After my last post I got a few messages from concerned friends. I guess I should have expected that since I have some of the greatest friends ever. 😉 I guess I can try to give y’all and anyone else who’s curious some more information on what PCOS is and what I might be dealing with for my future. [Side note: We won’t know for sure until we do a hormone test or more blood work next month at my follow up appointment.]
PCOS is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and is characterized by ovarian cysts, irregular menstrual cycles, and/or an excess of male hormones. A woman does not have to have all three of those to have PCOS. The hormone imbalance seems to be what causes a lot of the annoying symptoms women with PCOS have to deal with. These can include male pattern balding or thinning hair, acne, abnormal hair growth (such as sideburns, chin, chest, stomach, etc. – basically “unladylike” hair growth), weight issues, etc. It also causes insulin-resistance which is what I’m just learning more about.
While my husband and I aren’t planning on having children just yet, much to my mom’s disappointment, a big concern for many women with PCOS is the possibility of infertility. I know when I hear that word it almost makes it sound like getting pregnant is impossible. Luckily, infertility does not equal impossible. I’ve read many women’s stories online and via social media about their journey with PCOS, for weight loss mostly, and with dietary and lifestyle changes they’ve managed to lose significant amounts of weight, get healthier, and get pregnant. My husband and I want me to be at a healthy weight before having kids anyway so understanding what we could be dealing with early on really helps. I have a better idea of what I need to do for my body to work at its best.
The crazy hormones can really mess with a person. I know for me I’ve dealt with anxiety, depression, and mood swings for a while now. I always just thought it was normal, especially around that time of the month. That’s why I can’t wait to confirm with my doctor if this is my diagnosis. It’s not ideal of course. I’d much rather have nothing wrong with me, but if I do have PCOS I’ll be a hell of a lot relieved. It gives me hope knowing that my emotional problems can get better or even go away completely, I can conceive in the future, and that having trouble losing weight and easily gaining weight hasn’t all been my fault. Insulin-resistance makes it much easier to gain weight (darn you delicious carbs!!) and much harder to lose it without cutting back on carbs.
Hopefully the above helps y’all understand a little bit more about PCOS. Apparently it’s not something a lot of doctors are looking out for, so many women suffer from it and don’t know it. After my last post, I seeked out other blogs and information about PCOS. One that really helped and had tons of great info is PCOS Diet Support. So if you want to know more check that website out too.