Dieting with Obstacles - Menstrual cycle regulated?




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Firecracker777
12-29-2009, 04:23 PM
My periods have become irregular and honestly I believe it may be pcos. Last exam was in april and the dr did check for cysts just through a pelvic exam and said there were none but never mentioned pcos. He said my irregular periods could just be because im young and my body may be switching it up and it could go back to normal. I asked if my weight had anything to do with it and he said yes they may also. I think he was afraid to offend me, but honestly a dr is the only one i wanna hear say your too fat! So I read about pcos a few months ago and I see a few other symptoms and wonder if maybe I do have it. I figure my next exam is in april and since my health insurance is up in the air I will go again in april and Ill ask about it and if he says no I am still asking for whatever tests I need or Im switching doctors. But now I want to know has anyone lost or had their periods become irregular due to their weight and now that they have lost some has it come back or even become regular again? Im on birth control to regulate it but I hate the idea of playing with hormones and want to get off it.


junebug41
12-29-2009, 04:34 PM
I always had irregular periods- usually 3-5 a year and my cycles were HORRIBLE.

When I was finally put on BCP, I loooooved it. Loved it with a capital "L". No more insane periods, no more horrible PMS, no more cramps that would send me to bed, no more migraines.

I also began losing weight when I began BCP and was on it for 5 years until this October when I stopped in order to TTC. Since then I have ovulated twice, so I think that's a pretty marked improvement.

However, my pre-menstrual migraines have returned, which I am not happy about.

beerab
12-29-2009, 04:35 PM
The thing with the doctor saying you are young and your body might be changing it up doesn't sound right to me... I mean I assume you are in your 20s at least- and unless you barely started your period this year it doesn't take years and years to become "regular." When I was diagnosed with PCOS I'd get a period every 4-6 weeks and I thought that WAS regular- my doctor said it's not regular at all.

What PCOS symptoms do you have that you've checked?

And you said they have become irregular- to me I'd think that you might not have PCOS if you were regular before, you might have another issue.

And if you have PCOS birth control is a good thing- you want to regulate your hormones, specially if you aren't trying to become pregnant anytime soon.

Since he seemed so hesitant to say anything I'd just opt for a new doctor who knows about PCOS- there are some out there who don't believe in PCOS and there is not one specific test for PCOS. And there are times when tests show things are normal (like testosterone tests) when in fact you aren't in the normal range.


Gracie789
12-29-2009, 04:44 PM
Since I started putting on weight my periods have been very irregular. For the past 8 years I've gone from having regular monthly cycles to having 2-5 a year.
As I started losing weight I've become fairly regular (5 months in a row and counting). For me, my irregularity was mostly about the weight and improper diet.

Firecracker777
12-29-2009, 04:45 PM
Im 22, ill be 23 next year and Ive had my period since I was about 12. It was always regular, If it came on the 25th of july and ended on he 30th I knew that the next month it would come by the 26 or 27th. It had become irregular about a year and a half ago which is when my weight reached its highest. Which is why I thought maybe my weight was making it hard for my periods to be regular. As for the other symptoms I unfortunately have excess hair growth on my face which I went to a specialist for laser hair removal and he said his niece had hair on her face as well and it was even worse then mine but he never said this may be related to pcos or anything. Will the birth control regulate the hormones so when I get off of it will I be able to conceive easier? I am becoming aware that I may have trouble getting pregnant when the time comes which is one of the reasons why I want to lose the weight The only problem with the birth control is that I like the pill Im on I havent gained any weight or any bad side effects except mood swings and maybe becoming depressed and irritable. But that seems to be a symptom with a lot of the pills.

junebug41
12-29-2009, 04:55 PM
Well, thick eyebrows don't automatically mean something's wrong. A lot of it is ethnicity, genetics, etc...

What makes you think you will have trouble getting pregnant? Irregular periods don't mean that you don't ovulate, they just mean you don't ovulate on the same day every month. That's not to say it's not a common fear to have, but is there a specific reason you think this?

beerab
12-29-2009, 05:03 PM
I'm sure she's talking about more than eyebrows... I assume hair on your chin and under your chin, possibly neck, etc. Way more than a normal woman.

I definitely would find a doctor who specializes in PCOS.

The only thing that will help you conceive easier is to lose weight (I know that's easier said than done). For women with PCOS it's harder to conceive and being overweight definitely helps us less- so taking the pill doesn't guarantee you'll be more likely to get pregnant when you get off of it (cuz your hormones won't be regulated anymore).

