PCOS, male hormones, no insuline resistan... - PCOS UK (Verity)

PCOS UK (Verity)

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PCOS, male hormones, no insuline resistance and IUDs.

morganabarry
morganabarry

Hello. Please, I've been diagnosed with PCOs in December 2016 and, since then, I've been taking birth control pills (as a form of contraception in my long-term relationship and as a treatment in itself). Because I am very afraid of getting pregnant and really do not want kids, I take my pill religiously. I've been considering getting an IUD because I feel there are less things that could happen to mess with my contraception if I had one. The problem is: my PCOs was not controlled by life style choices. I've never been over weight, my insulin was and still is normal, I exercise regularly, and I am a plant-based vegan. Still, I had microcysts and my testosterone was very high. I had weird hair growth in my chin, a lot of acne, depression, my waistline disappeared, and my energy was low. I had some mild cramps unrelated to my period as well. When I started taking Yasmin all those problems went away but I also got worried because of the many unhealthy side effects of contraceptive pills. My question is: If I get an IUD, will it be able to control all my hormonal problems? Can I have an IUD and also take an anti-androgen or something like that?

14 Replies
Hidden
Hidden

Some women swear by them so I guess it depends on the situation. The gynes I saw this summer seemed to think I should get one even when I said no. If you want one you should ask at your GP about it and taking Spironolactone alongside.

As for controlling all hormonal issues... well I'd say no, reproduction is one part of the puzzle as PCOS is a metabolic issue and the influence can extend to way more than the reproductive.

Did they test you for fasting insulin though? Having normal insulin from like an A1C doesn't mean the resistance factor isn't there.

Also I'm glad to hear someone else is adamant about no babies. It makes me feel less like an odd duck.

morganabarry
morganabarry in reply to Hidden

I used Spirolactone for some time and it made me feel weird (but maybe the dose was too high, I don't know).

My main issue is that I live in Brazil in a very small town - where no doctors specialize in PCOs and most do not keep up with recent studies. That being said, I do like my GP and will talk with her about it.

As far as metabolism goes, the doctor that discovered my PCOs (when I lived in France, mind you) did several tests to make sure my insuline was ok. Weirdly, I only "felt" metabolic issues when my testosterone was high - as soon as it dropped down my energy went back up and I felt pretty normal - my weight was always normal, anyway.

You have no ideia! I do not want kids but it's very very hard to have a sterilization in Brazil. That's why I am so carefull with the pill and added protection. But the pill has so many possible interactions, from tea to other remedies, even with perfect use - it worries me.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to morganabarry

the metabolic issues extend far beyond diabetes and can be present even in normal weight individuals, hypothyroidism is often present alongside PCOS as is vitamin deficiencies. If they had you come in and you couldn't eat before they took your blood, that is resting insulin and a better indicator of resistance.

Ah I would think that's just the testosterone. Metabolic issues can cause fatigue, to tingling in the fingers and toes, it's really not something that goes away when the testosterone goes down either.

Would it be possible to go up to Mexico for additional tests or consultations? I used to have friends that'd go to doctors on the border towns. I guess if it isn't, the best thing to do would be research as much as you can and ask for the right tests. PCOS is so poorly misunderstood even in the States and the UK I've had to do the same. I started feeling much better after vitamin supplements after my own investigations.

morganabarry
morganabarry in reply to Hidden

Thank you! May I ask, what supplements do you take? I found some things about vitamin B complex and magnesium but neither of them made me feel different.

I had hypothyroidism years ago, and had it before I started taking Yasmin, but it also went away after some months of treatment. Last time I did blood tests (june) my T4, T3 and TSH were OK. Should I have another kind of blood test? I already had a fasting glucose level test but no place around here does the glucose tolerance test.

I don't think I can go to Mexico, but maybe, next year, I'll be able to try to talk to a specialist.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to morganabarry

Vitamin D and active B12, mainly, sometimes calcium, magnesium, C, and a B complex. I have D and B12 deficiency to the point I was showing neurological impairment and neuropathy before I got on the supplements.

You had it but it's gone? Did you have another medical issue that caused a temporary drop in thyroid function? PCOS is the kind of thing that keeps throwing things to imbalance so I wouldn't be surprised if it's just being managed or just very low. Tests don't always show what's actually going on when testing for hypothyroidism and if it's being managed it'll show good function but doesn't necessarily mean it's healthy. Ask for a copy of your tests results and then research what the results mean, I've literally had to do that before. A lot of countries/clinics have ridiculously low standards for thyroid hormones that means many people will have the issue for years and wind up with permanent complications before the doctor will finally admit it's a problem.

If you had a fasting blood test for glucose, then that's what measures how high your insulin is when you haven't eaten anything and how resistant your body is to using it. I'd ask for another one again in a year though, it's the kind of thing you keep an eye on.

morganabarry
morganabarry in reply to Hidden

I am not sure about the hypothyroidism. A doctor once told me some individuals need different levels of hormone to feel good and that the "normal levels" do not work for everyone. That being said, I think that when I went vegan a couple of years ago my body changed a lot. My weight dropped and my energy levels went up. Even before taking Yasmin I had way less acne, so maybe that helped with the tyrod some way or another. I will repeat the exams anyway, the whole bunch, I am seeing my GP this week.

Have you ever taken something for hypothyroidism as well? Do you think someone with PCOs might benifit from it?

I went to several endocrinologists and all of them said I had nothing, no hypotyroid. And most of them didn't even considered my complains about PCOs. It was very frustating.

Even with supplements, sometimes it's hard to find a minimum ok dose around here.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to morganabarry

Diet can affect the thyroid but I just learned all the "healthy" vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, kale and anything that's said to be "super healthy" for you actually have thyroid-negating chemicals in it and have to be cooked thoroughly before consumption. It's a bit funny because I used to eat mostly vegetarian stuff and couldn't keep weight off and always felt hungry.

No, I have not even though I show symptoms because the UK is extremely relaxed about what it considers "normal" and also ignores my mother having it and diabetes and if I were home I'd have been diagnosed already. And I'd probably feel a lot better if I did. The thing is PCOS can cause hypothyroidism along side other metabolic disorders like diabetes. It's like one part of the machine misaligned can cause other misalignments, and so forth. The doctors are too stuck on the tests to just toss them out and treat the symptoms rather than the test results.

You could probably find recommended daily dosages for vitamins online.

I was diagnosed with pcos about ten years ago. I had a iud (mirena) for seven years after I had a blood clot which was suspected to be caused by the birth control pill. In my experience it did reduce acne and the excess hair growth a bit. Mirena has a hormonal component so I would expect it to have some effect. Another interesting thing was that after spotting for a year, I never had a period until I took the iud out. I am now off the iud and I have noticed slightly more hair and acne. I didn't lose any weight on mirena although I am, and have been at a reasonably healthy weight. Hope this helps.

morganabarry
morganabarry in reply to Raya35

Thank you. It really helps. May I ask, why did you stop using the Mirena iud? Did it have any side effects that you didn't like?

Lots of ladies love the hormonal coil and controls the symptoms really well so would be worth it especially if you dont want a family. Basically yasmin will mask all the symptoms of pcos - I have been on it on and off for 30 years, I am 49 now and still on it as it keeps it all at bay so I am willing to take the small risk of it being an 'old' bird!

morganabarry
morganabarry in reply to Hols969

Thank you for your reply! I know Yasmin only masks the symptoms of PCOs, that's why I like it (it changed my body so much).

Hols969
Hols969 in reply to morganabarry

Yup me too !!

I have had the IUD with no hormones I had no issues

I have had the IUD with no hormones I had no issues

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