Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Do I have PCOS?"
I've been unofficially diagnosed with PCOS in the past and was put on BC around the age of 14. I was on BC for about 8 years until I no longer had health insurance and therefore was unable to visit a doctor to get a prescription. I've also been very bad about ever logging my periods... Two months ago I had one day of bleeding after drinking a lot of water prior to that (trying to combat my chronic dehydration). I chocked it up to the water my body had taken in, causing my period to be only one day (it is usually very light anyway, only 3-4 days and one "heavy" day only requires a regular tampon). I missed my period last month. Negative pregnancy tests (though the cheap AHPT). Now, it's been two months (+4 days) since my last cycle. Is it pregnancy or PCOS? I can't decide. Should I take another pregnancy test?
First, I should always say that if you ever have unprotected sex and you miss your period, you should always either schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or OB/GYN or go to the grocery store and buy a home pregnancy test. Home pregnancy tests are fairly accurate but they are no replacement for having it done at your doctors office. As you probably know, polycystic ovarian syndrome is a complex disorder that involves the endocrine system and causes high blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes, and and ovulation which leads to irregular periods. In your case, it is certainly possible that you have polycystic ovary syndrome especially if you had regular periods while on birth control and now have irregular ones off birth-control. Other symptoms that may help lead to the diagnosis would include insulin resistance or pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, or abnormal facial hair growth especially on the chin. There is no specific test for polycystic ovarian syndrome; the diagnosis is usually made when multiple different signs and symptoms come together. The diagnosis can be made after visiting your OB/GYN or in some cases an endocrinologist. One of the key things you can do is lose weight if you are overweight. First step should be to get evaluated by a physician. If you have an OB/GYN I would go with that doctor. If you don't, then I would consider scheduling an appointment with an endocrinologist.
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