My Experience With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
How PCOS Affects Me
Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, as most call it, affects me every day in different ways. Come with me as I tell you the way that it affects me and my life. It affects me in physical, sexual, and mental ways. Hopefully, you are reading this to find out what to expect with your new diagnosis or how you can finally find ways to cope with an old diagnosis.
First off, I want to explain this disease as it seems like not too many people really talk about it or what it is. PCOS is a hormonal disorder that leads to enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. It can be very painful, and the cysts are normally the first symptoms that will actually make you realize there's something wrong with you. There are many symptoms of this disease, and often, they are overlooked or even mocked by others because they do not understand what is going on.
I was 19 when I first started noticing the cysts. At first, I thought I had pulled a muscle. Then, I realized that every time I should be close to having a period, I would have a stabbing pain near my ovaries that would last anywhere between 3 to 5 days. I went to the emergency rooms multiple times, but that was normally after the cysts were so bad, I couldn't walk. Finally, one of the doctors informed me that I needed to see a doctor that understands PCOS. Now you would think this would be easy, but as I found out, it is not very common for a gynecologist to know about this disorder. Once I found a doctor, I found out I had a lot of symptoms of this disease.
My Physical Symptoms
For the physical symptoms, I suffered from acne and random hair growth. By hair growth, I mean that I had a little bit of a mustache that I always tried to hide. Most women laugh when they hear that, but it is extremely embarrassing when you are getting an eyebrow wax and the lady asks if you want your mustache waxed. On top of these symptoms, I also have a lot of extra weight that I cannot seem to get rid of for the life of me. I can work out, eat right, and then lose a few pounds; but then I gain that and extra back on. This really took a toll on me as I gained a lot of weight and felt like no matter what, I would be looked at as that fat chick that is lazy. We all know when someone sees an obese person the first thing they think is that the person just eats a lot and sits around.
My Sexual Symptoms
The next set of symptoms affected me sexually. First off, when a woman feels horrible about her body, it affects the bedroom scene—don't tell me it doesn't, ladies! On top of not feeling sexy, it's hard to feel confident in the bedroom when you have no idea when mother nature will visit. With me, it varied—sometimes she would visit every couple of weeks, and sometimes, once a year. So of course, doctors feel it is important to put me on birth control to help be regular, which for me, did not happen. Also, vaginal dryness and lack of sex drive are symptoms you can have—of course I did.
My Mental Symptoms
The worst symptoms for me were the mental ones. I became very depressed due to feeling lost in my own body. I began to work a lot and try to cover my body as much as possible so people wouldn't look at me and so that I became too busy to show that I cared. My depression made my home life and my relationship almost unbearable. I then started to feel like it would be best for everyone if I just didn't exist. Luckily for me, I realized I was not alone and kept pushing forward.
How I Learned to Cope
A lot of people do not know what they can do to help themselves live with this disease. I spent a lot of time online trying to figure out what I could do to help myself, but there is so much information—it can be overwhelming. The best thing to do is to find a doctor that understands your disease and speak with them. My first doctor wanted to put me on birth control, but I informed her that I was never normal and had symptoms while on birth control, so I really did not want to go down that road again. Also, my husband was fixed, so it was just a waste of money, in my mind. Many years later, I found another doctor who put me on Metformin twice a day, which for me, caused a lot of gastrointestinal issues. The doctor then decided that I should take the pill once a day, until I get used to it, and then go to twice a day. So far, this is working well, and I have not had any symptoms to go along with the fact that I am starting to lose a little weight! Please stay with me, and feel free to ask any questions!
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
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