Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in Teens: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) happens when a hormone change causes ovulation problems. Ovulation is the time of the month when your ovary releases an egg.

Doctors don't fully understand why some women get PCOS. But they think it may be genetic. They also think it could be linked to obesity and a risk for diabetes.

PCOS can cause different symptoms. Your menstrual cycles may not be regular. Some women don't get their period for months or longer. But it's important to know that you can still get pregnant. If you don't want to be pregnant, talk to your doctor about birth control.

Other symptoms include weight gain, acne, and too much hair on your face or body. You could also have high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels. Sometimes a woman's ovaries have cysts or growths that are not cancer.

Your doctor may have you take medicines to help your menstrual cycle be more regular. These may also prevent heavy periods. And they could prevent precancerous changes in your uterus.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse call line if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Include fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains in your diet every day.
  • If you are overweight, talk to your doctor about safe ways to lose weight. Weight loss can help your symptoms.
  • Get plenty of exercise every day. Go for a walk or jog, ride your bike, or play sports with friends.
  • If you have extra hair on your body, you can try bleaching or plucking it. You can also try electrolysis or laser therapy.
  • If you have acne, you can treat it with over-the-counter medicines. Look for ones that have benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid in them.
  • It can be hard to deal with having PCOS. But it can help to know you are not alone. Talk to other teens who have PCOS. Or ask your doctor about local support groups or online groups. If you feel sad or depressed, you may want to talk to a counsellor.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have severe vaginal bleeding. This means that you are soaking through your usual pads every hour for 2 or more hours.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You have more vaginal bleeding, or bleeding is more irregular.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed

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