In my earlier IVF blogs I spoke about having Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome also known as PCOS so I wanted to talk a little more about it as there are many things people may or may not be aware of…
Doctor’s say that one in five women have PCOS and around 50% aren’t even aware that they have it. I was definitely one of these 50% as it wasn’t until we started to try to conceive that I realised something wasn’t quite right with my body. When I was first told that I had PCOS I didn’t really think much of it, that was probably because I had no idea what it meant or the symptoms that it can bring. I stopped taking the pill when I was 26 and my periods became very irregular, in fact they became non existent and I went close to two years without even getting a period, that right there should have been a bit of a trigger that something was up. I had started the pill when I was 15 so that was 11 years of putting something into my body to mask an underlining issue. In the beginning it did regulate my periods and obviously acts as a contraception which is a positive however for me I do think that it masked a lot of the signs of PCOS that may have been picked up at a younger age if I hadn’t been on the pill.
You may see it as a relief or even convenient not to get your period but my reality was not getting a period was a way of my body telling me that there was something wrong. And I know to some, getting your period isn’t something to get excited about however I bet if you ask someone with PCOS that has gone months even years without one then the day they do get their period can be cause for a celebration. I mean you don’t have to go out and bake a celebratory cake to congratulate yourself but I know many a times I have done my own little happy dance to celebrate it’s arrival!
Along with the irregular/no period I also had these symptoms:
~ Easy Weight Gain ~ Headaches ~ Acne ~ Skin Tags ~ Fatigue ~ And obviously the biggest for me was Infertility!
Basically your hormones are out of balance but there are so many more symptoms that I was even aware of until I started researching PCOS more & more…
Symptoms are varied and the cause is unknown so a diagnosis can be difficult but this is basically how PCOS is diagnosed and what a normal ovary looks like vs a polycystic ovary:
Whilst trying to conceive I was prescribed Metformin as this helps with fertility, lowers insulin levels and helps control weight along with taking other prescribed medication as part of the IVF process. Since having Noah my body has changed again, I now get a regular period and think myself lucky that my body is working as it should but I know this can change at any time.
As we speak there is no cure for PCOS, it is just something that we have to live with but it is important to keep your symptoms under control. For me it is important to try and eat well, keep a healthy diet and exercise regularly as I know that if I don’t it is easy for me to put on weight which in time can lead to high blood sugar levels and diabetes.
I am certainly no expert I am just someone suffering with PCOS trying to find out more, raise awareness and educate others. But I do find that the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Association of Australia facebook page has some really interesting information about symptoms, research being done and support – https://www.facebook.com/PCOSAustralia/