September is PCOS awareness month. This is an important one for us and as PCOS is such a personal syndrome, affecting us intimately, it’s something that many of us don’t talk about too much.
When people ask me what I do, I’m very open about PCOS Diet Support and the fact that I blog about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. People either start glazing over or if they ask me more about PCOS, I tend to give a brief overview. How do I explain to someone how deeply PCOS affects me; how it impacts on my mood, self esteem and the fact that it goes beyond just being a fertility problem?
So, to celebrate PCOS awareness month, I asked many of my readers what they want others to be aware of when it comes to PCOS. I’m going to share with you some of the things that they wanted others to know. If you are reading this article and have PCOS, my hope is that you would see that you are not alone in your struggle. If you are reading this and don’t have PCOS, thank you for taking the time to learn about something one of your loved ones may be struggling with!
Here are some of the things that were mentioned:
IT’S MORE THAN JUST MY OVARIES
Yes, PCOS does impact on our ovaries, hence the name Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. But it is also so much more than that. PCOS is an endocrine disorder that impacts on just about every area of my body and my life.
I gain weight easily, may have mood swings or struggle with depression. I have very real fears around my ability to fall pregnant. Sometimes I can’t think clearly and my getting through my day is a huge achievement in light of the exhaustion that I feel.
So, no, PCOS doesn’t affect just my ovaries. It affects me. Some days I need to be given a little more grace or with more tenderness cause it’s just been one of those days.
I MAY BE OVERWEIGHT BUT IT’S NOT FOR LACK OF TRYING
Some people may look at me and think I’m lazy, that I really should stop eating so much or that I don’t care about the way that I look. That’s simply not true. Don’t judge me because of my size.
PCOS makes it so easy for me to gain weight and losing it again is a constant struggle. I am often careful about what I eat and am mindful that what I put in my body is either helpful or harmful.
So, please cut me some slack. I may be overweight but I’m working on it.
FERTILITY IS A TRICKY ISSUE
Fertility is a tough one. It’s not impossible for me to fall pregnant but it can take so much longer than the average woman and it can be a source of great heart ache. So, before asking if I’m pregnant because of my weight or when I am going to have children, please tread carefully.
And now there’s another thing to consider. If I do have children, it doesn’t mean that PCOS doesn’t affect me anymore. Remember that it affects more than just my ovaries.
PCOS IS AN EXPENSIVE BUSINESS
Having PCOS is an expensive business. Not only are there doctor’s bill and medications, there is also the cost of fertility treatment to consider. Eating properly to manage my PCOS is also crucial and healthy whole foods tend to be much more expensive than standard processed foods. So, treating my PCOS is an investment of time, money and energy. It’s an investment that I am prepared to make, though, to live my life to the full.
IT’S NOT CONVENIENT
Have you ever spoken to a woman who is ecstatic about having their period? No? Well there are so many women with PCOS who haven’t had a natural period for months, if not years. When they do finally actually have a period, it’s cause for major celebration.
So, not having a period for a couple of years is not convenient. It’s a sign that there is something wrong with my body.
PCOS IS NOT CURABLE
At the moment, there is no cure for PCOS. This is something that I have to learn to live with. I may well get my symptoms under control but I need to make sure that I keep them under control.
So, everyday when I wake up, I make a decision that PCOS is not going to get the better of me. Today, I will work hard to stay healthy. Some days are better than others but on the whole, I will do everything that I can to keep my PCOS well managed and in control.
SOMETIMES I JUST CAN’T HELP IT
There are times when I know that I am being irrational or hormonal but sometimes I just don’t have control over my moods. I know that I can be difficult at times and it is something that I don’t particularly like. PCOS affects more than just my ovaries (have I said that before?)
My moods can get the better of me and I know that the mood swings are not fun for anyone. I’m really sorry and it is something that I am working on (as I work on getting all of my PCOS symptoms under control).
I AM ONE OF MANY
Unfortunately PCOS affects one in ten women worldwide. So, I am definitely not alone in my struggle with it. Considering there are so many millions of us affected by PCOS, I wish we had better support and understanding of what PCOS is and how it affects me.
I AM DETERMINED
PCOS is not fun and does affect every area of my life. I am at risk for a lot of secondary health issues and it’s symptoms often make me feel unfeminine and unattractive.
BUT, PCOS does not define me and it is not who I am. I refuse to let PCOS dictate my story and I will keep going in my fight against it. I am determined!
I SO APPRECIATE YOU!
It means the world that you have taken time out of your day to find out more about PCOS and how it affects so many of us. If you have PCOS yourself, thank you for sharing your struggles and for your support.
If someone you love has PCOS, thank you for loving her enough to learn about the many ways that PCOS affects her and what it means for her.
So, those are just some of the many things that were mentioned by women with PCOS
Is there anything else you would like people to know about PCOS that I have not already mentioned? Please leave me a comment below!