PCOS In Teenaged Girls
PCOS Begins Early
Sporadic periods are not entirely uncommon for a teenage girl, especially since it can take up to two years for her system to adapt to the new phenomenon. It also isn't uncommon for acne to accompany this hormonal change - however, these very symptoms can signal the onset of PCOS in some teens. If a girl starts menstruating and then stops for several months, or if she gains a considerable amount of weight and has acne that is worsening and not going away, a visit to the doctor would be wise in order to be tested properly for PCOS.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is an increasingly common problem amongst teenage girls and young women and it appears to be related to an imbalance in hormones. In females with PCOS, there is an overabundance of the male hormones, androgens and testosterone. The hormones are naturally occurring in the female body, however, when there are more than are necessary, problems might arise.
Contributors And Symptoms
There are many things that are considered to be contributors to this condition, and it is also thought that PCOS may be hereditary - so if someone in the family has it, it is likely to be passed on. There are a lot of risks and potential problems for the teen with PCOS if she is not treated properly. Among other things, girls with PCOS are more likely to be infertile, have hirsutism (excessive amounts of unwanted body hair) or suffer hair loss, acne, weight problems, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal bleeding and even cancer.
There Is Good News
The good news is that PCOS, while not having a cure, is highly treatable and once the important part - the diagnosis - is complete, obtaining proper treatment reduces the seriousness of the side effects of PCOS. PCOS can be very hard on a teen's emotions and sense of personal wellbeing. Some of the symptoms (skin problems, hair problems, and/or weight problems) are very obvious and uncomfortable. There are medications available to address excessive hair growth, as well as depilatory creams and electrolysis. A well balanced and healthy diet, coupled with a consistent exercise program helps to keep weight in check and acne is controllable with birth control pills.
Depression can easily creep in, given all of the emotional and physical challenges a teenage girl is faced with if she has PCOS. It may be of help to see a therapist or mental health professional who can the appropriate counseling. There are also support groups and programs especially designed for teens and young women who have been diagnosed and are living with PCOS.