- Maria Odugba
When I was 14 years old I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). I spent the majority of my 13's and 14's at multiple doctors taking blood tests, ultrasounds and doing paperwork. I was told that I would probably never have a child and that the only thing that could help me was to take a bunch of different pills. I was 14 so, having a child was at the back of my mind and taking medicine every day was not on the top of my list of successful responsibilities. In case I lost some of you at PCOS...
"Polycystic ovary syndrome: Abbreviated PCOS. Polcystic ovary syndrome is a condition in women characterized by irregular or no menstrual periods, acne, obesity, and excess hair growth. PCOS is a disorder of chronically abnormal ovarian function and hyperandrogenism (abnormally elevated androgen levels). It affects 5-10% of women of reproductive age."
There are many different symptoms of PCOS and not everybody will have the same symptoms that their peer has. Side effects of PCOS include irregular menstrual cycle, fatigue, mood changes, acne, hair growth, hair loss, weight gain and difficulty losing weight, and is also linked to insulin resistance. I have majority of those symptoms, but they never really bothered me growing up. Fatigue, mood swings, acne and weight gain pretty much sums up what the majority of girls were dealing with at that age.
Moving forward to my current adult life, all those symptoms effect me in one way or another and I can't blame it on "growing up" anymore. Trying to explain to my husband why I'm always so tired or why my mood goes from 0-100 in 5 seconds..it's tough. I was recently also diagnosed with hypothyroidism, which includes side effects such as fatigue, and the medicine I was put on has side effects of fatigue and irritability. So I'm usually extra tired or extra irritated, or both. If you're reading this....Sorry, babe.
1 in 10 women have PCOS. A few of your friends could have it. It's usually not spoken about because....ya'know, I don't really know why it's not spoken about. For something to be so common, more people should be speaking about it. It's not something to hide, it's not like we have a third foot popping out of the side of our neck...I think it's important to talk about. I think it's important to know that you're not alone. Every time I meet someone new that has PCOS I get overly excited because I spent the majority of my life thinking I was the only person. I hear so many stories about women that are afraid to build relationships because they feel unworthy. There are so many stories about woman not allowing themselves to be happy because the disease has taken over their entire life.
It's so very important to remember that PCOS does not define you. I am not PCOS. I have PCOS...and I will never let it ruin my life. I don't allow myself to be sad about it. I don't focus on the negative possibilities. Do I struggle some days? Of course! I think we all have things that we struggle with, & this is mine. But I am also a wife, a daughter, a dog mom, a friend, a blogger and many other things, but I am not PCOS.
It's possible to get pregnant. It's possible to lose weight. It's possible to follow your goals. It's 100 percent possible to live your life, you've just got to let yourself live.
I would love to hear all of your stories about PCOS and how it has affected you. Please feel free to message or e-mail me your stories. I'll be creating an e-book with all of my research and thoughts on PCOS. There is no cure, but there are ways to manage it. There are ways to gain back your life. <3