCOS and is really struggling with unwanted body and facial hair. Sadly, that’s a very common problem with PCOS and I often see women who are fed up with plucking and shaving and waxing. Obviously there are alternatives, things like electrolysis and laser but they don’t come cheaply. It may be worth chatting to your GP about a particular contraceptive pill which is very good for unwanted facial hair. There are also creams available and cream on prescription which will stop the re-growth of hair.

And lots of comments from women suffering from PCOS who are really struggling with their weight. Unfortunately, it is quite common for women with PCOS to be overweight and sadly it is often more difficult for you to lose weight than somebody who doesn’t have PCOS. But, here’s for the good news, if you manage to lose weight some of the other symptoms of PCOS like acne, unwanted facial hair and erratic periods will also improve.
Lots of you are concerned about erratic periods associated with PCOS and it seems that you fall into two different groups. Some of you are concerned that your erratic periods are affecting your fertility and for you, you really need to concentrate on getting your weight into a healthy range to improve your fertility. For others, you’re more concerned that actually the unpredictability of your periods is very inconvenient. For you, all you need to do is have a chat with your GP because simply going on the pill may be all that you need to do.

And finally, another common question is whether or not PCOS can be cured. Sadly, it can’t but don’t give up hope as there’s lots that we can do for symptoms that worry women like unwanted facial hair, acne, weight gain and erratic periods.

Read the video transcript

Doctor Responses: Polycystic Ovaries (PCOS)

There have been hundreds of questions and comments left on the Embarrassing Bodies website about polycystic ovary syndrome, its symptoms, causes and treatments. In this short video Dr Dawn takes the time to answer your most common questions on the condition.

The majority of questions were posted by Embarrassing Bodies viewers on our ovarian cysts condition guide.

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Comments and Questions

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Hi im 27 Unmarried had ovarian cyst 4 Yrs bck then got it operated through laser all was going well bt this year 28 Feb 2016 I had gotvl last period till now i have not got yet period .iam getting white discharge .My spinal colum downward part is paining alot since 2 Week .is tht pco or ovarioan cyst can happen again .plz let me know thnk u





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Dear all, I have been recently diagnosed with PCOS (age 31) and have been put on the pill (birth control). I can have periods for 2 weeks or longer. I spot almost every day. It is very uncomfortable.My gynecologist has informed me that the only thing I can do about it, is to take the birth control. But I have noticed no change when taking birth control. Is there anything else that I can do? Should I be worried? It seems like I am losing a lot of blood. I live on an island and the medical system is not the Best here, should I go overseas for a different treatment? I appreciate all the advise I can get. Sincerely, Tracey





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okay so iam 14 and i recently have a lot of hair on my face( upper lip, chin area) and on my back stomach also around my breast area between my chest and i dont have my periods yet i am fat too but thats probably because of my unhealthy diet and i have like really dry skin and dandruff. i heard of this syndrome and i thought that maybe i have it please tell me what should i do i am very scared. should i go to a doctor ans ask fot the diagnosis please reply...





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Can someone PLEASE explain to me why every single doctor I've been to in the UK tells me that PCOS does not cause pain?! Almost 3 years ago I started experiencing discomfort in my cervical/uterus area and right ovary, especially during sex. I didn't think much of it as I'm pretty small and my partner is large so we assumed its due to size, and decided to be more careful when intimate. However two years ago the pain started appearing out of nowhere, with no apparent cause, and completely irrespective of my period. I've been tested for any possible STIs twice and all came back negative. Soon the pain started becoming unbearable and in desperation went to a GP which referred me for a trans-vaginal ultrasound scan. During the scan I was told I got PCOS, however when I asked about the pain I got told blankly it does not cause any, with no alternative explanation offered!! I left with more questions than answers. It especially gets on my nerves that in other countries, including America, doctors are the ones who tell women they are likely to experience pain etc, and England is like this magical, ignorant land in which this condition magically does not cause any pain, even though its listed as a symptom on their own NHS and .gov websites!!!! Now a year after my diagnosis, multiple blood tests and seeing multiple doctors, all of which told me in the same monotone voice that "PCOS does not cause pain", they finally had enough of me going back for re-visits and scheduled me for a laparoscopy (due Friday 13th November 2015, so next month). On one hand I'm happy they finally realized something might actually be wrong (shocking, I know), on the other hand I have been experiencing excruciating pain on a daily basis for so long, I am furious it took them a year to actually acknowledge it. I am actually considering asking them to just cut my ovaries out so I do not have to suffer anymore, yet I am terrified of repercussions such as going into menopause (I am only 20 years old). But here's the question: knowing they will cut me open to see what they can find (cysts: yes. Endometriosis: possibly) just to tell me again PCOS does not cause pain, and knowing they most likely will not offer any treatment plan, is there any point in me going through with it??





