So I just got diagnosed with PCOS...UPDATE! Anyone on Ortho Novum??

And I'm totally clueless about birth control. I know a lot of ladies on this site have PCOS so I was wondering what BC pill brands you all use without horrendous side effects. I know everyone is different and no one's body reacts the same, but, for example, it seems like I've only been reading/hearing bad things about yaz. So I guess I'm just looking for some input before I go and have the talk with my gynecologist. I'm only 18, so I don't want to get pushed into making a choice on BC brand without having at least some ideas under my belt
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Last edited by Laura Lee; 02-08-2009 at 04:37 PM.
I've been on Ortho-Tricyclin (or however you spell it) and the generic brand of it, since I was about your age. I had some slight side affects the first month or so I was on it (a little bit of nausea was the worst, headaches right before starting my period, etc). The only thing I still have is the headaches, which are kind of like my 'warning' of what's to come. They're really not bad, and my cramps are nil compared to what some people tell me they go through.

I DID do the BC patch for awhile (before they recalled them). Big mistake, jacked me up horribly. Things are starting to g back to normal now that i'm on Ortho again.

My younger sister started Yaz a few months ago, and we think it's giving her some depression issues. So that might be something to consider when you're researching.

Sorry for the diagnosis, but you're in good company. PCOS can be totally controllable, once you figure out your body. I'm still struggling with my weight and the repercussions from that, but it's a small reassurance to know it's not that i"m just lazy and unmotivated. My body actually has it out for me a bit, and that strangely enough seems to motivate me more :P
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I've been on Ortho-Tricyclin (or however you spell it) and the generic brand of it, since I was about your age. I had some slight side affects the first month or so I was on it (a little bit of nausea was the worst, headaches right before starting my period, etc). The only thing I still have is the headaches, which are kind of like my 'warning' of what's to come. They're really not bad, and my cramps are nil compared to what some people tell me they go through.

I DID do the BC patch for awhile (before they recalled them). Big mistake, jacked me up horribly. Things are starting to g back to normal now that i'm on Ortho again.

My younger sister started Yaz a few months ago, and we think it's giving her some depression issues. So that might be something to consider when you're researching.

Sorry for the diagnosis, but you're in good company. PCOS can be totally controllable, once you figure out your body. I'm still struggling with my weight and the repercussions from that, but it's a small reassurance to know it's not that i"m just lazy and unmotivated. My body actually has it out for me a bit, and that strangely enough seems to motivate me more :P
Originally Posted by MimsTX
Thanks for the response! I've always felt like I had something weird wrong with me since I starting my period when I was like 11 and in the year 2008 (age 1 I had a whopping 2 periods. So all the bloodwork just came back and my insulin and cholesterol levels are fine (yay!) and all the other stuff just pointed to PCOS so that's how they made the diagnosis.

I'm one of those apparent oddities of the condition where weight has never been a problem for me. I've actually been underweight most of my life, but my gynecologist says there are some people with PCOS who just don't have that symptom and I suppose I'm one of them

I've heard so many bad things about yaz from friends and online. I can't recall actually hearing about a positive experience with it. So I think I'm just going to tell my gynecologist that I don't want to get on that.

Here at school the gynecology department actually has a policy that for medical conditions requiring BC they won't prescribe anything but an IUD or the pill, and for non-sexually active people (ie: me) they use the pill.

I'm actually ok with the thought of being on birth control because it'd be nice to actually have a regular cycle and my doctor says that it should help with my cramps (not exactly debilitating, but very bad) and my acne (that's my warning that I'm about to get a period; a horrible chest and face breakout). I'm just trying to trudge through the horror stories online to find some real information
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i don't know about how it would interact with PCOS but the ortho/generic is often prescribed to help with acne. maybe when it's a more general problem than just pre-period breakouts, but it might help with those, too. i've been on one of the generics for 3 or 4 years now and had no problems. good luck! and way to be proactive about researching the potential problems BEFORE your office visit!
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Ortho really helped with my acne, prior to my mass freak out when I went on those patches. Ever since then, my face has been a WRECK and nothing seems to help :/

As for being underweight, i do know a girl who's 4'11, 100 lbs with the worst case of PCOS imaginable. it does happen... and count yourself lucky that you're not suffering with the weight on top of everything else I think that's the worst part of it...
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I think when I go in for the post-testing office visit later this week I'll see what my doctor has to say about the ortho tricylcin. Thanks for the help
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Hi Laura Lee. I am new to the board but not new to PCOS. I actually just did some vids on it, but I was on Ortho Tri Cyclen Low (sp?). I was on it for about eight years with no side effects. Not sure if they still make it?? I stopped when I wanted to start ttc. Anywho, bcp's are okay, but they only mask the issue. Can you ask your doc about prescribing progesterone (pill) every other month so that you are able to shed your lining (with pcos it builds up).
Hi Laura Lee. I am new to the board but not new to PCOS. I actually just did some vids on it, but I was on Ortho Tri Cyclen Low (sp?). I was on it for about eight years with no side effects. Not sure if they still make it?? I stopped when I wanted to start ttc. Anywho, bcp's are okay, but they only mask the issue. Can you ask your doc about prescribing progesterone (pill) every other month so that you are able to shed your lining (with pcos it builds up).
Originally Posted by akirbyjewel
My doc says (note: I have my appointment to talk about BCP next week so this is all just what she's told me so far; she hasn't told me any brand names or anything like that) that the birth control pill should help regulate my cycle and thus cause the lining to be shed monthly
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Just a side note... did they check your glucose? If not ask them too. Birth control can do wonders but if your estrogen levels are high and you take a pill with estrogen it will mess you up so bad you won't believe it. Make sure they test your hormone levels too.

