Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
I have touched on my experience with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome a little before in my blog post about contraception, which you can read here but I have collaborated with Nature’s Best to write a blog post and do an interview about my experience to raise more awareness of PCOS.
PCOS or Polycystic OvarY Syndrome is a condition that effects how a woman’s’ ovaries work. The condition can cause cysts on a woman’s’ ovaries which may be painful and can cause complications if the cysts were to erupt. PCOS can be a reason for an increase in the male hormone Testosterone in a woman which can cause excess hair growth, as well as acne, weight gain and trouble conceiving or carrying a child.
My journey with PCOS started with ovarian pain when I was 16, which was agonising. It had me in and out of hospital and on all sorts of painkillers. The doctors at the hospital and gynaecology couldn’t find out what it was but my bloods did come back consistent with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. As I was on the implant at the time as a form of contraception I came off of it and switched to the pill which did seem to keep my pain at bay and keep my symptoms under control. It wasn’t until I came off of the pill that my symptoms showed themselves and I was officially diagnosed with PCOS. During tests the doctors did not find cysts on my ovaries at all which left me confused due to the name of the condition but a woman doesn’t have to have visible cysts to be diagnosed, they can have symptoms and cohesive blood results but no presence of cysts.
After being diagnosed I was left to my own accord. I find that experimenting with different contraception helped to see what worked for me to keep symptoms at bay. The Mirena Coil is said to be great for PCOS but I found that it aggravated my symptoms causing more acne and facial hair. The pill (Rigevedon) was a godsend for me and I was on it for 2-3 years. I didn’t have any symptoms of PCOS at all during my time on the pill but it started to give me chronic thrush and mood swings so I had to abandon it as a means of contraception. At the moment I am solely relying on condoms for contraception as my body has had a very tough time with contraception over the past few years.
Hormonal birth control doesn’t have to be the only means of controlling PCOS as I found that limiting my hormone intake through food has really helped keep symptoms, mainly pain and acne, at bay. I have gone vegetarian and have been for almost a year. I try to cut out dairy as often as I can, skipping cow’s milk for almond or coconut milk to have with my cereal, cutting down on cheese and yogurts, it all seems to have a positive effect on my skin and PCOS. Diet can play a huge part in controlling symptoms; eating organic when you’re able to, fresh fruit and vegetables and limiting meat and dairy.
A side effect of PCOS that I didn’t quite expect was the mental toll it would have on me. Depression can be a side effect of PCOS but having acne, weight gain and excess hair growth does play a lot into my self-esteem and maintaining skin care and hair removal is exhausting. A big part of the mental strain is the worry of future fertility as I do hope one day to start a family. The unknown is pretty scary when it comes to fertility, will I be able to conceive or will I be able to carry a baby to term? These are subjects that I didn’t think about at first during my diagnosis but upon research of PCOS I learnt the reality of the condition.
These are concerns of most women with PCOS and Nature’s Best have come to realise this and have put together a full section on their website dedicated to PCOS and raising awareness of the condition. On the website you can read about managing emotions, excess hair maintenance, irregular periods and ways of coping with symptoms through diet control and supplement taking. There is many great articles on the website that can help sufferers understand their condition and ways to help it. It really is a great way to raise awareness and get more people talking about the condition.
You can find the Nature’s Best page here
I did an interview also with Nature’s Best, which I will be sure to link here as soon as it goes live.