Living with PCOS
September is PCOS awareness month. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects how the ovaries work. It affects 1 in 10 women and symptoms differ depending on the person. For a lot of us we suffer in silence, as many don't know the struggles we face daily with this health condition.
Every woman's body is different and not all of us have the same symptoms. Common ones include:
- Excessive hair growth
- Hair Loss
- Weight Gain
- Weight Loss
- Irregular Periods
- Difficulty getting pregnant
There are many other symptoms but these are the most notable ones that women tend to suffer with.
I was diagnosed with PCOS at the age of 14 after having extreme period pain and hair growth. I felt relieved when I finally knew what was wrong with my body but then the realisation of my situation set in. I heard the words 'incurable' and 'fertility issues' and wondered what my future looked like.
Now aged 22, I have lived with this condition for 8 years and it has never gotten easier. Although PCOS women have their symptoms, for a lot of us it is not obvious that we have a health condition. It seems to be a silent issue, that needs to be addressed way more than it is. My main symptoms are depression, hair growth, weight gain and fatigue. My hair has always been my biggest insecurity, it was a big contributing factor to my depression and over the years I've come to terms that it will always be apart of me no matter how much laser hair removal I get.
After starting the pill at 13 I began to gain weight, going from a size 8 to 12 in a matter of two years. I was then faced with the fact that PCOS women can't eat what they want. We can have intolerance to dairy, gluten, fried food, sugar and solid fats. So many things affect us all everyday and it can go unnoticed, which is why I hope this post can help those come to terms with living with PCOS.
AN INTERVIEW WITH @PCOS.Kicks.my.butt
I began contact with my fellow PCOS twin (and name twin) via Instagram. I still find it unbelievable how many things we have in common. Nikita has helped spread awareness with brands such as Missguided and Freeda.
Here is her interview:
Tell us about yourself, when did you get diagnosed and what is day to day life like?
Hey, I’m Nikita & I’m 22. I got diagnosed at the age of 20 after suffering from symptoms since I was 13/14. I’ve just finished a postgrad course in law & I work as a Ride Operator/Host. My day-to-day is pretty basic, I just roll out of bed as late as I possibly can, spend ages in the shower shaving my face making sure I get every hair before heading into work. When I finish work, I get home, laze around watching TV, then always go for a late night drive just to clear my head, ready for the next day.
Why did you start your page?
I started my page to really just show people what I was going through. It felt like I was so alone and no-one understood what I was going through so starting a page & talking about it all in such an open way was all I wanted to do!
Even though PCOS is the most common hormone disorder in women, why is it not spoken about enough?
I think a lot of women are ashamed of their symptoms & don’t want to talk about it. It is something so personal & hard to talk about so it’s not an easy conversation to have openly. It’s a condition that is also neglected by the medical profession, so no where near as much research goes into it as it should, so people end up dusting it under the carpet.
What can everyone do to help?
Honestly, just being open-minded and considerate of the fact that people are suffering & it is hard to manage. Just a bit of support and compassion wouldn’t go a miss.
Thank you to Nikita Jade for sharing her own journey with PCOS. Follow her page for some open and honest content. @PCOS.kicks.my.butt
Finally I wanted to add some useful resources and informative videos that have helped me deal with my PCOS.