Not 100% sure I have PCOS. I think the birth control implant messed me up

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I'm writing on behalf of my daughter. Age 20. October of 2014 (her sophomore year) she had the Birth control implant put in her arm. Right after that the depression and paranoia started. At this point we did not link it to the implant. Then she was hospitalized from severe fainting.

Before I go further let me give you a little background. She was a college lacrosse player weighing around 120 and solid muscle. Looked like a sports model. She was also recovering from a concussion and torn ACL from freshman season. She was cleared to play in Jan of her sophomore year. Up to being cleared she conditioned and swam about 10 miles a day. Maintaining her 120 athletic body.

Around springtime she was showing signs of bad depression (stupid mom here thought it was because of lacrosse and school at first). She would call crying all the time. Well I finally realized it could be hormonal and advised her to get that implant out of her arm. The very next day that she had it removed she admitted herself to the hospital thinking she was having a stroke or heart attack. This is when the real nightmare began.

She became manic and very paranoid and her thoughts and ideas were grandiose. This was the beginning symptoms of a phychotic break. She soon was hospitalized for 13 weeks for acute phychosis. Treated with high doses of seraquil. An antipsychotic. When she was released she was 105 pounds. All bones and dangerously hyper thyroid. And no period since April when implant was removed.

Fast forward to this December. Now over 150 pounds. Acne more severe than I have even seen. And depressed. The doctors are stumped. Moon face lead to being checked for Cushings but her cortisol is in the normal range.

Now they are saying extreme PCOS. Her one doctor says no way does PCOS attack someone in top physical shape. She has 2 MRIs scheduled to rule out a brain tumor of the pitituitary and adrenal.

My big question is does anyone know if the implant would have caused PCOS and how do you combat the severe acne. (She has no hair growth but has lost 1/2 her hair)

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Forgot to mention she lost weight during the time she was taking seraquil and weight did not start till months after she stopped taking it.
  • Posted


    Your story upsets me...I am NOT a doctor, but please listen to my advice with an open mind.  I have been suffering with PCOS for 21 years.  I have done rediculous amounts of research and am pretty well informed...there is NO WAY that BC implant CAUSED PCOS...PCOS is an endocrinological disorder that is still pretty much a mystery to most western MDs...but from what I've read in recent years they have narrowed it doen to females who have a family history of diabetes, and who have been through a great deal of stress in their childhood or life in general.  Something about the early release of all the cortisol from the stress affects the adrenals and whole endocrine system and it causes this bizarre hormonal disorder, which even presents itself differently in all women...HOWEVER, the most common symptoms are hirsutism (male pattern hair growth on face, neck, chest, nipples, etc), male patterned hairloss (top of head and around the hairline/widows peak), over weight or hard to lose weight (however im thin-- but always need to workout and eat healthy to stay that way), loss of period or irregular period, and moodiness and blood sugar issues/ syptoms-- moodiness, feeling faint when dont eat, excessive sweating sometimes, and acne, as wll as water retention, which is cause by the bloodsugar issue and the fact that we dont produce enough Progesterone (which is why its common to not be able to get pregnant or suffer miscarraige).

    One question is why did they think PCOS? Because of the lack of periods, acne, and weight gain?  So many other things can be to is very clear that its a hormonal issue, and the implant triggered whatever is hapening...but the psychotic breakdown is very unfortunate, thats the part thats a little baffling... is there any family history of psychosis or general, people have their first episode around the age of 18-24 for some she no longer on any meds for this? I know a few people on psych meds who gained around 30-40 lbs due to those damn well as when I myself was dealing with horrible depression for the PCOS went on antidepressants and gained 35lbs!! ugh

    I dont know where you live..but my suggestion to you is to find a naturopathic or holistic dr (can be expensive, but soooooo worth it)...I was unhappy with all of these MDs telling me different things, and telling me there's no remedy for PCOS---one dr even told me because I was thin that I COULDNT POSSIBLY have PCOS!!! I have every single one of the symptoms...including HORRIBLE hirsutism (hair growth) on my face, neck and chest that I have paid $16,000 for laser hair treatments...only for it not to work, becaseu the hair comes right back, becasue its hormonal!

    So I tool matters into my own hands,save the money and went to a holistic dr, who di all these other tests, found out I was hypothyroid also (which MDS always told me theri tests said I was NOT, even though I had EVERY symptom), told me to take some herbs, GET OFF and stay away fromt the BC pill and start eating as many organic foods as possible, as non organic eggs, meat, and veggie and fruit cause hormonal imbalaces due to the pesticides and hormones they use for farming...

    Im telling you...within 2 months I was a new person and have never missed a period hair sopped falling out, and no more acne, no more depression/anxiety, and my abnotmal hair growth even got a little better...I recently had a baby and that messed my system up a bit, but Im back on the herbs and getting back to normal again...

