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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Irregular periods

Dr. Amy,

I started my period when I was 11 years old, I am now 22 and I have yet to have a regular period. The only time I was able to regulate my periods were when I was on Birth control.

I am currently trying to get pregnant, so I have been off BC for about a year. I have been trying since Feb. 2005, with no luck. I have gone to my gyno and I have had all my hormones tested and everything has come back normal, my doctor put me on provera to jump start my period, and then he prescribed Metformin, I take 2 tabs twice a day every day that's 2000mg of metformin a day. The only problem is that I can't really afford the medicine every month it cost me $120 to get that prescription filled, so I have not been taking it.

My last normal period was April 2005, I have not had one since, and no I am not pregnant. My question is what could possibly be wrong? I don't have PCOS or endometriosis. I do however have herpes, but my doc said that would not interfere with my fertility. I also weigh about 270lbs and I have been heavy almost all of my life, but my doctor said that it should not play a big role in my fertility.

Do you have any suggestions of what I can do to regulate my cycle? I know all about timing of ovulation and everything I could possibly know about getting pregnant- I just can't seem to get my periods regulated. Please help!!

Thank You,
Rachel

Dear Rachel,

There are several things that you mentioned that suggest that you might have PCOS. You have a long history of irregular periods, you are overweight (a common side effect of PCOS), and your doctor prescribed metformin (a common treatment for PCOS). If you do have PCOS, it is not likely to get better on its own. The metformin may help you regulate your periods and may help you get pregnant, but there is no guarantee.

Another possibility is your weight. Fat cells can convert estrogen to androgens (male hormones). This can dramatically interfere with your cycles and make it difficult, if not impossible to get pregnant. If that is part of the problem, losing weight will help to start your periods again.

Unfortunately, there is nothing simple that you can do to regulate your periods. You will either need to pay for medication of some kind or start a weight loss program. The good news is that one or both are likely to be very helpful.

Sincerely,
Amy

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