can I test for pcos while nursing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 01-05-2006, 11:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, after ttc for quite a while we were finally able to conceive using vitex and numerous other "techniques". We have really good health insurance right now but are going to be losing it in a little while so I was hoping I could get some testing done on why I can't ovulate on my own. I kind of want to figure this out once and for all before we are ttc again.
My question is, is it possible to get tested for pcos while I am nursing? Or does this change my hormones too much that it wouldn't be accurate? I plan on nursing for years, but I would really like to know if I have pcos since I have so many of the other symptoms too (acne, hair, dandruff etc..etc). Can anyone help me out? TIA

Jessica, wife to Mark, homeschooling mama to Micah (2006), Noah (2009), Owen (2012) and another on the way this August (20014)
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#2 of 8 Old 01-07-2006, 11:05 AM
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I'm not sure what test you are referring to, specifically, but my understanding is they generally diagnose PCOS based upon symptoms. Because not even the absence of cysts necessarily means you don't have PCOS. I have PCOS, but just a small cyst. They can detect the cysts via ultrasound. With me they also ran a glucose tolerance test, which I don't think would be affected by nursing.

Just to let you know my situation; it took me 2 1/2 years to conceive DD (including 6 months on metformin). But once AF came back PP, I had a couple normal length cycles and then I got pregnant again (surprise! ). So I guess by having a baby something in my body regulated itself. Maybe it'll be the same way for you. GL!
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#3 of 8 Old 01-11-2006, 07:22 PM
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I think the op is referring to hormone tests, which sometimes can give you an idea of what is going on in there. However, the tests aren't always accurate. I think that it might be worth pursuing, although if you're nursing many doctors will tell you that lowers your fertility regardless. I think if you had excess testosterone, that would still show up.

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#4 of 8 Old 02-11-2006, 12:47 AM
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I was just at my RE and he did an Ultrasound to check for cysts and tested my LH and FSH and the ratio was PCOS indicitive. He is a new RE for me and just wanted to confirm my diagnosis. I am currently nursing my 10 month old son, so a doctor who knows what to look for can diagnose PCOS while you are breastfeeding.
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#5 of 8 Old 03-17-2006, 09:34 PM
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I am not sure. But I do have to say that while breastfeeding regularily, my body was very un-PCOS-like. I think with some women , the hormones are regulated by the brestfeeding.
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#6 of 8 Old 03-29-2006, 08:02 PM
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I think what happens for a lot of women is that things clear up during pregnancy (the cysts disappear, and the cysts are what cause the high testosterone that causes a lot of the symptoms, they think it's the insulin thing that causes the cysts in the first place...). Anyway, I'd think that your symptoms might still be cleared up from pregnancy, so if you want a diagnosis now, it might not show up, but it might later on.
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#7 of 8 Old 03-29-2006, 09:25 PM
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Keep in mind that PCOS is a syndrome. That means in some ways it can be a catch-all. YOu may or may not have insulin resistance (which causes the cysts), you may or may not have cysts (though many practitioners disagree that you can have PCOS without cysts), you may or may not have androgen problems, you may or may not have irregular cycles....

So "testing" as it were, it pretty tough to rely on. The docs know less about PCOS than we would like to admit sometimes, and I tend to be dubious of the whole thing, since it is a syndrome, and you can be diagnosed with it by a doc with only a couple of symptoms.

I would be leery of testing in any form while nursing...partially because of what previous posters have said - you may not be having any symptoms right now due to the hormones that go along with nursing. And also because treatment for PCOS usually involves meds, which you may or may not feel comfy starting while nursing.

Helpful aren't I? It is tough to figure out.

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#8 of 8 Old 04-05-2006, 12:34 AM
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I have PCOS and have been TTC for 5.5yrs now.

The only real "test" for PCOS is based on symptoms and a vaginal u/s. They will do a blood test to confirm insulin resistance and such. But nothing they do will harm or effect nursing. Good luck to you!
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