My Life with PCOS
I can still recall the very day my OBGYN informed me that I had PCOS. After all, it was on my 26th birthday. The utterance of those words at the time felt like imprisonment. I did not fully understand the diagnosis and immediately sunk back in the chair fearing the worst. She explained that PCOS was not uncommon and was the cause of my irregular menstrual cycles. She also discussed that PCOS impacts the ability to conceive. Then there was the awkward stare we gave each other as I tried to make sense of what she was saying and showing me on the ultrasound. She was not overly pessimistic but she also was not reassuring me that conception was possible with time and patience. I need also to note that this particular OBGYN had horrible “bedside manners” and after this appointment, I made my break from her.
After my experience with with my now former OBGYN, I decided to have a second opinion. The next OBGYN I consulted was a male and he provided more information regarding PCOS. He assured me that he would work diligently to determine best course of action when we were truly ready to start our family. I left his office that afternoon feeling much more confident than I had the prior week. I would soon learn how long of a journey we would have with conceiving.
Have you recently been diagnosed with PCOS or know of someone who has? If so, I have a few suggestions that I believe will be helpful. I would like to note that I am not a medical professional and am only offering suggestions that proved beneficial for me.
• Relax. I completely understand if you are thinking “what relax” but please understand it is the best course of action. Having PCOS is not imprisonment (although it may feel as such initially). Actually, stress can exacerbate the issue. So relax, breathe deeply and know that PCOS is manageable with time, patience and prayer.
• Determine your symptoms. There is so much info on the Web about PCOS and various symptoms. Remember that PCOS may differ from one woman to the next. Hence, treatment may be different for someone who exhibits symptoms of insulin-resistance PCOS than someone with inflammatory PCOS. Some of the symptoms may overlap so please consult a physician to determine appropriate treatment.
• Select a physician who is familiar with and treated other women with PCOS. The first OBGYN I mentioned later admitted to me that she was not very familiar with PCOS and was not truly sure how to assist me. At the time I was diagnosed, we were not trying to conceive. Because of this, I was told to alter my diet (not to lose weight) as a means to help regulate my hormones. However, when we did (soon I will share my journey with you) we turned to a reproductive endocrinologist who was well versed in treating/assisting women with PCOS.
Below you will find other helpful and insightful resources. Please share your stories and let’s walk this path together.