PCOS Adolescent Program at RMACT
Two and a half years ago, we officially launched the PCOS Program for Adolescents at RMACT. PCOS is polycystic ovarian syndrome. Why am I bringing it up again now?
PCOS in Teenagers
Simple. PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder that women experience. Some of the symptoms can be challenging to live with. Especially for teenagers, who are already experiencing hormonal surges and possible emotional ups and downs, having hair growth or weight gain unexpectedly is decidedly unwelcome.
If you are a parent of a teenager, then chances are you are already walking a fine line between interacting and privacy issues. They are growing up and starting to attend to situations that had previously been yours to take care of, with PCOS, it will take a joint effort.
Partnership works best with PCOS. It is a multi-disciplinary approach and support at home begins with understanding what works with PCOS and what does not.
If you have a teenager or are a teenager who has some of the following symptoms, please do give us a call or contact us here. Early intervention with PCOS can make a world of difference in how treatment for a lifelong condition will go.
- Hair growth on face or chest
- Unexplainable weight gain
- Skipped or extremely long menstrual cycles
Please read below to find out more about how RMACT can help care for you and your family.
We are here to help. ~ Lisa Rosenthal
Help for PCOS Diagnosis and Treatment
Pediatric Patients Receive Comprehensive Care from Reproductive Endocrinologist, Nutritionist and Nurses Specializing in PCOS Diagnosis and Care
As Fairfield County’s leading fertility clinic and egg donation center, Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) is experienced in diagnosing and treating polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a leading cause of infertility. The practice has helped hundreds of adults successfully manage their PCOS symptoms through a unique, comprehensive team approach that allows patients to have diagnostic evaluation, nutrition counseling, physical examination, endocrine consultations and ongoing monitoring – all through one practice. Now adolescent and young adult patients will have the same opportunity.
“Too many of our patients come to us in their late 20’s or 30’s when they are having trouble getting pregnant,” says Dr. Joshua M. Hurwitz, a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist who is leading the RMACT Pediatric Adolescent Program. “These patients have been suffering with PCOS symptoms for years, sometimes since puberty. PCOS often goes undiagnosed, which leaves the patient vulnerable to frustration and long-term health issues. We want to reach these patients earlier and help them manage their PCOS; we want to reach them in their teens.”
RMACT’s Adolescent PCOS Program provides a three-pronged approach for PCOS patients: nutrition, hormone management, and education. Early detection for PCOS diagnosis enables patients to manage their condition and limit the long-term affects of PCOS, including diabetes, heart disease, elevated cholesterol, endometrial cancer, hypertension, thyroid issues, sleep apnea, and later on, infertility. Each patient is cared for by a complete PCOS team: Dr. Joshua M. Hurwitz; Carolyn Gundell, M.S.; Monica Moore, nurse practitioner; Diana D’Amelio, RPA-C; Eloise Downs, registered nurse.
Understanding PCOS in Adolescents
RMACT Adolescent PCOS patient care starts with two appointments during PCOS Clinic hours on Monday’s at RMACT’s Norwalk, CT office. These appointments are comprised of a medical consultation that includes medical history, PCOS nutrition counseling, and a complete lab work up to evaluate hormone levels a including two-hour glucose test. There is also a strong educational component to inform patients about what PCOS is and how it can be managed through lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise and, in some cases, hormonal medication. Parents are also encouraged to take advantage of RMACT’s educational resources. Upon completion of these initial visits, the team makes a diagnosis and recommends a treatment plan, which can be continued at any of RMACT’s three locations in Norwalk, Stamford or Danbury.
In addition to comprehensive one-on-one appointments, RMACT offers workshops and seminars to help patients and their parents learn about the condition and how to manage it. Grocery Store Tours, peer support groups, and PCOS and lifestyle seminars are offered on a regular basis and many are free and open to the public.
Local pediatrician Dr. Elin Cohen of Black Rock Pediatrics in Fairfield, CT says: “As a physician, I’m concerned with both the long-term effects of PCOS and the immediate challenges such as skin and weight issues. For the teen herself, the skin and weight problems may be more pressing. I’m excited that all aspects of PCOS are being handled in one place through a unified program, especially since RMACT has a team approach and PCOS peer support.”
PCOS is a very common hormonal imbalance that affects eight to 10 percent of all females. It is the most common hormonal disorder of the reproductive years and is a complex condition that begins during puberty and lasts throughout the reproductive years. PCOS leads to hormonal imbalances and disorders in carbohydrate and fat metabolism and these metabolic problems will continue for the entire lifespan, even after menopause. While the exact cause is unclear, research suggests that genetic factors, environment factors and insulin resistance all play a role in the development of PCOS.
About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.