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You are: a certified health education specialist (CHES) employed by Fulwood Medical Center.
Your patient is
Ms. Claire Marcos, a 21-year-old student referred to you by Anna Rusack, MD, a gynecologist. Ms. Marcos has been diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome, and your task is to develop a program of self care as part of her overall plan of therapy.
From her medical record, you see that she presented with irregular, often missed menstrual periods since the beginning of puberty, persistent acne, patches of dark skin on the back of her neck and under her arms, loss of hair from the front of her scalp, and inability to control her weight. She is 5 feet 4 inches and weighs 150 pounds. Her self-care program is to include exercise, diet, and regular use of birth control medication and metformin, both of which have been prescribed.
She has written out a list of questions that she hands to you. These include
- Why are my periods so irregular?
- Why doesn't my acne respond to all the treatment I've had?
- Am I going bald?
- Will I be able to have children some day?
- Why am I taking birth control pills when I'm not sexually active?
- What are all these other health problems they say I'm at risk for?
When Ms. Claire Marcos first presented in the Gynecology Clinic, Dr. Rusack examined her abdomen and pelvis. Dr. Rusack was able to palpate both enlarged ovaries on vaginal examination. A vaginal ultrasound scan showed multiple small cysts in each ovary. Blood tests showed high levels of testosterone and luteinizing hormone. Dr. Rusack prescribed birth control pills because they contain estrogen and progesterone. These can correct the hormonal imbalance, regulate menses, and lower the level of testosterone to diminish acne and hair problems. Metformin was also prescribed.
Answer the following question.
What was prescribed to restore Ms. Marcos' hormonal imbalance?