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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Polycystic ovarian syndrome

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Author Topic: Polycystic ovarian syndrome
Member # 110102

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I am a 19-year-old girl and have had periods since I was 13, but they've always been irregular. My average cycle length is 37 days and I have a standard deviation in cycle length of about 9 days. I recently asked a regular doctor about them, and she said that it's perfectly normal at my age, and I don't need to worry about seeing a gynecologist unless I become sexually active, the cycle takes make than 3 months, or it does not stabilize by the time I'm 21. However, I found out afterwards that one of my sisters has polycystic ovarian syndrome. As far as I can tell from what I've read, the only symptom I have is that my periods are irregular. I eat plenty when I'm hungry, but have a good enough metabolism and exercise enough that I haven't gained weight, and I definitely do not have abnormal body hair, so it seems like the only symptoms I could have are the periods, odd hormone levels, and whatever may be going on with my ovaries.
Obviously, I could find out for sure if I have it by seeing a gynecologist and all, but I'm not sure how necessary it is and an appointment seems pretty expensive purely to satisfy curiosity about why my cycles are irregular. I can't find much of anything online about what problems it causes, except that apparently it is associated with a very high chance of diabetes a bit later in life and that it may cause infertility.
How important is it to see a gynecologist about it, and how soon? How much could they actually do about the periods (of PCOS if I have it) and how much would whatever cost? I don't care about potential infertility, but having out of whack cycles is somewhat annoyingly. I understand that birth control pills can fix the menstrual cycles, but how much would they cost and are which ones are best for this? Also, is there any way that I could just get the exams I need and pay less? The clinic on my campus only seems to have costs for the well woman exam and random other lab work costs. If checking for PCOS (or whatever else it could be) isn't included in the regular exam, then which additional lab work or whatever would be necessary?

[ 04-16-2014, 08:01 PM: Message edited by: Rawr42 ]

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Sam W
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 108189

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Hi Rawr,

I would say that, if the irregular periods are bothering you, then that is a valid reason to make an appointment with an OB-GYN. That way, you can talk to them about your best options are as far as ways to regulate your period (and what those options will cost). I believe there is lab work needed to test for PCOS, but your healthcare provider can give you a better sense of what the process involves.

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