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PCOS withouth Birth Control


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I was diagnosed with PCOS over 3 years ago. I was told that I would have to be on birth control. Anyhow, since then I finally got over the thought of, "I'll always be fat, I just have to learn how to live with it." And I've lost almost 25 lbs in the last 6.5 months. So now I want to stop taking birth control. What I want is to hear from people who have PCOS and aren't on birth control, and I want to know if exercise and eating better has helped them to control their PCOS. I think that as long as I continue to exercise and watch what I eat, I don't have to take birth control.

Edited Apr 19 2012 19:02 by bierorama
Reason: Set as Sticky 12/2/2010; Removed Sticky 4/19/12
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This was very insightful. my periods started getting whacky last year around march, and got even worse when I came off the birth control that i started after that. The Depo shot ruined me, I've been spotting non-stop since November, the last shot I recived was in september. (I only got two) I should probably get checked soon. My hormones were whack since before the shots, I wonder if it was normal or something else.

I have PCOS and was diagnosed in 2003. At first I was good and took the pill and metformin as prescribed, and did notice a slight change for the better. However, when I married in 2005 I decided that I was done with drugs on the whole and quit taking everything. Since then I have completely changed my lifestyle and have lost 65lbs since I was at my biggest. It can be done! My periods are now more regular than they have ever been in my life, (they come almost monthly!) and I am still slowly losing the weight. Soon my husband and I will be trying to conceive, so I'll update my progress on that from time to time. But there's no reason why, if your sugar is under control, that you shouldn't be able to be drug free and maintain with healthy eating choices and exercise. :)

A lot of people here have chimed in with really interesting perspectives!

Last year I lost 20 pounds and have kept it off since. My PCOS symptoms got significantly better, but then over the holidays due to an injury I ended up gaining about 5 pounds or so and my PCOS symptoms came back. It was rather disheartening and annoying, but my goal this year is to lose another 20 pounds before September. I haven't been using hormonal contraceptives for almost 2 years and I feel so much better.

In addition, I will be looking into the low GI diet. I think changing one's diet helps tremendously.

I was diagnosed with PCOS and was put on BC . Since then my blood pressure was rising and I initially lost 26 pounds and started to feel better but still suffered mostly from excess hair growth . Just recently my doctor was very unhappy with my blood pressures again and took me off BC . I also have hurt myself working out and have put back on about 10 of those pounds . I feel horrible . I am slowly trying to get back to working out just taking it slow because I don't want to hurt myself again . However my doctor just recently put me on Metformin and Provera . I am wondering about the metformin has it helped anyone here ? The Provera is just to help me have a normal cycle once a month . Which even with BC I wasn't doing well . Feedback is appreciated :)

I was diagnosed with PCOS a few years ago (I was around 16 or 17, currently 20) and I was originally prescribed birth control but was shortly taken off of it.  My doctor at the time told me it was doubling my risk for breast cancer, especially given my age.  My period was regular for a little bit afterwards but eventually became more and more scarce. 

I have since been going as long as 15 months without a period and I recently had a benign fibroadenoma (a lump in the breast that can very easily be mistaken for breast cancer) surgically removed.  I have been very worried for the past couple years because of my highly irregular periods.  I have not, however, really experienced any of the other symptoms of the disease.  I don't have the best diet but I exercise a reasonable amount and I have always been able to maintain a healthy weight.  I do not have acne issues, body hair growth issues, sex drive issues, or really anything besides the periods. 

So I recently consulted my doctor and we figured I should probably go back on birth control.  She prescribed me some and I have now been taking it for a week.  However, I have been noticing a definitive change in my mood and it is already starting to affect my relationships.  I found this forum and I've made the personal decision to just stop taking the birth control.  I've seen a lot of you mention checking out the GI diet to help maintain regularity so I am definitely looking into that.

I mean, I'm no doctor, but considering the negative side effects that are as serious as ovarian/cervical/breast cancer (and already having to face the close call with breast cancer at 19) I feel like I'm not doing myself any favors with birth control.  I would talk to my regular doctor about it but she was so adamant about going on BC I don't think I can trust her opinion.  I'm going to look into seeing a specialist and hopefully I'll get some answers.  But until then it's off the pill and onto the GI diet with plenty of exercise.

I'll keep you guys posted =)

Well about a year or so later from when I first replied to the original post. I finally saw a doctor who told me matter of factly that "I can look at your body and tell that your hormones are out of whack." So she did some tests.... Then told me that all my levels were perfectly within limits and there was nothing wrong. The same B.S. that I was given in the past when I sought help for the menorraghia (extreme bleeding). I was told then that it was normal. (Normal to bleed extremely heavy for around 10 months out of the year??? Constantly???)

Anyway, I've pretty much once again given up on getting help from doctors. I can't afford the good ones and the ones I see just keep giving me the same spins. I've had ultrasounds and tests and bloodwork and sigh. I'm tired.

Also was diagnosed with diabetes. I'm not currently on insulin but am taking metformin and glucophage. The metformin kills me. I feel so horrible all the time when I'm on it and I go to the bathroom at least a dozen times a day on average. I am always drained of energy and washed out. And I cannot do things that I want without fear of having to have a bathroom nearby. Sometimes I just have to quit taking them all together so I can have a few days of relief, which of course means my sugar jumps back up (even tho I feel better).

I'm sort of disgusted with life again. I hit rock bottom once, years ago, and it took me a good three years to come out of it. I was doing well. However things that I cannot get away from at this time has pulled me down again. This time however I actually am starting to welcome the dead feeling inside. Haha sounds crazy I know. Ok so yeah, way off topic. Sorry.

