PCOS: Something I Needed to Write

PCOS: Something I Needed to Write

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

hormonal imbalance

swollen or abnormally shaped ovaries

fertility issues

excess facial or body hair


alopecia (scalp hair loss)

male pattern baldness

acanthosis nigricans – dark patches of skin on the body


mood changes



sleep apnoea




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.



Further reading:




13 thoughts on “PCOS: Something I Needed to Write”

  • You are an outstanding lady Sharni! Those are some extremely nasty symptoms to have day in, day out. You battle through them so bravely x good luck with finding a better doctor who can help!
    Keep doing what you do

    Ironic Minimalist | http://www.ironicminimalist.com

  • I’m convinced that I have PCOS but because I had a scan several years ago and didn’t have any cysts my doctor wont take me seriously. I get such bad period pains, suffer really badly from excess facial hair that really gets me down and struggle so much to lose weight as well as a few of the other symptoms. It’s so horrific that doctors don’t take conditions like this seriously
    Beth x
    Mermaid in Disguise

  • I was diagnosed with PCOS and Insulin Resistance four years ago, and I still struggle to openly and accurately communicate how it effects me mentally, physically and emotionally. You nailed it all on the head and had so much great information for people who are unaware about the complexity of the condition.
    I had a fantastic doctor who took the initiative to get me a blood test when I came in with irregular periods. From there she diagnosed the PCOS and even suggested I have my insulin levels tested, which resulted in the IR. While she was great at diagnosing, there wasn’t a lot of advice she’d given me other than “lose 10% of your body weight”. I wish dietician and PT’s were more aware as well, because then losing 10% of my body weight might be more achievable.
    Good luck on your journey! Hope you find a helpful doctor soon x

    • Aw thanks Justine! ‘Lose 10% of your body weight’ seems to be such common advice, but what about large percentage of women who are diagnosed at a healthy weight? There’s definitely an information/research gap in this world when it comes to PCOS! X

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