Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Community
is there such a thing as mild PCOS?
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This patient support community is for discussions relating to PCOS including anxiety, baldness or thinning hair, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, type 2 diabetes, genetics, heart problems, increased hair growth (hirsuitism), infertility, menstruation (periods), obesity, ovarian cysts, pelvic pain, pregnancy, skin problems, sleep disorders, and weight gain.

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is there such a thing as mild PCOS?

My urogynecologist scheduled me for a pelvic (not transvaginal) ultrasound soon (due to frequent urination and possible Interstitial Cystitis or other bladder problem), and I am wondering if this will pick up PCOS if I have it?  

Is it possible to have a milder form of PCOS?  If so, I think that might explain my lifetime's worth of symptoms. I've never been tested because I've never presented to a doctor with clear-cut symptoms like extremely irregular periods (because I've been on the pill forever).  I'm wondering if my story strikes a chord with anyone out there, and if the pelvic ultrasound will show anything to do with PCOS?

All my life I've struggled with acne (extremely bad, cystic acne from age 12 to 24, then did 2 courses of accutane and it got so much better.  Now at 35 I still have some breakouts and will probably never have "good" skin).

I also have a TON of facial hair.  I'm blond with blue eyes and pretty fair skin color.  I've always had so much blond facial hair that in direct sunlight I look awful, like I have a full beard!  It gets long, like about a 1/4 inch and I have to trim it every single day.  Around age 20 I noticed some of the hair started getting darker, and I have nearly black hair growth on my upper lip, corners of my mouth, chin and now even along my jawline.  Some of them are super black, thick hairs, like a man's beard, and some are soft hairs that you can't really see unless I'm in certain lights and then they look dark colored.  

At 5ft 3, 115 lbs I'm not overweight but even when I was in great shape and weighed 105 lbs I still had a little pot belly that would never go away.  I also always seem to be retaining fluids, in my abdomen and ankles mostly.  

I've been on the pill since age 18, so I don't entirely remember having super messed up periods, but I do know I got my first period, then only got it every few months, and then I didn't get it for almost a full year, and then it came back and it was pretty heavy and I would get some bad cramping, but back then I didn't really pay attention to how long it was between them.  

I got off the pill for about a year (last year) and it was pretty regular, not 28 days on the dot, but not super erratic either, and it was super light.  Then all of the sudden I didn't get it at all for 3 months straight and had to get back on the pill.  Since then it's pretty regular, give or take a few days.  I rarely get abdominal cramps though, just leg cramps and pretty bad PMS-related insomnia.  

I'd appreciate any thoughts anyone could share.  I'm hoping the ultrasound will shed some light.  
Thanks!
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12 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Hmm, the symptoms you describe certainly look like PCOS. Maybe you perceive it as mild because you have been on the pill for so long and the pill works well with several symptoms of this syndrome. To answer your question, the ultrasound should reveal cysts, which form because women with PCOS don't ovulate or only ovulate rarely. However, your doctor will not base a diagnosis solely on that, you must get your hormonal levels checked and this will tell without doubt if you have it or not. You should not ignore it since it has such serious consequences as diabetes, cancer, infertility and so on...!!! I got diagnosed at 22 and I still wish I had known earlier to ward off as many complications as I can or at least postpone some. The hirsutism and acne you are describing certainly indicate high levels of androgen in your body. I do not have either of these, but I have a third typical symtom: hair loss. My hair is so very sensitive to the androgens that as soon as I get off spironoloctone it starts falling out. Your doctor will probably give you spironolactone also, as it can manage all the symptoms related to androgen excess. Also, what pill are you on? Is it appropriate for PCOS? Not all the pills work the same and some can actually make it worse. I'm on Yasmin which I tolerate very well. Diane 35 also works very well, only in my case it led to weight gain so I got off it. My suggestion is that you do those tests as soon as possible and not ignore your condition, if there is one.
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree that definitely sounds like you have PCOS and if its not then something is wrong and you need to go to the Dr. because your cycles should come regularly.
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Avatar_f_tn
Definitely talk to your doctor about your concerns...PCOS is not easily diagnosed by all doctors...I had one doctor who diagnosed PCOS on my first visit to her and another doctor who after a year and a half of telling me I didn't have PCOS has finally come to that conclusion.  When doing my ultrasound they actually did an abdominal and transvaginal...I'm not sure if a transvaginal necessarily is required to make the diagnosis (along with your other symptoms) but they told me it would allow them to look more closely at my ovaries.