My question.... did anyone ever try the glycemic thingy that the one person suggested? I have to do something to get off this metformin crap. Thanks.

#67  
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I have had irregular periods, not skipping but having 3-wk cycles instead of 4-wk cycles; bad PMS symptoms, and severe bloating where I had the shape of a pregnant woman, since I was in college. There started my use of BC pills. I went tried various kinds of pills through the years as I hoped to escape even worse side effects, or exchange one set of side effects of the pills for another, with each BC pill I tried. I have now been married for 7 years and been off pills completely for 2 years. As I've fluctuated in weight (as I tend to do) I notice my PMS symptoms are less when I'm at a lower weight. Although I've never weighed what the charts say a person my height should weigh. Anyhow, I've been on a downward slide since I had a miscarriage in January - my first ever pregnancy - and have experienced weight gain, night sweats, brain fog, sugar sensitivity, severe bloating, bad PMS, you name it, since. My mom is convinced I have PCOS. I do have a family history of diabetes, which could explain the sugar sensitivity. I made an appt to see my OBGYN in a couple of weeks and I'm hopeful to obtain some concrete advice how to deal with this, as i am completely against the idea of putting myself back on BC pills ever again. I appreciate all of your comments and suggestions regarding diet and exercise, especially the note about weight training to help with symptoms. Who knew? Thank you for your transparency and encouragement! Blessings on your day!
#68  
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I have had irregular periods, not skipping but having 3-wk cycles instead of 4-wk cycles; bad PMS symptoms, and severe bloating where I had the shape of a pregnant woman, since I was in college. There started my use of BC pills. I went tried various kinds of pills through the years as I hoped to escape even worse side effects, or exchange one set of side effects of the pills for another, with each BC pill I tried. I have now been married for 7 years and been off pills completely for 2 years. As I've fluctuated in weight (as I tend to do) I notice my PMS symptoms are less when I'm at a lower weight. Although I've never weighed what the charts say a person my height should weigh. Anyhow, I've been on a downward slide since I had a miscarriage in January - my first ever pregnancy - and have experienced weight gain, night sweats, brain fog, sugar sensitivity, severe bloating, bad PMS, you name it, since. My mom is convinced I have PCOS. I do have a family history of diabetes, which could explain the sugar sensitivity. I made an appt to see my OBGYN in a couple of weeks and I'm hopeful to obtain some concrete advice how to deal with this, as i am completely against the idea of putting myself back on BC pills ever again. I appreciate all of your comments and suggestions regarding diet and exercise, especially the note about weight training to help with symptoms. Who knew? Thank you for your transparency and encouragement! Blessings on your day!

I HATE METFORMIN! Ugh! Ok, so was diagnosed with PCOS and then they NEVER did anything to help me regulate my periods, so now, I am 70 lbs overweight, chart wise, I'd like to be 40-50 lbs lighter, and having all kinds of hormonal issues. Now I am told I have sub-clinical hypothyrodism, am on thryroid meds, cholesterol meds, and metformin. My vit D was extremely low, have been taking supplements and life has been a little better. Because of my age, no doctors would listen to me or treat me for anything, so now I am bigger than anyone has ever seen me to be, uncomfortable and hairy.

I still manage to eat healthy and at times, under eat. I feel like having these issues has given me more complexes with food and my body than I ever could imagine.

Has anyone had success with BC pills regulating hormones and having periods. I HATE the PILL, but I am willing to go on it if it will help? Oh, and the suggestion on the METFORMIN that is working for me now is take it at night, and no/ low carbs and sugars. This will decrease the bloating, constipation/ diarrhea. Hope that helps. :)

I was diagnosed with PCOS at 16 after never really having a period and having all the typical symptoms of PCOS (body hair, acne, weight gain, ovarian cysts)...and have been on the birth control pill for the past 11 years to manage this. I went through 6 different types of pills to find one that fits and doesn't give me moods and painful periods (Apri).

I do not even know if I can get a period on my own naturally at this point. I am going to be going off of it (as of today actually), to figure out a natural route, but I would say that if you hate the idea of the pill, there might be something else out there? I was told more recently that sometimes you can go on the pill to "jump start" your system again, and then go off of it relatively quickly...but that certainly has not been the case for me. 

I am crossing my fingers that when I go off of it I can go "natural!" I dont even know what my body would be like without the pill which is scary...I worry about my teenage symptoms coming back around and I worry about not knowing if I can ovulate naturally. I have incredibly low B12 and Vitamin D as well...I was told that for some women with PCOS, there are problems with your digestion and therefore taking the pill form of vitamins are not helpful because your body cant digest it properly. If you take B12/folic acid and vitamin D by drops (you drop the B12 on your tongue, and it's orange flavored and the D goes under your tongue and is cherry flavored) ... you absorb it better. 

loosing weight has always been a challenge and keeping weight off is crazy! I just got the fitbit, to keep track of my activity to make sure I take enough steps/run enough to keep the weight off!! I love people's comments about the GI "diet" I think that this would definitely help...I have struggled with symptoms of PCOS for over 10 yrs and people always say it's an excuse for everything, but it truly causes so many problems that people would not even know are related to PCOS! Crossing my fingers that going off the pill, my body will be able to ovulate and begin to do what it should do naturally! 

I cant tell you all how much I appreciate your comments...it's hard for people to understand my concerns if they dont know what your living with and what an up hill battle some things can be! 

Is there anything else besides the pills and Metformin that have helped people have a normal cycle? I would love to hear some success stories of people having PCOS for many years and being able to conceive...it's a huge concern of mine right now and I haven't heard success stories yet! Thank you all! 

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