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partyrock's avatar

Have any women out there ever had a problem with too much testosterone, PCOS, or hormones?

Asked by partyrock (3863 points ) November 8th, 2012

I’m writing this question towards women who have had to get their hormones checked or who have felt they had too much testosterone. How has it affected your life? Did you have to get a series of tests done or be put on hormone therapy? What were the signs that you had too much testosterone in you? How was it dealing with PCOS? Thanks.

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3 Answers

bkcunningham's avatar

I’ve had my hormones checked and I’ve been tested for PCOS and many other reproductive health issues. I don’t have PCOS, but I know women who do. There isn’t a test, per say, that tells you if you have PCOS, but a physician will talk to you and do tests to rule out other problems before making a diagnosis. They will talk to you about your menstrual history, symptoms you may be having, weight gain, if you’ve been trying to get pregnant and for how long…those types of things.

Most likely you will have a pap/pelvic and vaginal ultrasound to check the thickness of the lining of the uterus and to see if you have any fibrous tumors or anything that may be of concern.

Excess facial or body hair is a symptom of PCOS. So excess body weight and fertility problems.

I’ve known women with PCOS who were put on Metformin, a drug used for diabetics. I think your eating habits and exercise, along with whatever your doctors tells you, can help manage your PCOS.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t have PCOS but I know about it. Classic symptoms are missing periods and ovarian cysts. Typical tests are day 3 testing of your cycle, which are blood tests, and they might also do an ultrasound that day and sugar testing. It has been found that PCOS patients often have an underlying sugar problem that is not found just by doing a simply fasting glucose, and taking diabetic drugs like glucophage or eating a diet that is better for diabetes can correct or help the problem. I am pretty sure higher testosterone levels are common in PCOS patients, which probably contributes to some of the typical physical characteristics like broader shoulders, more facial and body hair, and many have a very boxy look. I can usually spot a PCOS woman, I assume those women had it very severe from the time they were very young and it affected their overall body type. But, many PCOS women do not “look” PCOS.

linguaphile's avatar

PCOS, as I understand it, is a hormone deficiency that can cause a severe imbalance between three glands—the ovaries, pancreas and adrenal glands.

When an ovary forms an egg, one hormone rises to form that egg—but then another hormone comes in to cause the egg to burst out of a sac. When the hormone does not come in to cause the egg to burst out, the egg stays in the sac and it becomes an ovarian cyst. I am not sure exactly which hormones do what job (LSH, progesterone, estrogen, androgen, etc) but they work together to release eggs from the ovaries.

When the eggs aren’t released, the necessary and healthy hormone drop does not happen—so too much progesterone, I believe, causes a rise in androgen and testosterone. Elevated androgens and testosterone in a woman’s body causes the pancreas to not function well, so blood sugar is affected. When blood sugars are high, it also, in turn, affects the ovaries.

Both the pancreas and ovaries can also be affected by the production of stress hormones- cortisol and adrenaline. If there’s a lot of high-anxiety stress, which elevates cortisol and adrenaline, the pancreas underfunctions even more, affecting the ovaries further.

Women with PCOS basically have elevated testosterone and androgen levels, which leads to hair loss, excessive facial hair, skin tags, darkening of the skin, weight gain, irregular periods, infertility and almost guarantees that the woman will eventually get diabetes.

PCOS is genetic, but is a latent condition that is brought about by a few factors, starting with low birth weight. If a girl is born under 7 pounds, her chances of getting PCOS increases. Early puberty is the second factor. Childhood abuse (increased stress and anxiety hormones) is another big and underreported factor. Pregnancy (both to-terms and miscarriages) exacerbates the condition. People think obesity causes it—usually obesity is just one factor.

Women don’t get PCOS just because they’re fat so the idea that PCOS is a woman’s fault is very, very wrong. It has to be in their genetic blueprint to begin with.

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