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PCOS can cause pain, however, it is uncommon. I have PCOS and endometriosis. The pain I had was caused by my heavy blood loss (amnemic), when I ovalate, from small changes in hormone levels, and from when the cysts burst. After having a Mirena IUD inserted into my uterus, the majority of the symptoms and the pain have gone away. The only times I experience pain is when cysts burst, high hormonal changes, and a few times when I ovalate. I was diagnosed with PCOS and endometriosis when I was 14 (nearly every female that I am genetically realted to have these conditions, the only exception who is free from this is my mother). I had the IUD placed when I was 19. During the time I was 14 - 19 I had tried several types of pills and went to 5 specialists. I am now 20 years old. I hope this can help you.

Did you go for the laparoscopy in the end?

Hi can u help me i think i have pcos i only have periods once evry 6-8 months and i put loads of weight on and loads of hair on my face in fact the hair is every were i have had 4 kids and all this started one year after my 4 th baby and its geting worse evryday its that bad i dont want to leave the house





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Hi, I was diagnosed with PCOS at 17, I'm now 23, almost 24. I'm not overweight, don't struggle with excess hair or acne etc. All I have is barely any periods & pain daily - which varies from twinges to excruciating pain where I can't move. I've put weight on in the past 2 years - from 8stone to 9stone 11lbs. I'm still not overweight or obese though but over the past few months I've started sweating a lot! I wake up drenched on my chest and back. Is this related to pcos or a separate issue? Help!





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I got diagnosed at 16 with PCOS. Started my periods when I was 14 and have probably had 10 in my whole life and I'm 27 now. I haven't actually had a period in about 8 years! When I do have a period it is very very heavy and can make me sick, give me migraines etc. I'm a little over weight and am currently at slimming world and slowly losing it. Not quickly though and all weight tends to go to my stomach! Hair growth is a night mare, I have to get my chin, arms, eye brows waxed every 2 weeks. In the summer I need to shave my legs almost every day! I occasionally get period like pain but that's as close as I can get to a period! Me and my partner have decided to start trying for a baby. We have been together 6 years and never used any kind of protection at all and not so much as even had a moment where I'd "accidently" thought I'd fell pregnant! We are waiting to be referred to hospital at the moment but I am really not holding out much hope! Has anyone ever had anything similar to this or know what I can expect from now? Thank you x





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I can relate to many of your symptoms, most especially the hair growth and period issues, when I'm not on medications to "create" a period (ie. Birth Control) I can go years without a period. Weight loss did not even cause a difference and I went from being obese to the lower end of my ideal weight/height ratio over the course of a year. My husband and I started 4 years ago trying to get pregnant (I was 30 at the time) and I went off BC with no period for 8 months, at which time I went to my doctor for a referral to a specialist. His suggestion was to wait longer, but I got a nurse practitioner to send the referral a few weeks later (she was much more understanding and looked back at my history, which did not include the actual PCOS diagnosis at the time). It took a few months to get to the reproductive endocrinologist (which I had to be referred to from a gyno who diagnosed the PCOS, who I was referred to by the NP) but she was quick to do tests to rule out any blockages and to assess the # of cysts I had to see if surgery was needed. She also started me on Clomid within 7 weeks of my first appointment with her. Clomid had me ovulating the first cycle and on the 4th cycle I fell pregnant (I found out at a routine ultrasound, however it ended in a miscarriage a few days later). My next cycle she prescribed Prometrium (hormone supplement used vaginally from day 21 until your period or 12 weeks pregnant) in addition to the Clomid and we began to talk about IUI, for my next cycle. We didn't need to talk about the next cycle, the Clomid and Prometrium were the right combination and gave us our precious miracle baby, who is now 6 months old and the light of our lives. I had a completely "typical" pregnancy, minus using the prometrium until 12 weeks, and many of the PCOS symptoms were much better when I was pregnant, so don't lose hope!

Hi, I have just been dignosed with PCOS at the age of 20. I have been in the pill since I was 16 and never had any problems apart from period pain until a month ago I was meant to get my period but nothing, consistent pain (like period pain), feeling sick all the time, always tired, not eating as I should. I am not overweight maybe a little over what u should be but nothing bad. No facial hair growth or acne. I'm painfully scared and in consistant pain. Any advise or ideas would be greatfully helpful!!





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Hi I have recently been diagnosed with PCOS and I suffer from excessive sweating... was wondering if this is a condition that may be caused by the PCOS? thanks





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I have pcos and endo,took me 5 years to concieve my first child and did so on metformin,3 miscarriges then got my son on metformin again.I then went to a weight loss group and lost 4 stone shortly after i found i was pregnant with my 3 child no metformin no miscarrige all down to the weight loss!!!! Sorry ladies but loosing the weight is key to controlling pcos and getting pregnant......you want to be free from the symptoms or get pregnant,get the weight off!!!





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