Catchy ‘lil title for you there huh? Hands up if you want to know all about PCOS and the little fellas who take up residency in my fallopian tubes? You do?! Amazing, keep reading….!
Never one to shy away from talking about the body, or more specifically, the reproduction system, (I did want to be a midwife after all) when I was asked by Nature’s Best to share my PCOS story in order to increase awareness and create conversation about it, I was straight in there.
It was quite ‘late in the day’ when I first found out I had PCOS. I’d been on the pill for YEARS because of god awful periods – and I’m talking about spending 2 days a week being physically sick with the pain, not being able to get out of bed, the works – from the age of about 10. Nothing had helped ease them and so, the only option left for a very young teenager, was going on the contraceptive pill.
So, until I was married, I had no interest in coming off that bad boy, my periods were under (some kind) of control, my skin was clear & I could even skip a few months periods at a time if the mood took me. What’s not to love huh?
Marriage and baby number one came along, all hunkydory, thanks for asking, and back on that pill I did go.
Two years later however, that’s when, like Will Smith says, “my life got flipped turned upside down”.
We decided to make baby number 2. Have them (fairly) close in age, cram time in for a third later one, blah blah. Oh how mother nature laughed.
To cut a REALLY long story short, it took us 6 years, 2 miscarriages and 2.5 failed IVF’s (I cancelled the last one halfway through, I couldn’t take the stress and upset of it for another second) to have our son.
It was during those 6 years that (aside from everyone else around me falling pregnant just by looking at their partners) I found out my ovaries were not playing ball. Basically, they were covered in cysts and not working their hardest. Being on the pill for so many years had masked the syndrome and the symptoms and it was only pure luck that I fell pregnant so easily first time around.
What followed, was almost like a body tsunami. It’s almost as if now the title PCOS was out there, my body decided to show every single symptom it could. My skin became awful, the term “cystic acne” followed me like a bad smell. My periods went a bit crazy, I couldn’t get pregnant (obviously) and I put on weight.
Luckily for me, my hair was fine and I didn’t suffer from any body hair issues. How to kick a girl when she’s down and all that.
After the birth from hell (I did fall pregnant naturally again, which was a major shocker) I tried to go back on the pill (I figured we may as well go back to masking those issues as life was much better then) but my body had other ideas.
I became absolutely unable to handle synthetic hormones.
The pill didn’t work, not only did it not control my periods or my skin, but it made me depressed, angry, irritable or completely numb to life (we tried so many variations) the coil couldn’t stop my periods, the medication AND the coil couldn’t stop them.
At one point, they suggested I took the pill, a tablet to stop periods completely AND the coil at the same time, because they had no idea what was going on.
I obviously threw a major tantrum at this point and stopped everything. My skin was worse than ever, so they wanted to put me on long term antibiotics for that, I was a walking pill bottle, I literally rattled.
Of course, in doing that, I suffered, but it was kind of better than the medicated version of suffering I’d been dealing with.
Last year however, I decided enough was enough. I was 36, I didn’t want anymore kids, and I’d had roughly 25 years of periods from hell. The doctors were STILL banging on about the pill or the coil being my best options, despite me telling them in no uncertain terms otherwise. So, the only other option (bar a hysterectomy which would only remove the periods, not the hormones!) was an ablation, which I booked in for.
Finally, after almost three quarters of my life, my periods were manageable. Once they settled down, my skin settled. My hormones settled. My weight settled. Everything just calmed down.
This year I found out I have IBS, which is hormone related for me, so I’ve made a few dietary changes which have probably also helped with the skin and bloating. But I’m finally hormone free (apart from my own ones of course) and able to manage the PCOS, IBS and any other S’s that come my way.
My PCOS story is a bit different to others, but it still affected me.
Had I not been on the pill from such a young age, I think I would have been aware of it much earlier on, and who knows what struggle I would have had trying for baby no.1 – so I’ve been quite lucky.
My symptoms, while annoying and debilitating at some points, were nowhere near as bad as they could have been, and I’ll always be grateful to my hair for being so bloody thick and fast growing, having awful skin is bad enough, but losing my hair in places would have been the icing on the cake.
There are so many options for PCOS out there, it’s just a case of working out what’s best for you. Keeping your weight down is the most helpful, but also the hardest because PCOS means it’s harder to lose weight. Thanks for that. Being on the pill eases symptoms, but ain’t so handy if you want to have a baby.
It’s all about balance, you have to be on that seesaw for a while to work out where you should be sitting.
Disclosure: Post written by me in association with Nature’s Best for a campaign to help raise awareness of PCOS.