If you do not get the PCOS under control w/o birth control, you will have trouble down the line if you decide to stop taking birth control b/c the cysts on your ovaries will not go away with birth control. Birth control will make you have normal cycles, but not rid your of the cysts.
Just a side note... did they check your glucose? If not ask them too. Birth control can do wonders but if your estrogen levels are high and you take a pill with estrogen it will mess you up so bad you won't believe it. Make sure they test your hormone levels too.

If you do not get the PCOS under control w/o birth control, you will have trouble down the line if you decide to stop taking birth control b/c the cysts on your ovaries will not go away with birth control. Birth control will make you have normal cycles, but not rid your of the cysts.
Originally Posted by curlygirlyme
They tested all my hormones and my glucose I'm in college, so I'm going to the university medical system gynecology department, and since they are exceptional busy there (with so many women in their college years and such) and because it's attached to one of the best medical schools in the country, the department is very very good. They ran 6 different blood tests, so I'm confident it was very thorough.

I'm not concerned at this point in my life about the cysts still being there since I'm not planning on trying for a child for many years. I know it's something I'll have to pay close attention to when the time comes though. My mom has it (along with endometriosis, which I don't have) so I have no shortage of first hand stories
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I may be in the minority with Yaz, but I've been on it for about eight months now, and haven't had any issues. But since you've heard nothing but warnings about it, that's absolutely something to discuss with your doctor and to do research on.

I was also on Triphasal for YEARS, and had no problems with that either. I only made the switch because I was getting some adult onset acne around my jawline and neck, and Yaz was better at clearing that up. But I may be one of the lucky ones - I haven't had any problems.
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Update: My doctor has got me on a 5 day course of progesterone to initiate a period to start with a "clean slate" as she puts it, then I'll start taking Ortho-Novum 1/35.

Anyone on Ortho-Novum?
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I also had no problems with Yaz when I was on it, I think it actually helped with the mood swings, hiruitism, hair thinning, etc....Also, there are many women out there who have PCOS and are not overweight. Anyone wanting more info on PCOS should check out the message boards on http://www.soulcysters.com/.

Ciao
Hey there, I have PCOS too so know what you are going through.

I was on Dianette for years and loved it but the Dr. took me off as you have to change pills after so long (why - who knows?). Now i'm on Femodene and have been on for over 2 years and it is OK. My acne does still come back will avengence every period and it made me put on weight...actually it's not sounding too good is it!!! I might go change it again.

I would avoid Microgynon as a first BCP as both myself and my sister felt suicidal (seriously) on that one and both stopped taking it pronto! However I'm sure that it does work well for some, just make sure you talk it all through with your GP.

Aparently there are other treatments for PCOS other than BCP - this could be an urban myth though as my Dr. has no time/inclination for actually helping me...this is a different topic entirely. grrrr.

Last edited by Rin; 11-11-2009 at 10:12 AM.
I'm on Yasmin and I adore it

The first 8 weeks were a little dodgy, I felt occasionally nauseous, headachey and managed to have a 9-day period whilst still taking the pill!

I'm totally accustomed to it now, all side effects have ceased and it really helps with a lot of the issues I had.

The best thing to do is not read the scare stories (there's loads about EVERY BCP out there) or read them and remember to take them with a pinch of salt because what matters is how they effect YOU, not someone else. Reading negative experiences about your particular BCP can also colour your experience; heightening any negatives you may experience and downplaying the positives (the mind is very suggestible and powerful).

Finding a good GP who is willing to work with you and listen to any concerns you may have is also a great way of finding the BCP (and indeed ANY medication) that is best for your own personal needs.
The reason I mention the cysts is that they are very, very painful. My point was not about having children. They can rupture and in some cases surgery is needed to fix it. I would ask your doctor to watch the cysts (if you have any).
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I have PCOS also. It is a big deal to me, because I have too much hair on my arms, hair on the sides of my face, my back, etc. I don't like that my facial/body features tended toward the masculine, either. Additionally, after I sought treatment with Spiro and bcp at about 21, I still had my hairline recede (with lowered male hormones). I don't like Dr.'s downplaying this.

I have also been thin.

You will have to go on a bcp with the same level of hormones throughout the cycle. I think some listed here are not that way. Bcp give me tons of acne on my chin, and veins on my face and body.

PCOS is a serious problem for a woman. Be prepared for things to possibly get worse in the next couple of years.
Oh my gosh, I had no idea there were this many women out there who also have PCOS! Wow. Thank you all for all of these posts! I was diagnosed 9 months ago, and it really helps me to know that I am not alone!

My doctors actually took me off birth control when I was diagnosed (I wasn't on it for contraceptive purposes). Metformin has worked perfectly to stabilize my hormones and Spironolactone is doing wonders for my acne and facial hair issues. I don't miss the BC at all!

I have noticed one change, though. My hair is A LOT more oily than it used to be. This is a recent change, and when I mentioned it to my hair dresser she asked if I had had any hormone changes. Is it possible that getting things where they should have been all along has changed my hair?? Has anyone else experienced this? It is driving me crazy! Any advice would be much appreciated!
I'm totally with ParisLarue. This site has helped me so much with my PCOS. http://www.soulcysters.com
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