Do I have PCOS?

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This is the million dollar question. A lot of us live in denial for a long time. There is a stereotypical idea of how women with PCOS are supposed to present themselves. Overweight, very hairy, and with absent periods! Whilst a lot of PCOS ladies do struggle with their weight, and also constantly battle with more body hair than necessary, a large number of PCOS ladies will be asymptomatic.

Before I got married, I had never, EVER, heard of the acronym PCOS. Never!! It was so alien to me. I remember the night before my traditional wedding, one of my old friends stopped by my house for a chit chat. Our discussion got quite emotional when she told me she had just been diagnosed with a hormonal disorder, and she basically wasn’t ovulating. I had to suppress how horrified I was, in order to console her properly. But in my mind, I was like WHAAAAT??!! Thank God it wasn’€™t me. Little did I know that it kinda was.

It was some months down the line, that I got to know more about Lady PCOS…the grand dame called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome!!! And for the longest time after I knew what it was, I was in denial. Yes, I had put on some weight, but I wasn’t THAT fat! And you could set your clock by my periods; that’€™s how regular they were. I did have some other physical traits, but even that was not enough to convince me I had the disorder. It wasn’€™t until I had a serious overstimulation case after a clomid (plus injectables) treatment that I was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries.

The numbers are staggering. 30% of women have PCOS symptoms. And it is not limited to women of reproductive age. 60% of women with PCOS suffer from weight management issues, leading to obesity even if your calorific intake is within normal range. Energy in the form of glucose is stored as fat, instead of being utilized by the body, ensuing in chronic fatigue and even undernourishment. It is, however, important to note that 40% of women with PCOS are of normal, or even under normal, weight range.

By now, you’re probably wondering whether or not you have it, right? If so, you could take the PCOS Test to have a better idea.

If you took the PCOS test, you probably have an idea what the typical symptoms could be. These often include:

  • Irregular or absent menstrual periods
  • Acne
  • Inexplicable weight gain and retention
  • High cholesterol levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Lower abdominal and/or pelvic pain
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Irregular periods, that may come and go and may be very light to very heavy
  • Body hair growing on the chest, belly, face, and around the nipples
  • Decreased breast size
  • Clitoris enlargement
  • Male-pattern baldness (i.e. thinning hair on the scalp)
  • Deepened voice
  • Darkened skin around the armpits, groin, neck, and breasts
  • Acne.
  • Weight gain and trouble losing weight.
  • Extra hair on the face and body. Often women get thicker and darker facial hair and more hair on the chest, belly, and back.
  • Depression
  • Decreased sex drive

Not all these symptoms indicate PCOS. It is possible to have polycystic ovaries, but not PCOS. It is officially diagnosed via hormone profiling blood work and/or a trans-vaginal scan to assess the ovaries for multiple cysts.

If you do have PCOS, it isn’t the end of the world. With the right medication (such as Metformin and ovulation inducing drugs like Clomid), and lifestyle changes (diets low in sugar but high in proteins and fiber, frequent exercise, etc.), the condition can be well managed…but it can never be cured unfortunately.

It is critical to bear in mind that PCOS MUST be well managed…even if fertility is not you’re your priority. Unmanaged, it can progress to diabetes, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and can also result in certain forms of cancer.

But if one does what they need to do, it will not affect or dictate your life!

Good luck….and baby dust to all!

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Photo Credits

  1. http://www.shutterstock.com
  2. http://www.healthcareglobal.com

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8 COMMENTS

    • Omotayo dear, thank God PCOS is no longer the end of the world. With the right management, nothing stops you from getting your :bfp:. We’re only too glad to support you along the way :friends:

  1. hi omotayo am in the same boat too, the group has been very encouraging, atleast you know you are not alone in it. my major issue is the weight gain/ loss. its so difficult to lose. right now am pushing myself hard exercising an am on a 21days no carb high protein diet. try and join our pcos group. cheers

  2. I was diagnosed almost 5 years ago. I have 3 kids now.
    After extensive personal research and ttc, I discovered that for SOME, breaking the weight gain cycle may be key. I don’t remember details on hormone names and the full cycle but summarily, it is a complicated cycle where the more body fat, the greater qty of cyst inducing hormone is produced and the more cysts, the more difficult it is to loose weight .

    Apple cider vinegar in a glass of water three times a day for about 6 months coupled with daily gyming and bam! I take in. I also cut out all soft drinks, biscuits and reduce my bread in take. Added Sugar of any kind too is off. I changed my lotion to coconut oil and stopped using aerosol spray deodorants and even perfume to avoid chemicals that mimic hormones. (Sorry I’ve forgotten the names).
    Above all,I prayed.

    • Wow! Amy, thanks so much for this! This is awesome! I’ve relaxed on my ACV, and I think that’s why my weight has started creeping back up. Thanks for the awesome tips hun. I know they’ll help someone out there :yes:

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