What are you doing to lose weight? My current doctor recommends south beach for all her patients with PCOS.

junebug41
12-29-2009, 05:22 PM
I don't see why she suspects PCOS, she only listed irregular periods and eyebrow issues :?: Did I miss something? I know PCOS is so finicky in its symptoms and diagnosis, but you can't say you will have trouble conceiving and/or PCOS based on irregular periods alone. I'm curious as to why she suspects this would be an issue without the diagnosis of a specific problem with infertility. Most doctors won't even see you for infertility until you've been trying for a year. Like a said, a LOT of women have this deep down fear and I think it's quite natural, I'm just wondering if she thinks its something specifically.

ETA: I also had awful problems with facial hair and the BCP and losing weight helped tremendously with this, FWIW.

beerab
12-29-2009, 06:08 PM
But she didn't say eyebrows specifically- she said excess hair growth on her face. I have excess hair growth and I don't mean bushy eyebrows. I mean hair on the sides of my face, chin, below my chin, upper lip (more than normal), and so on. Most women with PCOS suffer from hirsutism. Hirsutism and lack of periods could be from her weight gain- BUT could also be from PCOS- she should get checked.

I suggested seeing a PCOS specialist cuz they will know best. I know for me- I have almost every single symptom related to PCOS except diabetes and hair thinning.

Having a period does not mean you can conceive IMO. I'd get this little blips of blood and I definitely wouldn't call it a normal period- when I was first diagnosed with PCOS my ovaries were covered in cysts- birth control did help though.

See a doctor who will also perform an ultrasound to take a look at your ovaries- they'll stick a small tube inside of you so they can see your ovaries (it's not a traditional ultrasound like when you are pregnant). It doesn't hurt- but helps the doctor see if there a cysts or not- I'm really surprised your current doctor didn't check.

horrorchick
12-29-2009, 06:14 PM
A couple of years ago my periods starting getting irregular. I was already on BCP, so my doc started switching up brands saying some have different levels in them. Nothing worked. I kept taking the pills until eventually I stopped having a cycle all together. The doc told me to stop taking the pills and see what happened. That was over a year ago and I haven't had a cycle since. I just had a bunch of tests run two weeks ago and started taking Provera. Took my last dose this past Sat., so we will see in a couple of days. I do know I haven't felt this bad in a while complete with what can only be described as wicked hot flashes. I would like to blame it on my weight gain, but I stopped having a cycle when I was still fairly small, before the weight gain. To be honest, it's scary.:cry:

junebug41
12-29-2009, 06:17 PM
But she didn't say eyebrows specifically- she said excess hair growth on her face. I have excess hair growth and I don't mean bushy eyebrows. I mean hair on the sides of my face, chin, below my chin, upper lip (more than normal), and so on. Most women with PCOS suffer from hirsutism. Hirsutism and lack of periods could be from her weight gain- BUT could also be from PCOS- she should get checked.

I suggested seeing a PCOS specialist cuz they will know best. I know for me- I have almost every single symptom related to PCOS except diabetes and hair thinning.

Having a period does not mean you can conceive IMO. I'd get this little blips of blood and I definitely wouldn't call it a normal period- when I was first diagnosed with PCOS my ovaries were covered in cysts- birth control did help though.

See a doctor who will also perform an ultrasound to take a look at your ovaries- they'll stick a small tube inside of you so they can see your ovaries (it's not a traditional ultrasound like when you are pregnant). It doesn't hurt- but helps the doctor see if there a cysts or not- I'm really surprised your current doctor didn't check.

I see what you're saying (about the facial hair).

I also agree that having a period doesn't indicate ovulation, just as NOT having a period doesn't mean you AREN'T ovulating. I just don't think being irregular means you automatically have problems with infertility. You really do not know until you get there.

I'm not surprised in the slightest that OP's doctor hasn't ordered any testing. I think a lot of Gynos and GPs can be quite clueless when it comes to PCOS. I do think that if you have a gut feeling, you need to find a doctor who will test accordingly. I didn't have any piece of mind or plan of action until I had a new doctor correlate my laundry list of symptoms with PCOS.

RMatS
12-29-2009, 07:02 PM
Horrorchick -- I don't know how old you are, but unless you're over 40, that would scare me, too.

And, even though I might be throwing a turd in the puchbowl, here it is -- I just read an article that says that only 8% of Americans ages 18-29 are infertile, but 59% of women in that age think they are or might be. I'm not saying Firecracker shouldn't make her doctor check, because SHE SHOULD, but don't think irregular periods mean you don't need birth control.

