This blog is a bit of a serious blog, something that is very important to me, and an issue that I think should have more awareness.
PCOS = Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
I have recently had a confirmed diagnosis of PCOS. I have always had issues relating to my period. It was always irregular, and in the last few years they began to get extremely heavy and a lot more regular than normal. I had been to my GP several times, but I was always told that there was no issue and that I needed to loose weight.
Within the last few year, I began to feel severe pain and I was finally given an internal scan that confirmed that my ovaries were polycystic. A few months later, the pain got worst, and the bleeding became constant and extremely heavy to the point, I became anaemic and in need of a blood transfusion.
I have to be seen immediately by my gynae. The PCOS had caused my body to produce an excessive amount of estrogen, which causes the lining of the womb to thicken and prepare for the possible implantation of a fertilised egg. However, for a normal woman the body produces progesterone, which makes sure that the lining remains at an optimum thickness. However, my body was not producing any progesterone cause the lining to thicken to an abnormal thickness, causing extreme pain, extremely heavy bleeding with the passing of fist sized clots. It was extremely draining, I had fatigue and lack of appetite. It was horrible. But I tried my damned hardest to get on with life.
To fix the issue, I had to go through a procedure which remove some of the thickness to my womb to help reduce to the bleeding, as well as that, a Merina Coil was inserted. This Coil releases progesterone into your womb to ensure the womb remains thin and therefore reduce the bleeding and ensure a lighter cycle. So far I have to say that my bleeding has stop, the pain has reduce, almost non-existent. It was defiantly the steps I needed to help me get back to being myself again!
However, not everyone’s body works the same, so if you are going through something similar, the best thing to do is take to a gynae doctor about your options. I would also highly recommend that you do your research before hand. I found this helped a lot, I had some understanding of what was going on, I didn’t feel completely stupid.
I am going to put some facts below to help people understand that bit better!
PCOS affect 1 in 10 women.
The ovaries make an increased level of androgens. This high level of androgens affects both the development and the release of an egg. Insulin can also be linked to PCOS, an excess of insulin production appears to increase the level of androgens in the body. PCOS can also cause a lack of progesterone levels in the body which can cause irregular periods.
Underlying Problems of PCOS
- Hormone imbalance
- Excess production of androgens
- Increased male hormones in the body
Symptoms of PCOS
- Hirsutism – hair growth on the face, chest and stomach
- Weight gain
- Ovulation problems
- Genetic condition
There is no single test to diagnose PCOS. There are test that need to be done together in order to confirm PCOS.
- Physical Exam – BP/BMI
- Pelvic Exam
- Blood Tests
- Vaginal Ultrasound
Tips to Ease PCOS
- Low GI food
- Avoid dairy
- Avoid gluten
- Avoid soy
- Increase lean meats
- More fruit and vegetables
- More good fats and protein
- Avoid processed foods
- Exercise more
- Hydrate regularly
Again, every woman is different, so you need to find what works for you. Always consult your local GP before you make any major lifestyle changes.
I just want to add something that also needs to be highlighted more. I suffer from a few of the physical symptoms. I suffer from hirsutism, weight gain and acne. I get very embarrassed when someone points out the hair growth on my face, I have it on my chin and upper lip. No matter if it’s family or a stranger, it is just as embarrassing. I try to use hair removal treatments of it, but they never seem to work. I also struggle with weight gain, no matter how hard I exercise or how well I eat, my weight doesn’t shift. My body struggle to lose it! I have had incidents where I have been working down the street or sitting in my car, people have shouted at me, calling me “a fat loser”, “fatty” and “stop eating fasto”. I pretend it doesn’t hurt but it does. So I am highlighting that you should never judge someone by their appearance. I may be fat, but I don’t go home and stuff my face every minute of every day. I eat well and exercise. So before you judge someone and say something hurtful, think to yourself I don’t know what’s going on with them!! Its the same when people ask women, “so when are you having babies”, “you need to hurry up, time’s ticking”. That is the worst thing a woman can hear, when all she wants is a child, but her body has let her down. Its important to be sensitive in those situations!!
I hope this helps at least one person in bringing to light what PCOS involves and making the issue less of a taboo subject! Let me know in the comments your thoughts and tips that you have!!