Today, I bring you a guest post from my brilliant sister who was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome. Though the initial diagnosis was a little scary (you’ll find out why below), she wants to inspire hope in others who are struggling with a PCOS diagnosis and what it all means.
Here are her words:
“After nearly a year of no periods when I came off the pill, I was referred to the gynaecologist at the hospital (since nicknamed Dr Bitchface). She looked at my blood results, did a quick internal scan and announced, “Yes, it’s as I suspected, you have Polycystic Ovaries” without a hint of bedside manner or any explanation of what it was or what that meant. I wasn’t trying to conceive at the time but had an idea it was linked to fertility and knew I wanted children in the future so I started to cry. She looked at me in shock and said something to the effect of “I don’t know why you are getting so worked up, it just means irregular periods. Plenty of people have worse things wrong with them and it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to have children.”
I felt mortified by her harsh reaction and still none the wiser regarding my prognosis so when I got home I asked Dr Google who informed me that PCOS was going to make me overweight, hairy, spotty and infertile. Nice.
I am now three years on from that original diagnosis and am seven months pregnant. Through speaking to nicer doctors, plenty of background reading and my own experience, I also have a much greater understanding of what Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is and how the condition can be managed. Essentially in terms of fertility, it is a hormone imbalance that can prevent you from ovulating (which in turn means you can’t get pregnant that month). It doesn’t mean that your body can never be pregnant or maintain a healthy pregnancy; just that you might need some help with ovulating. It doesn’t mean you need to be overweight or zit-ridden, in fact by keeping an eye on your diet, you can reduce the effect of all the symptoms.
What I didn’t appreciate initially is that Dr Bitchface did me a favour – knowledge is power. My body raised an alarm to me by not having monthly periods and I got checked out prior to trying to conceive. Armed with a diagnosis before I started my fertility journey meant I was able to buy myself time, cut out some of the heartache that comes with monthly negative pregnancy tests and head for medical intervention sooner.”