At 22, irregular periods shouldn't be normal if they haven't always been that way, but they could be caused by the weight, or PCOS, or both, or something else. I'd want my doctor to actually try to figure it out and fix it before I wanted to try to conceive. Although it doesn't surprise me that the doctor didn't do any tests, either.

And I'm not a medical professional, which is just a standard disclaimer statement!

junebug41
12-29-2009, 07:39 PM
I think it's time for my shameless plug:

Please read Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. Please, please, please. It was so eye opening and when I started charting my cycles I knew *exactly* what was going on in my body and if there is a problem, the doctor will have all the info to give me an answer.

I realized that my fear came from being totally in the dark about what was going on with my body. Now I know and it's so empowering. I don't live in fear any more.

//soapbox.

Justwant2Bhealthy
12-29-2009, 09:37 PM
I really think that you should keep pressing this issue with your doctor (s) becuz you are young and this should be investigated. My doctor told me when I lost my menses for several months that this shouldn't be let go becuz -- it could lead to health problems like endometriosis, which could interfere with fertility down the road. He put me on a hormone for 6 months which did bring my menses back.

Now, I am 51 y/y and they are on and off again, but that is becuz I was in peri-menopause before (from age 46 y/o and on). Since you are only in your early 20's, I think this would warrant you pressing for clear answers. Yes, your weight can affect your hormones and in turn, your cycles, but that might not be true in your case; only more testing could say for sure ...

I hope you get some answers to your queries soon! :hug:

Firecracker777
12-30-2009, 10:19 AM
Yea Im not talking eyebrows, I have extra hair on my chin, side burns etc. I just assumed Ill have trouble getting pregnant if my periods arent regular, we arent trying anything right now. As for what Im trying to do to lose the weight is Ive started going to the gym and Im just changing what I am eating. Ive cut out all fast food (which is what we usually do for lunch at work) and for dinners Ive just been trying to cook more healthy things and not having big old plate fulls of it either! lol

Justwant2Bhealthy
12-30-2009, 09:38 PM
That's a good start -- going to the gym and cutting out the junk and fast food meals for lunch, plus making healthier meals for dinner. Do that for a while and see how it goes; then later on, you could refine things a bit more if you need to. Oh, and walk as much as you can: it is free and an ez way to get into better shape ... :hug:

horrorchick
01-01-2010, 11:13 AM
RMatS....I will be 28 in a couple of weeks. I got really excited a couple of days ago because (I hope this isn't TMI) it looked like I spotted. I believe it was a false alarm because there has been nothing since and I have been off of Provera for 7 days. My Dr. seemed to think things should be a little on the heavy side. Maybe I don' understand how this med is suppose to work. All my lab results came back normal, so if nothing happens in a few days it's back to square 1.

Firecracker...whatever you do, don't put off Dr. appts. It's not worth the worrying of not knowing if you can go and find out whats going on. I put my Dr. appts off and now over a year later I'm scared to death. The infertility issue, other than health reasons, really isn't an issue in my case because future hubby can't have children. Fingers crossed that the meds work. I don't know about you, but being in my 20's and not having a cycle, I don't feel "girly" you know what I mean?

Mulberry14
01-21-2010, 06:47 PM
I've had irregular periods for a long time, and then have had stretches where they have been regular both when overweight and when at a healthy weight. This is all more correlated to my stress levels I think and whether I have been exercising. However, the longest no-period stretches were all at my highest weights. I think at a certain point I did get so heavy that it impeded my hormone functioning.

I am also now on birth control (just started), which I'm not terribly happy about, but I needed to get a period and I'm planning on going off of it when I get down to a non-obese weight. So... I don't know.

As for PCOS without cysts on your ovaries, I know it's partly a hormonal disorder, but I'm not sure that they are not completely sure on what the diagnosis requirments if you don't have cysts are. The treatments for PCOS are pretty mundane, so I'm not sure how valuable having a diagnosis is anyhow. As far as I know, the treatments are metformin, which is also used to treat insulin resistance or pre-diabetes and birth control - which you're already on. So, I wouldn't worry too much about getting diagnosed with PCOS, unless you want to get on metformin. And if you do, then perhaps see if you are pre-diabetic.

-Alexa

Firecracker777
01-28-2010, 11:27 AM
I feel the same...once I lower my weight I'm gonna try to go off of the birth control. I've been on this since april and with the pills everything has been regular but lately Im starting to spot and even got my period a week early without missing any pills! I was wondering if my weight change had something to do with it coming early even on the pill