It’s Septemeber and you know what that means? FALL. Sweaters, Halloween decorations, leaves, cozy candles, and boots are creeping their way in. Along with fall, September also rings in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Awareness Month, as well as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Something I didn’t even realize had a month of its own until not too long ago. Some of you may then be thinking, what is PCOS and why should it have its own awareness month? That’s why. Not that many people know about it yet it affects 1 in 10 women…including me! So, what is it?
The exact cause is unknown, but it is considered a hormonal problem. Genetics and environmental factors are believed to be involved in the development of PCOS. It is a leading cause of female infertility and is responsible for a number of symptoms that can affect the body physically and emotionally.
Still confused? Don’t worry, so am I! Basically, PCOS is a hormonal disorder that is linked to a wide variety of symptoms from irregular periods and weight gain to infertility and severe anxiety and depression. The symptoms appear differently and in various severities in everyone affected. For me, it started with my period going MIA for no reason. When I went to the doctor and they asked when my last period was and I said “six months ago” they immediately raised a concern and said I needed to visit an OBGYN.
So, off to the OBGYN, I went. We discussed the fact that I hadn’t had a period for quite some time, talked about some other symptoms, and without even having test results, my OBGYN said she was 99% sure that I had PCOS. We did some blood work to check hormone and insulin levels and I was prescribed birth control to hopefully bring my period out of hiding. Turns out, my insulin resistance levels were sky high, so they also started me on Metformin (a typical medicine used for diabetes) to help those numbers get down. There also had to be some real discussions about fertility. At 18 years old, I was told that I likely won’t be able to have children passed the age of 30 and will likely need medical assistance in order to conceive. Fertility wasn’t really a concern in my life at that point, but now it has to be and is always on my mind. I know there are many other options and that God will give me the gift of children when/if I am meant to have it, but it’s still something that is always in the back of my mind.
I think what bothers me the most about PCOS is the fact that even though it affects 1 in 10 women, hardly anyone knows about it. There also is no for sure known cause or cure. Is it manageable, yes? I’m thankful for that. I do hope that there comes a day where there is a cure. That can’t be achieved with more awareness, funding, and research. If you feel so inclined, you can visit https://www.pcosaa.org/ for more info or donate.
I am a part of the 1 in 10 with PCOS.
❤ / Bailey