Questions to Ask Your Doctor About PCOS

Whenever you are diagnosed with a new disease, it is recommended to get as much information as possible. When you have polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, your doctor is a particularly important source of knowledge.

Asking questions and hearing not just their answers and opinions on the various treatment options, but also the way in which they respond to you, can help you determine if that particular doctor is the right one for you.

If your doctor sounds rushed or impatient with your questions, talks down to you or poo-poo's your concerns, consider finding another doctor to work with. PCOS is a lifelong condition, and you want to have a caring physician on your team.

Here are five questions you should ask your doctor about PCOS.

Should I See a Specialist?

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Many OB/Gyns routinely manage PCOS. However, you want to make sure that yours has experience taking care of women with PCOS. 

If yours doesn't, you may want to consider seeing an endocrinologist, a specialist in hormonal disorders.

Ask your doctor for recommendations for an endocrinologist or reproductive endocrinologist in your area who has a good reputation for working with women with PCOS.

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Do I Have to Take the Pill?

There are many different options for treating PCOS, and the birth control pill is just one of them.

Some women may not be comfortable taking the pill for religious or other reasons, and that is OK.

If you are uncomfortable with taking the birth control pill and your doctor is not willing to work with you in finding a treatment that is acceptable to both of you, you may want to find a different doctor. 

At the very least, a second opinion is warranted.

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PCOS and Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is a well-known and documented issue in women with PCOS. Insulin resistance occurs when the body is unable to use the insulin it produces to lower blood sugar levels.

For this reason, many specialists use insulin lowering drugs to help women with PCOS manage their symptoms.

Medications, such as metformin, can help your body to use insulin properly and reduce your risk for diabetes. Research also shows that insulin lowering medications can help to promote ovulation in women with PCOS.

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What Weight Loss Support Do You Offer?

Many studies have shown that even moderate weight loss can be helpful in reducing androgen levels and symptoms of PCOS. 

That being said, there are doctors who still discount the effectiveness of weight loss in treating PCOS. 

If you deal with weight issues, like many women with PCOS, this should at least be part of your evaluation and subsequent discussion.

Weight loss support options include working with a nutritionist, supplements and medications that can promote weight loss.

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How Should I Monitor Myself for Complications?

Heart disease, diabetes, endometrial cancer and metabolic syndrome are all very real risks of having PCOS. 

Thankfully though, it can be very easy to reduce your risk factors through a few lifestyle changes. 

Your doctor should be able to give you practical advice, and help you set realistic goals for making these changes. If your doctor is unable or unwilling to discuss this with you, consider finding a new doctor to work with.

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