My Journey With:

Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) ~ Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) ~ Focal Impaired Awareness (Complex Partial) Seizures ~ Fibromyalgia ~ Chronic Myofascial Pain (CMP) ~ Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) ~ TMJ Dysfunction ~ Bipolar Disorder Type I Rapid Cycling With Psychotic Features ~ Migraines ~ Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) ~ Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) ~ Keratosis Pilaris (KP) ~ Complex-Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) ~ Panic Disorder ~ Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) ~ Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) ~ Nonsuicidal Self-Injury (Self-Harm) ~ Piezogenic Pedal Papules ~ Hashimoto's Thyroiditis ~ Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) ~ Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) ~ Specific Phobias ~ Chronic Daily Headache ~ High Cholesterol

Thursday, May 17, 2012

PCOS and Aldactone

I had to see my doctor recently to refill my PCOS medicine.  I kept having to reschedule because of having so many flares, but I finally got to see the doctor.  The medicine I take for PCOS, Aldactone (generic Spironolactone), binds with the extra male androgens in my body, which reduces male-pattern hair growth (hirsutism), male-pattern baldness, and severe acne.  That stops my body from using all the extra male androgens, that would otherwise be doing harm to my body.  My acne, when I'm not on Aldactone, is severe, and covers my face, breasts, upper back, chest, back of neck, and shoulders.

Unfortunately, I have read that Aldactone can be dangerous in some situations, and I know already that you have to stay on birth control while on Aldactone, because becoming pregnant with a male fetus could do irreparable harm to his developing sex organs.  I worry a bit about being on Aldactone because of my POTS, because Aldactone is a diuretic and lowers sodium levels.  However, I'd rather my POTS be a little worse, than be bald, hairy, and covered in severe acne.  If you think that is vain, ask yourself, as a woman, would you mind balding like a man, or growing a mustache?  Also having everything from your forehead to your breasts covered in severe acne?  Yeah, I don't want to, either, which is why I don't plan on going off of it until I start trying to have a Mini-Me.

PCOS can cause many problems for women who have it, including diabetes type 2, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, obesity, acne, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, endometrial hyperplasia, cancer of the uterus (endometrial cancer), menstrual and hormonal irregularities, infertility, changes in skin pigmentations (acanthosis nigrican), cystic ovaries, and Hirsutism (extra hair growth in women, i.e. face), male-pattern baldness.  Of course, not all women will have all of these symptoms.

It is important to remember with PCOS that a woman who has PCOS doesn't necessarily have cystic ovaries, nor do all women who have polycystic ovaries have PCOS. The name Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is misleading because of that. It is also important to remember that ovarian cysts are not the same thing as cystic ovaries. Ovarian cysts can cause an emergency situation, while cystic ovaries will not. Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs located within or on the outside wall of the ovary, while polycystic ovaries are "enlarged ovaries with thickened sclerotic capsules and an abnormally high number of follicles are present. The follicles may concurrently exist in varying states of growth, maturation, or atresia."

Polycystic Ovary
Polycystic ovary

It is common for women to also go on the birth control pill, and on diabetes medication if they have pre-diabetes.  PCOS isn't something to ignore.  There is some evidence that PCOS may have a hereditary factor, thus it being passed down from mother to daughter.  While many women with PCOS are overweight, the hormone wackiness from the PCOS causes the weight gain, and makes it harder to lose, not the other way around.  So while I know PCOS is something to watch, in my life it isn't something I think about all the time, and I can take it in stride.


  1. Not sure if you got my first post. Just in case you didn't....I had said that I didn't understand why your dr. would put you on Aldactone knowing you would want children. I have POTS as does my daughter. She also has PCOS and her doctor said no way to Aldactone. I am on Aldactone,Nadolol,Sertraline, Synthryoid, Clonozapem, and vitamin D. My daughter is on Atenolol, Lexapro, Synthryoid, Lexapro, Vitamin D & now Birth control(PCOS). The PCOS was recently diagnosed. I notice you have several disorders that one or both of us have and wonder if your dr. feels that all your health issues are related.

  2. Also, forgot to mention that my doctors told me since I am on Aldactone I need to increase my fluid intake including drinking a G2 each day and adding salt to any fluids.


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