Given the fact that we are in the month of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) awareness, there have been several activities on different platforms by different people, geared towards creating awareness about the different aspects of PCOS.
Sometime during the week, several individuals took to social media to share their experiences of living with PCOS. The married ladies talked about the challenges of getting pregnant, the single ladies shared their experience and the pressure PCOS puts on them.
One of the unmarried singles shared how she opened up to her boyfriend soon after they started dating. Her reason was, she knew he was “The One.” Or at most, he was going to be in her life for a long time, and thus, she felt the need to explain how her PCOS could affect their relationship.
Hmmm, that was a bold step from her, I must say.
Another heart-warming story I found was one man who told his then fiancée that he wasn’t marrying her because of children, but because of the way she made him feel. I was awed. Such men aren’t that many and when you find one, you have hit a jackpot, literally. Here’s the story of that wonderful man.
It was only later that Kiisi knew that she had had PCOS all her life. At age 8, she had sprouted some pubic hair, which got her mama concerned. Although there was no other sign of puberty again, until four years later, her mother tended to check her regularly.
Kiisi started menstruating at 12, and that first period was over a week-long flow, which was put down to the fact that it was her first period. But the next month, her period didn’t come, not after all the preparation, calendar-marking, pad and period underwear-buying.
Her period didn’t come the month after that either. It came four months later, and it was very heavy again. After that one, another few months’ vacation followed for Aunty Flo.
In the first year that she started menstruating, Kiisi only saw her period four times; all times filled with one sort of drama or the other. Even her father, who usually left such matters to their mother when it was the time of the other girls, was drawn into the matter.
They formed a panel that regularly questioned Kiisi about her non-existent sexual life.
By age 16, it was full blown worry for Kiisi’s parents, and even Kiisi herself. She wasn’t pregnant, and in six months, she would see her period only once, with all the painful accompaniments. She was also gaining rapid weight, which was termed puppy fat.
She went to the doctor for the first time regarding her symptoms, and she was given medication to induce her period and also manage the pain. Over the years, she graduated to other drugs, changed doctors, until one diagnosed her with PCOS.
According to most definitions, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which a woman’s levels of the sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone, are out of sync.
This leads to the growth of ovarian cysts (benign masses on the ovaries). PCOS can affect a women’s menstrual cycle, fertility, cardiac function, and appearance.
It was the doctor who diagnosed Kiisi as having polycystic ovaries (which means her eggs were not growing normally as they should, or were not being released during ovulation, all thanks to the hormones being out of sync), who suggested that she consider getting married early to give her more time to be able to try for a baby.
It’s not exactly the kind of news you want to hear, when you are dating for dating sake. Dating was something she did to feel normal, or rather for her parents to feel that she was normal.
However, that particular relationship was headed nowhere, and they both knew it. The suggestion of the doctor weighed heavily on her mind, and she shared with her mother, who like most typical moms, started seeing wedding gowns, owambe and a groom in her current beau.
It was definitely time to get mama out of lala land. Soon, Kiisi broke off her relationship with her then boyfriend, and as you can imagine, her mom was not her fan for a while.
She vowed to stay single for a while, but Mr Sugarboy came along and turned into the “pest” of her life.
She pushed him away but he refused to go. Eventually, she broke down and agreed to date him.
They started to date and before long, it was getting serious and Mr. Sugarboy was talking marriage. Rather than be excited, Kiisi took to her heels literally.
Eventually, she came round. She shared how much she loved him, her concerns about her fertility and how she didn’t want him to have to deal with the fact that they might not have children.
That was when he made the heart-melting statement; “I’m not marrying you, because I want you to give me children. I want to marry you because of how you make me feel…and you make me feel good, babe.”
And after five years of marriage, Kiisi gladly doesn’t want to escape that man.
Excitingly, they have two children, even with the symptoms of her PCOS getting somewhat worse. But nothing will take her away from the love of her Sugarboy.
What Kiisi’s story and those of other ladies have shown is, PCOS or not, a single lady should be free to plan her life as she sees fit and not necessarily dictated by PCOS.
Most women with PCOS live a fairly normal life. And future fertility cannot be predicted years ahead. A woman with PCOS may have 5 children, or no children at all. She may deal with infertility or not. It’s not a one-size fits all approach where PCOS is concerned.
It is true that this condition gets worse in late 20 and early 30s, which is the reason why some medical practitioners prescribe early pregnancy, on the assumption that if you have one or two kids before PCOS takes its full course, a woman may never suffer infertility.
Ladies, live life but don’t be rushed into marriage as a result of PCOS. It’s too risky. Forever is a long time to be unhappy!
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