    Sorry for the rambling, but this has been such a tumultuoius, frusterating, and scary at times journey for me, and Im very passionate about it... I hope some of this info helped....but I am interested to hear why they are thinking this is soloely sounds like something much more...but obviosly endocronological.

    • Posted

      Your advice is spot on and I appriciate your time to comment.  We see a MD that practices Functional Medicine.  He's been great so far.  The PCOS came from a new endrocrine dr.  Her docs called BS and ordered the MRI's.  In the hospital they ruled out mental health.  Thank god! WHile she was on phych meds she lost weight so we cant blame those drugs.  No family history of schizophrenia either.  We have been assured that you dont come up with that in a few weeks by one of the top mental health hospitals in the US.  Severe thyroid can cause phychosis as well as a multitude of other reasons.  The brain is a crazy thing.  Could have been the concussion too.  So as of now she is still not well...gaining 2-3 pounds  a week and no answers as to why.  I am scared to think that this may be tumor related or worse.  She has the typical cushings "moon" face but cortisol is normal.  Definatly something messed with her hormones.  Its hard to watch a girl that had it all one month and at rock bottom health wise a month later.  
    • Posted

      PCOS was ruled out. They still have zero answers but that isn't the answer.
    • Posted

      Hi! my pleasure.....I used/ still use... vitex for menstutal regulation, saw palmetto for the hairloss/ excess hair in face, neck, chest; Goats Rue ( for blood sugar regulation), and maca root ( an all around hormonal balancer)... As well, for my horrible anxiety ( which may or may not be attributed to PCOS) I used Ashwaghanda....I take the Vitex and Goats Rue in am with muti vitamin, but D and omega 3_ and and late morning saw palmetto and maca, and ashwaghanda whenever my anxietys too much

      Also, use coconut oil ( hormone balancing abilities) whenever you can in place of butter or olive oil, and try to eat organic eggs, dairy and meat whenever you can and stay away from anything soy... Thesr all mess up our hormones even more then they are...especially if trying to a low carb, low sugar, high protien diet and try to get at least 3-4 days if cardio in a week... Within 4-6 weeks you will see a difference for sure.... And I conceived twice with nonissues at all! Please let me know how it goes and if you have any other questions... Please do your own research in these supplements... It's amazing what we can do naturally without having to be in medications and birth control pills!!!

  • Edited

    I have always been very athletic and always weighed around 115, even after my 3rd child... Until I got the nexplanon (might have spelt that wrong) implanted in my arm. I was in the ER a lot for pain, I was always tired and weak, I bleed very heavy and never stopped, I got acne and gained weight. After 4 months of hell, I opted to get it taken out. Once out, I never got a period, I was still tired and never lost the weight no matter what I did. Found out that I had developed pcos. I 100% believe that I had got pcos from the birth control implant.
  • Edited

    I know this is an old post, however, I went through a very similar thing, after having the Implanon in and out. I was later diagnosed with PCOS.

    I hope that after two years, they have some answers for you and your daughter. Xx

    I was a relatively healthy 18 year old, and always weighed around 70kgs, I had my periods tracked for two years prior, and I was always regular. I got the Implanon in, and two weeks later I noticed my moods changed, I was always an independent, happy person. With the implanon, I was angry, always crying, depressed. I went to the doctors to get it out, and he advised me to wait it out, they put me on the pill along with the rod to control bleeding (My worst mistake) I bled from October when I got it in, until Feb when I was done listening to doctors and got it out.

    That particular year I was starting Uni, 4 days after getting it out, I had a major panick attack (I believed I was dying, I had never had one before) ambulances were called, and from there on out, I had the worst year of my life. Many hopsital visits, many doctors appointments, anxiety convincing me im dying/going to die. Bi-polar like moods, and all the rest.

    Late last year, I gained 10-11kg, my periods started to become irregular. My thyroid function was out of wack, with results of 'possible hashimoto's'

    I was growing hair in places I had never had hair.

    It took me a long time to get doctors to test me for PCOS, as 'I didnt look the type', and most telling me that the Rod will not cause any of this because its such a low dose of hormones.

    To this day, I am not the same person, the way my brain thinks is totally different to how I used to be. I struggle being alone, my work, study and relationships suffer because of my moods. My self esteem has changed because of the PCOS.

    Despite what is said, I do personally feel the implanon triggered PCOS.

  • Edited


    I know this is an old post but had to comment. I also have a similar story. after receiving the Nexplanon implant I had severe side affects and my life has never been the same. I got severe acne and immediately had my doctor take it out. After I developed bad anxiety and depression for years. I had always been around 120 pounds, gained 60 pounds in about a month. Haven't been able to keep it off or lose the weight. I also now am struggling with the PCOS. I absolutely believe it was the implant that caused it.

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