I’ve been wanting to write a proper post about PCOS for a while, but I never knew where to start.
I’m sure if you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that I was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome late last year.
While I’ve already talked a little bit about the condition; today I wanted to dig a little deeper and talk candidly about the illness that’s been affecting my life for some time.
Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome is something that few people know about, yet it affects one in five women in Australia. It’s a hormonal based disorder, caused by stress, in which there are too many androgens (male hormones) within the body, and so the woman’s body cannot function properly. PCOS manifests itself in a variety of symptoms, some of which include:
amenorrhea (absence of menstruation)
multiple cysts on the ovaries
swollen or abnormally shaped ovaries
excess facial or body hair
alopecia (scalp hair loss)
male pattern baldness
acanthosis nigricans – dark patches of skin on the body
headaches and migraines
weight issues (either difficulty losing OR gaining weight)
Women with PCOS generally suffer from the first three symptoms, and then variations of the others. Some women suffer from ALL of them. Some women don’t have cysts on their ovaries, but they have most (if not all) of the other issues. Because of how different it is for each woman, it’s understandable why many people don’t know about this condition…
…but something has to change.
Having just ONE of the symptoms listed above is enough to significantly impact a persons life, and having more than that is really, really tough.
Trust me when I say that.
I suffer from amenorrhea, a hormone imbalance and cystic, swollen ovaries, on top of fertility issues, hair loss, acanthosis nigricans, mood changes, depression, anxiety, inflammation, fatigue, insomnia, migraines and weight issues. All of these things seriously impact my life each and every day, and I think it’s important to recognise and appreciate the struggle that PCOS women go through to even get out of bed in the morning.
Silent or undetectable illnesses are tricky and unfair and can make people feel like they’re crazy. PCOS is one of the most undiagnosed conditions for women, and that’s because of how varied and often ‘swept-under-the-rug’ these symptoms are.
Women go through their lives thinking that how they feel is normal, and it’s totally not. Hell, it took me years to get a diagnosis, and even now, am still struggling to find a doctor who will give me actual advice, not just a prescription.
I think it’s important for everyone, especially women, to know that it’s not normal to feel not normal.
There have been times where I’ve wondered if I was dying, from the pain radiating throughout my body. Bone pain, nerve pain, joint pain, head pain, abdominal pain… NONE of it is normal. It’s not normal to be in pain, and it’s not normal to suffer. You have to take your health and yourself seriously, and while you do have to play the card you’ve been dealt, you are also the only person who can help yourself.
I’m going to attach some sources at the bottom of this post, for anyone who wishes to learn more about PCOS. If you can’t be bothered to click through, just know this:
Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome is a chronic, endocrine disorder that one in five women suffer from in Australia. It is predominately caused by stress, and manifests itself through a variety of symptoms which not only change a woman physically, but also mentally and emotionally.
That doesn’t mean, however, that the sufferer is a different person than she was before. While she might look different, and she sure as hell feels different, inside her heart she is still the same. She still laughs, she still breathes, she still loves and she still lives. She is still the same human being, so don’t treat her as if she is not.