AD | Collaborative post
It wasn’t until I was in my early 20s that I even heard about PCOS. If you’d have asked me what it was back then I wouldn’t have even been able to tell you what the letters stood for. If, like me, you don’t know then it stands for polycystic ovary syndrome and it’s a condition that affects how the ovaries work but it does come with quite a few different symptoms.
During a year of living in Toronto, Canada in 2007 I ended up with a ruptured ovarian cyst, resulting in a very scary trip to A&E. While this isn’t a symptom of PCOS it’s something that made me visit my doctor on returning to the UK to ask questions about other things that had been going on and as a result, getting my diagnosis.
One of the things about PCOS is that it can go undetected for years if you don’t know anything about the symptoms. Often, without linking them together, symptoms can often be mistaken for other conditions or issues and therefore not diagnosed. Usually, PCOS can become apparent in late teens or early 20s but it can also show later in life due to things like trying for a baby.
I don’t think PCOS is spoken about enough and it absolutely should be, especially when it affects so many people. I wanted to talk a bit about the symptoms of PCOS and some of the things you can do to help you cope with them.
Something a lot of people with PCOS suffer with is excessive hair growth. This could mean more hair growing in areas such as the face, stomach or chest, just to name a few. I personally get hairs growing underneath my chin and really strange ones that grow behind only one of my knees.
Hair growth, no matter where it is on your body can be something that might affect your confidence. I’ve been there with the plucking out of singular hairs, making sure they don’t get any worse or any thicker but this is only a temporary measure and for more excessive hair growth, something that might not be possible to do.
If this is something that you suffer with as someone with PCOS it could easily be something you’re sensitive about. Laser hair removal is something you might like to consider as a more long term solution. If you’re local to London then New York Laser Clinic are offering free consultations so it’s possible to see what options are available before committing to anything. They are also offering laser hair removal for 55% off the usual price for the month of November (2021), making it a more affordable solution.
Problematic skin is also a symptom of PCOS and one that people might start to notice as a teenager, if symptoms show early on. While there is no miracle cure for this, acne or spots can be something that bothers you daily. Some of the things that you can do to help though are to drink more water and get into a good routine of looking after your skin. Do some research before you spend money on skincare and only use products that are gentle. This will help relieve your skin from additional irritation and keep it free from harmful chemicals.
Weight can be a tricky thing to keep in balance if you have PCOS and weight gain can be something that occurs easily. Maintaining your weight can be tricky and if you are looking to lose some weight then it can be even harder. Although there is no easy solution, you can keep this from spiraliing out of control with a good diet and regular exercise. It can take extra work and dedication to keep this up and while not impossible, it might just be more of an effort compared to for those without PCOS.
Periods and fertility problems
For someone with PCOS periods can be irregular or non-existent and this is something that can affect fertility. This is where a lot of women get diagnosed with PCOS as the fertility problems are what get them to see a doctor about what’s going on. When John and I decided to start a family we were told that because of my PCOS it could take us years to conceive, if at all, so we had to be prepared for that. With irregular or no periods this means that you might not ovulate and therefore, cannot get pregnant. Speaking to your doctor is the best course of action here as they can advise on what might be best for you and offer some options of what might help.
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