Newbie diagnosed with PCOS - vegetarianism, weight problems and implanon - can you help me?

Hello all I'm 30 years old and I've recently been diagnosed with PCOS as well as a jump up to high cholesterol. Both were diagnosed by blood tests which had previously come back normal a few years ago. I pushed to have them done again because my symptoms, hair growth etc were getting worse and was finally diagnosed this week. On receiving my diagnosis I was told the only option the NHS could offer was Metaforin to assist with weight loss and my GP would only prescribe this if I was trying to conceive (which I'm not). This 2 min appointment sent me off the deep end into anxiety and fears for my future. I've been mostly in tears this whole week and googling my fate on questionable websites (until finding this one). This lovely page has genuinely rescued my sanity so thank you all.

My first question to you all is in relation to diet/supplements. I am embarrassed to say I am now obese (34 BMI). The weight gain over the past few years has been steady and constant no matter what I seemed to try. I'm a vegetarian and my diet is pretty good as a result. Although my weight gain has finally plateaued now, despite diet and regularly attending the gym I just can't seem to shift any weight. I'm now planning even more intense diet and exercise for my health generally but I wonder if there are any ladies on here who are also vegetarian who can give me any advice in terms of diet/supplements? I've read some stuff online that, for example, a vegetarian diet can cause zinc deficiency which can affect PCOS? Any advice would be very much appreciated.

My last question relates to fertility and ensuring I am getting 4 periods a year. I'm currently using the contraceptive implant which I've been using for about 8 years. Prior to that I was on various different pills. All in I have been on hormone-based contraception for about 14 years and I'm worried this could have impacted on my body. Is there is any merit in getting the implant removed and letting my body get back to a natural cycle or could that make my symptoms worse? I get what I would call spotting rather than periods on the implant. I have read on here I should aim to have 4 periods a year and I'm now worried I've not been getting that but I'm confused by everything I've read online so far as to whether I should go natural or try Dianette (which could help my hair), some other pill or the coil? I don't want to do anything which could affect my fertility later in life but I also want to make sure I'm trying everything I can to help my symptoms and assist with weight loss. Does anyone have any recommendations? I thought you ladies might be able to help since my GP has just left me to it and told me to come back to her in later life when I want to start a family but I want to do everything I can to fight this head on now.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this, I appreciate it is a long post but it feels really good to get this all out - maybe I'll finally get some sleep tonight.

2 Replies

  • Implant is not good from a pcos point of view and can make symptoms worse so I personally would get it removed. If you can go on the combined pill (dianette or yasmin are good) then I would, I have been on the pill on and off for over 30 years now and for me the small risk it entails is worth the pretty much no pcos symptoms. The good thing also is that when you do want a family then you have a greater chance of conceiving in the first 6 months of coming off the pill as your body is less pcos. Also part of the reason I like the pill is it is much easier to lose weight (still is slow going but not impossible). Diet wise the main thing would be to cut out all white carbs, I eat a fair amount of lentils and pulses but tend to not have any carbs with them at all which helps. A few years ago I was on the Norah Lane diet which was brilliant for me and I lost 3 stone (a few other ladies lost 7 stone in a year and all conceived naturally), that final stone goes on and off but I am never more than a stone of where I want to be and I tend to control it with the 5:2 fasting diet which actually once I get my head around it, found it really easy and simple too (and cheap).

    Motivation is key and is bl**dy difficult to maintain because it can be slow going. As for fertility, our egg quality remains better for longer so we can conceive later in life, I conceived Noah via IUI when I was 36, it took 3 years, but it is really rare not to conceive just because of pcos and there is so much help out there so dont worry too much as some ladies have no issues at all. You are right to try and get things under control though as the biggest issue really is weight when it comes to TTC as you wont be offered any on the NHS until your BMI is under 30 (mine was 30.8 when I conceived Noah - I hid my fat well :-) ). We are not at an increased risk of miscarriage either.

    I did find that exercise just confused things tbh, I found I wasnt eating enough for the amount of exercise I was doing so I was storing very efficiently. I didnt exercise at all when I lost the 3 stone!!

    Remember you will always find the horror stories on line so just take everything you read with a pinch of salt. Ive been involved with Verity for about 20 years now and it is not all doom and gloom and there is so much more knowledge about pcos now compared to when I was diagnosed 25 years ago.

    Good luck and dont worry too much.

  • Thanks so much for your advice!

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