Good Luck and make sure you talk to your doctor and get all of your hormone levels tested.  If left untreated it only gets worse.
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Avatar_f_tn
I do think it needs to be a transvaginal, what the doctor needs to check is the ovaries and whether there are any cysts there.
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Avatar_f_tn
There doesn't have to be cysts present to confirm PCOS. I had a ton of ultrasounds done (external and internal) and none picked up cysts. I do however have PCOS, but my ovaries just don't have any cysts in them. I have pretty much all the other sysptoms with it. I'm overweight, had acne (still occasional break outs), irregular periods, don't ovulate, and excess hair mostly on my face (more peach fuzz and some black hairs on my chin). My doctor told me you don't need to have cysts in order to have PCOS.
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Avatar_f_tn
hmmm thats soo strange. I believe that your doctor told you that however if just sounds strange that you would not have any cysts if you have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I hope that you have been given the correct diagnosis. It really sounds like you have it but hey maybe they just can't see the cysts. When I had my ultrasound you couldn't NOT see them there were soo many but everyone is different.  Don't you hate the chin hairs!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi again. Well, I've read about this and it is true: you can have PCOS without having the cysts! It might sound strange because the cysts give the name of this disease but it really isn't that absurd. You have to think of it this way: the cysts are in fact ovules that remain attached to the ovaries in a little sac...Women with PCOS do not ovulate (or just infrequently) and these cysts can form...In msniki412's case, these ovules probably dissolve or get eliminated otherwise. The cysts are only a possible result of the fact that you do not ovulate. I'm not a doctor to explain this better, but it is definitely possible and there are such cases.  So for kcr01 - get those tests done - the hormones, this is the only way to get a proper diagnosis.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yeah I agree...the first time that I was diagnosed it was before even having an ultrasound due to my other symptoms.  The first ultrasound I was given by another doctor only showed one small cyst on each ovary and that doctor told me that my diagnoses had been incorrect because all women get an occasional cyst but that PCOS sufferers will have a lot.  I believe that doctor was wrong because after going untreated for so long I did end up with a whole lot each ovary.  I have read a couple other posts by msniki and I believe she has mentioned that she is on both metformin and bc pills...maybe that is why hers flush out and don't create cysts for her.  I hope that the metformin easing the insulin resistance will in turn allow my body to do what it is suppose to and hopefully eliminate some of my symptoms.  I have read a lot about insulin resistance being a root cause of PCOS and I am waiting to see if that is the case for me.

Good luck to everyone.  
Kcr01 don't give up if your doctor doesn't find a diagnoses..my mistake was believing the doctors who told me my initial diagnoses was wrong and I think because of it my symptoms have only gotten worse.
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow, thanks to all of you for weighing in, it's really helpful!  And so nice to know I'm not alone out here with my dreaded chin hairs!!  Ugh, they really are the worst.

I had an abdominal and transvaginal ultrasound yesterday and don't have the results yet, but I have a question maybe you all can help with about the size and shape of ovaries. I can never really tell what I'm looking at on those ultrasounds, it all just looks like shadows and static to me!  I didn't even look during the abdominal because it was just not comfortable to keep my head craned to look at the screen anyway.  But during the transvaginal one I looked while she was looking at my ovaries and she pointed them out when I asked.  I was surprised because they looked HUGE to me.  The right one, which is the side I have a slight feeling of pressure on (which prompted me to see the urogynecologist about my bladder and frequent urination) was almost perfectly round in shape and looked to be at least 5 cm if not bigger.  I don't know what normal size is.
The left one was weird because it was like a long, narrow shape, sort of oblong, about 3 or 4cm long.  

I don't know, they just didn't look "right" to me, not that I know what to look for, and something in the tech's face made me a bit uneasy, and that never happens to me. She asked where I was in my cycle, and from what I've read maybe she was asking to see if I was ovulating (because I've read an ovary can get bigger during ovulation).  I'm exactly a week away from my period, and I'm on the pill, so if I was ovulating it would be a fluke, but not impossible.  I didn't see any cysts, but I couldn't see the image very well anyway and it could just be that I didn't recognize it.  What are ovaries supposed to look like and how big should they be?
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm sorry I honestly don't know what size your ovaries should be.  I googled it and found something that said that a normal size ovary can vary a bit but tends to be about 1.5cm x 3.5cm...but it also states that it can be considered normal in size up to 5cm.  I am not sure if this information is completely accurate because I just googled it and it was the first thing I found with measurements.  My doctor never told me what my ovaries measured because mine were normal in size which my doctor considers unusual for PCOS.  However I did want to mention to you that the tech may have been asking you where you were in your cycle in order to determine what your follicles should look like.  During my ultrasound I had a whole lot of follicles and none were dominant...which showed that I was not ovulating.  All women have follicles released and usually there will come a point where the see a dominant follicle getting ready to release for ovulation.  I think that may be a reason your tech asked you where you were in your cycle.  Another possibility is because of your lining.  During my ultrasound the tech also measured how thick my lining was and wanted to know where I was in my cycle to determine how much longer it had til it was supposed to shed.  (because of provera inducing a period each month though my lining was normal)

I'm sorry I can't be more helpful...I know how much it ***** to have to wait to find out what the results are.  My doctor didn't have any apts available for a full month and a half after my ultrasound so I called a week later and requested she call me with the results.

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Avatar_m_tn
I have very small amount of hair growth on both end of my upper lip... irregular period since beginning and of course i am overweight. i had ultrasound before, the doc simply explained that "the small black spot were eggs that not being released", but i have good skin complexion (i mean, only 1 or 2 breakout occasionally). Does that mild i have mild PCOS?

And sometimes after intercourse, when i am cleaning up myself, there is slight blood trace mixed with the sperm, (its like light pink/red colour sperm on tissue). At first, i thought it was my period, but then my period only came after 10  + days. Why?

My mum did mentioned that she didnt conceive during the 1st year until she took herbal medicine. When she was teenage, her period is always late.... not sure that was irregular period.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have very small amount of hair growth on both end of my upper lip... irregular period since beginning and of course i am overweight. i had ultrasound before, the doc simply explained that "the small black spot were eggs that not being released", but i have good skin complexion (i mean, only 1 or 2 breakout occasionally). Does that mild i have mild PCOS?

And sometimes after intercourse, when i am cleaning up myself, there is slight blood trace mixed with the sperm, (its like light pink/red colour sperm on tissue). At first, i thought it was my period, but then my period only came after 10  + days. Why?

My mum did mentioned that she didnt conceive during the 1st year until she took herbal medicine. When she was teenage, her period is always late.... not sure that was irregular period.
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