I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and hypothyroidism in the summer of 2011. I had gone to the doctor because we had unsuccessfully been trying to get pregnant for about 6 months.
I remember the nurse asking me all these questions about my lifestyle and any changes I had seen recently in my body. For some reason I significantly remember her asking if I had gained weight recently. Yes, I had. But I just assumed that it was because I just graduated from college a few months previous and was no longer walking all over campus every day. I now sat in an office most days editing away. The nurse just silently nodded to my response. They took some blood and I was on my way. I was a little frustrated because I had no answers and no idea on where to go from here. Helloooo, I want to get pregnant people! But they said they’d call when they got the blood work back and we would go from there. Yeah, yeah ok fine.
I don’t remember how long it was before they called. Too long probably. But I remember that I was sitting at the same desk I am sitting at now, editing away. I did that a lot in those days. Who am I kidding, I do that a lot these days too. Ha.
Anyways, it was one of those things where you want them to find something so you have some answers but at the same time you want everything to be normal. Well, the nurse told me that the blood work showed I have PCOS and Hypothyroidism. Huh? I hadn’t ever heard of either of those things. Ok, so now what? How does that affect me getting pregnant? How do I get rid of those things? Can I start some fertility medications? I didn’t really care what PCOS and Hypothyroidism was, I just wanted to know what to do to get pregnant.
Oh if I’d only known then what I know now.
I was put on Metformin for the PCOS symptoms; which at the time I only had a few; and Synthroid or Levothyroxin for my thyroid. They also allowed me to start a cycle of clomid. So I religiously took all my medications in hopes of getting pregnant.
After 6 months of clomid rounds and other things thrown in here and there for low progesterone and what not, I was still not pregnant.
Bummer. Big. Fat. Bummer.
Over the next several months I went through different kinds of tests and treatments. I still, however, did not know much about my PCOS and Hypothyroidism. I had googled them a little, sure, but I really just knew what my symptoms were.
At some point during that time I switched doctors and he recommended that I read the book “Taking Charge of Your Fertility.”
Even if you aren’t trying to get pregnant, I highly recommend reading this book. I learned so much about our bodies and how they are supposed to function and work. Every girl and woman should read this just to have a better basic understanding of the female anatomy!
After going through this book I finally started taking the time to learn more about my own body and the disorders I had. I am certainly no expert on either PCOS or Hypothyroidism. I’m sure I still have a lot to learn. But my eyes have been opened in so many ways.
So, I’d like to just share a little about these disorders every now and then so that you can better understand as well. Even if you yourself don’t have PCOS, odds are, someone you know does. And speaking from experience, it makes a world of difference when your friends and family understand better what you are going through.
- 1 in 10 women have PCOS
- It is genetic
- Symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Weight gain, especially around the tummy
- Hirsutism (hair growth in places you don’t want it)
- Thinning hair or male-patterned baldness
- Severe acne
- Irregular menstrual cycles, sometimes a completely absent cycle
- Insulin Resistance
- Polycystic Ovaries – a string of multiple cysts appear on your ovaries (this is called our strand of pearls)
- There is no cure for PCOS
- If symptoms aren’t maintained you are at higher risk for Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, endometrial cancer, infertility, depression and anxiety, and many other things
I myself experience many of these symptoms. But like I said in my About page, this is my time to make some changes and to better my health; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I’m working on becoming the best me. So that’s what this journey is all about. Overcoming these symptoms and taking control. I won’t let PCOS define me.