Doctor's Responses Archive

Viewer Question:

I am 50 years old and have been diagnosed with PCO (Polycystic Ovarian Disease). I had a hysterectomy when I was 24 years of age. I had 4 pregnancies with 1 miscarriage, 1 birth at 6 and 1/2 months who lived for 3 days, and 2 living children.

I want to know more about women after menopause and effects and symptoms caused by PCO. I have been through menopause and am still having hot flashes, sex drive is non-existent, very high triglycerides (379-400 range), high cholesterol (239), very high testosterone. I am overweight and dieting so far is not helping me lose weight. Are there studies for my age group?
Signed, AK

Doctor's Response:

It sounds like your problems may actually be symptoms of menopause. Hot flashes and negative changes in cholesterol panels are symptoms of menopause. While testosterone levels can rise a bit after menopause, they can be elevated due to PCO, or due to other conditions that need to be ruled out by consultation with a physician.

While excessive weight can occur due to PCO, its is also a common complaint of women who are going through menopause. It is still being debated whether weight gain is a symptoms of menopause itself, or if it has more to do with the age of the woman regardless of her hormone status. In any case, we suggest your read the Menopause article on MedicineNet.com regarding the menopausal symptoms. There are proven therapies in menopausal women. Regular frequent visits with a qualified dietician are helpful even in menopausal women. Particularly critical in women after menopause is that women after menopause will not be able to lose and keep off excess weight without exercise every day, or nearly every day. A very gradual increase in exercise until it is nearly every day will be critical, and is probably more important that which exact type of exercise is performed. Also, visit the MedicineNet Obesity Center.

Thank you for your question.

Medical Author: Carolyn Janet Crandall, M.D.
Medical Editor: William Shiel, MD, FACP, FACR


Last Editorial Review: 7/8/2004