Fertility Files

Not just a textbook version- The real life Polycystic Ovarian syndrome truth

If you read about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) it has an official one liner to tell you what it is about-

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that affects how a woman’s ovaries work.

When I was diagnosed and read this, it literally gave me nothing. Doctors unfortunately don’t have the time to explain things and tend to give you a by the book description. PCOS affects 1 in 5 women in the UK. That’s a high number for a ‘one liner’ to explain their condition.

There are main symptoms of PCOS but not all women get them all;

  • Irregular periods or if you are like me none at all except one every few years!!
  • High levels of male hormone which cause hellish symptoms like excessive hair on the body or face.
  • Cysts on your ovaries- obviously without medical intervention you wouldn’t know that you have fluid-filled sacs which surround eggs on your ovaries. The follicles (cysts) are harmless mostly. But they sometimes can stop eggs being released meaning you don’t always ovulate.
  • Difficulty getting pregnant can be one of the first symptoms that people notice- I was one of them. Unfortunately, I didn’t know enough to find the other symptoms being an issue.
  • Weight gain- Now I haven’t suffered with this until the last few years and now I have to be careful about what I eat. I was a size 8 when I was diagnosed so don’t always take this one as gospel.
  • Hair loss or hair thinning- completely contradictory to the excess hair!!! But the excess hair tends to be on the body and the hair loss tends to be on the head.
  • Oily skin or acne- this one isn’t just on the face, oily skin or acne anywhere is a symptom that a lot of women get. Again I have perfectly clear skin so don’t take this one as gospel too!

The cause of PCOS is unknown but is often hereditary and can cause issues with high levels of insulin which can cause high cholesterol levels and type 2 diabetes in later life. Unfortunately, there is no cure for PCOS.

When I say don’t take everything you read for gospel I mean it. When I was diagnosed I was a size 8, no hair loss, no acne, I had irregular periods but I was told it was due to coming off the pill.

I was also slightly hairy- but not so excessively it made me stand out. I was just brunette and thought it was more noticeable. My other symptoms have come later in life. If you read last week’s post you will know how I found out- if not you can read it here-Being labelled infertile at 21

The main reason for writing this post was to let people know the symptoms if they are suffering as things can be done about most of the symptoms. There are control tablets that solve most of the issues including the infertility. Don’t suffer in silence.