The month of September is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Awareness Month. As it affects between 6 to 10% of all women across the world, we will be having voices from across the community share their experiences of the syndrome from the diagnosis through to having a child.
This post comes to us from the author of the blog, Today I Hope.
From the day I had my first period, it was clear that my body wasn’t functioning as it should. I had long, heavy periods and long, irregular cycles. This became worse when I started working and my periods disappeared completely.
I went to see lots of doctors who told me that my irregular or missing periods were due to my lifestyle, and that eventually I would have no problem getting pregnant. (Yeah right!) My lifestyle was certainly not helping, as I was studying or working too much and never had a moment to rest. But I never did drugs, never drank too much, always ate pretty well… So I really had a hard time understanding what the doctors meant. Was I supposed to give up trying to have good grades at school? Was I supposed to give up my hobbies, career, PhD?
It was not until the age of 30, when I went to see a fertility specialist, that I was told I had PCOS. I was upset and mad at all the doctors I had previously seen, but I was also relieved that I finally had an explanation for my irregular or absent cycles. Researching about PCOS made it finally more clear to me what changing my lifestyle meant. That’s why I started to follow a low glycemic index diet, do sports regularly, relax whenever I could (e.g. through meditation), work less, and have more free time.
Yet changing my lifestyle was not enough to get pregnant, nor to get my periods back. I had to go through several IVF cycles to become a mum. Did I not change enough? I will never know. But from reading blogs and books, I now know that PCOS is an illness and as such, for some people, it cannot simply be treated with a healthy lifestyle. I hope everyone who has PCOS knows that it is an illness and that they should not feel guilty about infertility or other symptoms. There’s a lot that we can do to improve the functioning of our bodies, but ultimately PCOS means our messed-up ovaries make our lives complicated, no matter how hard we try.
Mum to a baby girl after 4 years TTC, 4 IVF cycles, several FETs, and 2 chemical pregnancies. I have PCOS and mild endometriosis. My husband has severe teratospermia.