What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome you ask? A pain in the ass, that’s what it is.
On a more serious/less hate filled note, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder most common among women of reproductive age. It wreaks all kinds of havoc on allll kinds of fun stuff. The most common side effects, for example:
- Weight gain and Obesity. I, for example, gained approximately 75 lbs in one short year. Holy COW, literally. Granted I was living a pretty sedentary lifestyle at the time and I had just moved out, so no more healthy home cooked meals from Mom but C’MON. Of course the gaining of weight leads to a whole other list of health problems such as high blood pressure, insulin resistance, Type II diabetes, and on and on…. Supposedly if you have this under control, the rest of the symptoms will subdue. I’m still on my weight loss journey so I can’t tell you that one for sure.
- Irregular periods. For some women this could mean totally absent (Doesn’t seem too bad in theory, right? Wrong.). For others it may mean very long or heavy cycles. I happen to be the one with no periods at all. The solution for this is to go on birth control or if you’re trying to conceive, to take a medication called “Provera”. This is something I was instructed to take every three months to initiate the beginning of shark week. Now if having NO idea when you are going to have a period/ovulate doesn’t put a damper on baby makin’, I don’t know what does!
- All the wrong hair, in all the wrong places. Ohh Lordy. This has to be one of my favorite side effects of them all (insert sarcasm here). Many women with PCOS produce excess androgen. Androgen is a male hormone, and elevated male hormones lead to HAIR. Like a males hair pattern you may find unwanted invaders on your chin, neck, side burns, abdomen, toes, or where ever else it decides to show up. I have frequent visits with my sally hansen waxing kit. Some women may also notice hair loss on the top portion of the head, which is also a huge bummer. I told you, PCOS is a pain in the ass.
- You guessed it, Cysts. In some cases a women’s ovaries will be covered with cysts. Whoever came up with the name of this disease was super clever. Anyways, when a follicle releases an egg, it is supposed to dissolve. For us Cysters, that isn’t the case. The follicle will seal closed and retain fluid, alas, creating a cyst. My doctor told me my ovaries look like they have strings of pearls on them. yeah, they classy.
- Infertility. And there’s the real zinger. One of the most common (and heartbreaking) symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. The combination of all these lovely qualities and the fact that many of us don’t ovulate, leads to some having an extremely difficult or impossible time conceiving. There are treatments and procedures that can help, but they are very pricey and most insurance companies don’t cover them (that’s a whole other story for another day). For many of us this is the icing on top of the shit cake. Hang in there ladies, we have each other to lean on.
The kicker will all of this is that no one really knows what is causing it or how to treat it. And every woman who has PCOS is different. Some have all the symptoms ( I just touched the base here), and some may have none! The best that we can do is all come together, and educate everyone we know so Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome can be stopped in its tracks. There has to be a cure out there. I mean I saw a dog riding a skateboard the other day, for crying out loud. Stay strong my PCOS ladies!
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