19 years old and has PCOS

I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in December 2013 after I went 6 months straight (July - December 2013) without any periods and I began to notice the hair on my arms and legs getting darker. I went to the doctors where they did some blood tests and found that I had PCOS. After that we discussed the options that could help control the condition. My doctor discussed about going on the pill but when I showed her the recent history with my mum having blood clots as she recently had a pulmonary embolism during Easter 2013. My doctor wanted to be sure so I went for more tests at the local hospital, two trips for blood tests.

After three/four months of waiting the results came back and revealed that I'm at higher risk of getting blood clots. This was news that I didn't want to hear. It meant that I couldn't go on the pill so that immediately limited my options of what I could do to/take to control the symptoms. I phoned my doctor up asking her where we go from here and all she could tell me was that if I wanted to I could join Weight Watchers in a hope of losing weight. In all honestly I didn't find this very helpful since I know most people with PCOS had been given Metformin.

My periods came back in January 2014 and have stayed since (touch wood). I'm worried that if they go again my doctor won't be in anyway helpful. So right now I'm trying everything I can to get rid of the unwanted dark hair on my legs. Currently I'm not doing anything with my arms because for now I think I can live with it. I'm using a number of methods on my legs. When I'm in a rush I'll use Veet cream but when I have time I use an epilator in an attempt to get rid of the hair for good. I have also invested in a light tool which sends pulses of light into the hair follicle which helps to stunt the growth.

The dark hair on my arms and legs first began to appear in 2007/8 when I first started to have periods. It honestly dented my confidence and has still. During PE at school I would always wear my track suit bottoms even in the boiling heat because I couldn't bear people to see my legs. Still now (over the years the dark hair has got worse especially on my arms) I am scared to wear short sleeves or no sleeves because I'm terrified of what people will think. I have also been so conscious of what people will think of me. I haven't worn a skirt or dress since 2006 (8 years ago). It's not just the dark hair I'm concerned about it is also my weight. When I was at secondary school I weighed 12st 5 and over the past three years it has ballooned to a massive 14st 9. That is another thing I'm always worried about because of what people will think.

Shopping for clothes is even beginning to become a struggle because I'm having to worry about whether it shows too much arm to too much leg or will I look big in it. I feel that this whole condition is starting to affect me mentally because I'm constantly worrying about it. I would love to be able for the first time wear no sleeve tops or a dress and not have to worry about anything or look in the mirror and feel pretty good about myself.

Does anyone know of anything that could help me in anyway, from tips on losing weight or how to control the dark hair?

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2 Replies

  • Hi.

    It can't be much fun for you being so young and wanting to be like all other teenagers.

    I have found that it's often finding the right doctor who is sympathetic really helps. I am trying hard not to be critical of weight watchers because I know for some people it really works for them. However, I am not trying to be patronising here so I apologise if that' s how I come across, but a lot of these diets don't work because the dietitians often don't understand how PCOS affects the body. I was luck and had a great consultant who took time to explain things to me. basically we need to lose some of our body fat as it has an effect on our insulin levels which cause our body not to break down sugars correctly and we put on more weight. That is a very simplistic explanation, but bottom line id he has told me I have to break the cycle somehow and he said the best way to do that was to eat foods that won't mean my body has to produce insulin. I lost a lot of weight doing the Atkins again this diet does not suit every one, but basically a high protein very low carb diet will help you lose weight, as it helps to break the cycle. You are right metformin helps as it regulated the insulin levels and is often prescribed, not sure if GP can do this as it was my consultant who prescribed mine.

    it is hard work, but it can then have a knock-on effect in other parts of your life. if you feel better about yourself and have more confidence it can only be a good thing.

    As for dark hair on your legs and arms, it is so easy for me to say that other people are often too worried about their own imperfections to worry about other people's but if it bothers you, then it is important. if you can lose some weight it may have an effect on your hormones and then the dark hair. who knows.

    is there a different doctor at your practice that you can talk to? Maybe you should write down all the questions you have and take that to your doctor.

    I hope this helps a little any questions please ask

    take care


  • Hi,

    I was diagnosed at 19 and have still not found a way to get rid of the symptoms. I was on metformin for my fasting glucose impairment, it made me ill and I didn't notice any reduction in the symptoms, so it's not for everyone. I do envy the people who have success with it, might have made it worth suffering through. However, my job at a reception desk made it impractical to have to keep running to the ladies. The best thing you can do is lose weight, since I started losing weight I have seen a noticable reduction in facial hair. I also have more confidence so the other symptoms don't bother me as much, still don't like the oily skin but can cope with it as I managed to go down a dress size :)

    Tips for losing weight-

    see it as a lifestyle change rather than a diet, this will help make it sustainable

    sign up to my fitness pal and log everything, this will make you more aware of what you're eating and portion size

    increase your exercise, people have had success with the couch to 5k program, i've not started that yet but have managed to lose 24lbs by mostly walking

    carbs do not like pcos people, reduce them as much as you can, increase your protein intake to keep feeling full for longer

    don't feel like you have to go running head first into it, make small changes, get used to them then introduce more small changes

    Wishing you the best of luck, I hope you find something that works for you :)


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