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Wednesday 13 July 2011


Living with PCOS has been a challenge over the past two years. What is PCOS you ask? PCOS is an acronym for Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. What this means is that I do not ovulate properly and that, in my case, I need more than the normal amount of estrogen pumped into my body. I need the added estrogen to counteract the copious amount of testosterone that is coursing through my body. Why do I have this? PCOS is still a medical mystery to a certain extent. There really is no definition as to why I have this, but I can explain it in my own terms and explain how it affects my day to day life.

My body produces more testosterone than it should. The last time I had my blood checked I had a ratio of about 7:2 testosterone hormones to estrogen hormones. This makes my life a bit more difficult in a lot of ways. One of the ways it makes my life difficult is that I do not ovulate properly. I am on birth control with a very high amount of estrogen to help balance out my hormones. Being on the birth control has helped me, greatly, in regulating ovulation and my cycles. I went about seven months without a cycle. I was not pregnant, so that was not a factor in my lack of menstruation. Once in a while, when I do ovulate and menstruate, it is horribly painful for me and can lay me up in bed for a few days. My doctor has worked with me on ways to deal with the pain, but I do suffer from time to time. Imagine your insides being set on fire and left burning nonstop for hours. That is what the pain feels like with the included horrible stabbing feeling from the inside. I want to leap out of my skin some months and make the pain go away. It doesn’t go away easily, but it does subside over time. I only experienced this kind of pain, though, when I first began treatment back a few months ago.

Another battle I face with PCOS is what the testosterone does to my body. I grow hair unnaturally and faster than most women should. I have to shave my face almost every day to get rid of the dark hair that grows on my chin. It is embarrassing to have love interests look at me, notice my chin, and tell me “I don’t want to date a dude. I’m out.” I deal with this almost all the time and it has only gotten worse over the past two years. I decided that plucking my hair off my chin wasn’t enough and it seemed as though it was growing back at a rather rapid rate. I decided to start shaving, much to my distaste. I also have to keep up with proper grooming. I shave my legs at least two times a week, my underarms twice a day, and my arms at least three times a week. I get hair on my feet and places I shouldn’t have hair. It disgusts me to think about it or to even see it. It also depresses me quite a bit. There are some days when I don’t feel like a woman at all, but a man trapped in a woman’s body. I hate it so very much as I have never, in my entire life, desired to be a man.

I suffer with a weight problem due to this syndrome. Weight plays a part in this and PCOS is often times found in women who tend to be on the heavier side. Not saying that all bigger women have this. There are smaller women who have this too. Every woman is susceptible to this syndrome. Weight gain is generally common with PCOS and it is very hard to lose weight. I have begun the battle of the bulge and I have started to win. My condition may be milder than some women, but the weight loss is helping with the PCOS a little bit at a time. Still, this is a risk and a side effect of this syndrome. It’s not fun. It really sucks just as much as it sounds.

I have had to face a tough reality in the past two years and it has not been an easy pill to swallow by any means. I have had to face the reality of having a hard time getting pregnant and possibly suffering with infertility when I do try to have children. I had to have my uterus lining biopsied to make sure there were no cancerous cells along it as the lining is horribly thick. That thickness makes it hard for an egg to latch on and wait to be fertilized. My doctor explained this to me during my ultrasound and also showed me my ovaries. My ovaries look like Swiss cheese with the cysts on them. I cried during my ultrasound and my doctor tried to comfort me. He told me then what the reality of this syndrome is and what it can do if it is not treated properly while I am young. While infertility is not definite, it can be with prolonged lack of care of my syndrome. I never dreamed I would run the risk of being infertile since I long for a family of my own one day and to go through a pregnancy or two. I may never get that and I have had to face that reality against my will.

Here are some links that explain the syndrome in more medical terms as well as define the symptoms of PCOS. If you feel that you have any of the symptoms listed by the two links below, please consult your physician. Be proactive in taking care of your body. You only get one chance and one body. Now is the time to care for it.

This is my story and my case alone. I speak from my experience with my case and it is not a generalization for other people’s individual case.


1 comment :

  1. I'm going through some wacky hormone imbalances lately, it stinks! Visiting and following via Welcome Wednesday hop...hop over to my blog and follow back if you like...

    Jessica K


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