So I found out today for certain that I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). I originally went to the doctor about a month ago. At the time, I hadn’t had my period for 7 months and I was starting to get worried. I assumed it was an imbalance of hormones, but my friends told me to go to the doctor to get it checked out. So he sent me to get some blood tests done to determine why I was so irregular and go for an ultrasound. He also told me to take a pregnancy test, I wasn’t pregnant. If I was I would have been the size of a whale, but I did it anyway. You hear stories of women having babies and not realising until they go into labour. Horrifying, absolutely horrifying.
I rang my mum the same day, then she told me she thought it could be PCOS. She told me about it, as she has it and that it runs down my grandfathers side of the family. My mum said it is the reason behind why my grandfather was an only child. But also, when men carry PCOS it causes baldness, which he definitely had. For the first time, I had inherited something bad from my mums side. I had joked for years that I get all the crap stuff from my dad. That it was my dads fault that I have to wear glasses and that I get really bad eczema on my elbows, but he gave me a great natural hair colour.
It also explains why my twin and I were conceived through IVF. We only learned about being IVF when we were about 16, when our parents talked about it after coming back from the pub. They thought they had told us ages ago, but they hadn’t. We saw our cousin the same weekend and she had known for years, and she thought we knew about it. The fact that you find something out like this, which is a big deal, just because your parents were rather jolly, or in other terms drunk is pretty funny.
It’s estimated that about one in every five women in the UK has polycystic ovaries, but more than half of these have no symptoms – NHS
Back at the doctors a week later. The ultrasound contradicted the blood tests. There was no evidence of cysts in my ovaries, but my hormones were out of whack. My testosterone was very high, which explained why I get a patch of facial hair on my neck. That was that mystery sorted and at this point it was looking like I had PCOS, but he wanted to be thorough and 100% sure. So, he sent me for one more blood test to check for diabetes. My blood sugar level was perfect! He talked to some of his colleagues who knew more about PCOS as they were more experienced in that particular field. After several weeks of going back and forth, it was confirmed I have PCOS. I instantly rang my mum up and joked, ‘I have what you have! Snap!’
There is no cure for PCOS, you just have to get on with life and deal with it. You hardly realise it’s there apart from a couple of annoying symptoms. The only time it might become a problem is when you are trying to have children – my parents being a prime example. However, when I reach that hurdle I will deal with it, but right now I’m glad I know what is going on with my body and why it doesn’t want to do the things it is supposed to.
I had never heard of it before, until my mum told me. But I wanted to write about it, because it is so common and it deserves more awareness.
Think you might have PCOS? Go to the NHS website and/or consult your doctor:
- There is no exact cause, but it can run in families.
- It is associated with abnormal hormone levels
- Insulin is a hormone that controls sugar levels in the body. Many women with PCOS are resistant to the action of insulin in their body and so produce higher levels of insulin to overcome this. This can cause an increase of production of hormones such as testosterone.
- Irregular periods or no periods at all
- Difficulty getting pregnant
- Excessive hair growth
- Weight gain
- Thinning hair and/or hair loss
- Oily skin or acne