PCOS ( Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome ) in Adolescents ... The 'Tweenies'
Menstrual irregularities are often underestimated in this age group.
The presumption may be of normality, but often no one really registers menstrual cycle ( either parents or adolescent ), and it doesn't come to the fore until much later.
These irregularities may indeed be physiological as the body adapts , and / or familial with a delayed onset that may mirror a pattern that was similar for Mom.
However other causes need to be excluded and they include PCOS.
Once again , this is a diagnosis that is often incorrectly assumed and the most important point here that the diagnosis DOES NOT include an ovarian ultrasound .
The current literature and evidence , while sparse , is increasing and gaining momentum and would argue against the OCP as an automatic first line therapy. PCOS does have an associated higher risk for 'sugar ' abnormalities and diabetes and it is important that these risks are assessed before committing to treatment .
I have the experience of having established a dedicated PCOS adolescent clinic for diagnosis , treatment and guidance of long term management .
One of the other features of PCOS can include excess hair which has a huge negative impact on a young girls self esteem, and this is also not to be underestimated but investigated appropriately , sensitively and then treated .