Words by Tracey Wills

    Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is a condition in which a woman’s levels of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are out of balance. This leads to the growth of ovarian cysts. PCOS can cause problems with a woman’s menstrual cycle, fertility, cardiac function, and appearance.

    Living with PCOS and dealing with it on a daily basis is hard. I know. I was diagnosed when I was 19 years old, after two very early miscarriages. When I was told I may never have children, it broke my heart.  I felt lost, as I’d planned my whole life around having a family. The first thing I did was go to the Royal Women’s Hospital, but the doctor I spoke to there made me very uncomfortable, didn’t talk to me and just pushed tablets at me. In the end I had to ask the nurse what they were for, and she told me the metformin was for insulin and the clomid was a fertility medication.

    I completed six cycles of these tablets and nothing happened – I didn’t get pregnant, and my menstrual cycle was very irregular. I gave up on medication and started looking for natural therapies with the help of a friend. We researched supplements to take, and from there I took five different tablets a day: fish oil, flaxseed oil, women’s multivitamin, d-chiro and chromium which made me feel more alive and healthier. I even started going to the gym, as PCOS in women causes weight gain and I’m no supermodel.

    After seven years I fell pregnant and I felt like I was on top of the world.  At eleven weeks my heart was broken again, and it destroyed me. I didn’t want to see people, I didn’t want to leave my home, I lost everything. When I had the strength, I went back to the hospital and had a scan only to be told I had what’s called a polyp in my uterus which is benign but still a problem. So I have decided to have this removed at a later date after I have done more research on PCOS.

    One of the side effects I have is weight gain as I said, and it takes a lot of work to keep my weight down. Normally I’m a size 16, but since losing my child I’ve gained a lot of weight and am around a size 20 now. The worst for me is the facial and body hair. I look in the mirror and I don’t see a lady most mornings, I see a very feminine man, so I whip out my shaver, have a quick shave and the lady is back. But the acne from head to toe never goes away, even with all the acne products available.

    What causes PCOS?

    While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, doctors believe that hormonal imbalances and genetics play a role. Women are more likely to develop PCOS if their mother or sister also has the condition. Overproduction of the hormone androgen may be another contributing factor. Androgen is a male sex hormone that women’s bodies also produce. Women with PCOS often produce higher-than-normal levels of androgen. This can affect the development and release of eggs during ovulation.

    How is PCOS Diagnosed? 

    There is no definitive test for PCOS. To make a diagnosis, a doctor will review your medical history and symptoms and perform tests to rule out other possible conditions. A doctor will perform a physical and pelvic examination to look for signs of PCOS, such as swollen ovaries

     How is PCOS treated?

    Treatment for PCOS is not curative. Treatment focuses on controlling symptoms and managing the condition to prevent complications. The treatment will vary from woman to woman, depending on your specific symptoms.

    A healthy diet and regular exercise is recommended for women who are overweight. This can help regulate menstrual cycles and lower blood glucose levels.

    Here is some information from I hope it answers your questions. Thank you for reading.

    REHAB 4 ALCOHOLISM offers free support and help to people who suffer with alcohol and drug addiction. Rehab 4 Addiction offers free telephone assistance and also maintains useful resources and guides on its website.

    Photo credit: Megan Denholm – Instgram @megh_nn

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