I’m also 23, and was diagnosed (officially) with PCOS when I was 20, but have been on birth control since I was 14 because of menstrual cycles from hell.
I can’t answer your questions about being able to get pregnant or the cost, etc, as that period of my life is far, far off. However, I know plenty of women who have been diagnosed and were subsequently able to have their own children. Some needed no assistance, others needed Clomid, IUI, or IVF. But I can tell you about my experience, etc.
I’ve always had incredibly heavy, painful, long, and irregular cycles. My first came when I was 12 and missed at least one day of school a month in 7th and 8th grade. In high school I’d still be bed-ridden and curled up in fetal position, but I couldn’t afford to miss as much. They put me on BC at the end of my freshman year of hs. [name]Junior[/name] year I was in bed for a 4 days because a cyst had ruptured.
Anyway, fast-forward to college. [name]Winter[/name] of freshman year I switched to Ortho [name]Tri[/name] Cyclen in the hopes of decreasing cramps. All this did was made me retain massive amounts of water and blow up like a puffer fish. Switched pills yet again (I’ve tried them all, no joke). Then I went to college [name]Hawaii[/name] for a semester and gained 15 pounds, even though I walked 4 miles a day and hardly ate. At that point, they realized there was obviously an underlying issue (they’d always suspected endometriosis).
My mother is an ob/gyn ultrasonographer, so she did an ultrasound and sure enough, both ovaries are completely lined with cysts. They ran blood tests and my insulin levels confirmed the PCOS diagnosis. At the time, they switched me to Yaz and put me on a low-carb/low sugar diet. Well, I did a horrible job of following the diet and from hs grad- college grad I gained 50 pounds. Last fall they rechecked all my levels and everything had sky-rocketed, including my glucose levels. They put me on 2000mg of Metformin, which I still take.
Since then, my glucose levels have gone down but my insulin levels increased, again. Honestly, the best treatment for PCOS is maintaining a healthy diet and weight. Being on birth control is also supposed to help regulate your period, which may take up to 6 months to do. If you never ovulate, the doc would most likely put you on Folistim or something along those lines to stimulate ovulation.
Being proactive about it now is a really smart decision. [name]Do[/name] you have any other symptoms, other than irregular periods? Recent studies indicate that 10% of females in the US have PCOS… God willing, you are not part of this statistic.