2017 was an exciting year for me; after five years with the same company, I took a leap of faith and decided to leave my job in search of new opportunities. Everything seemed to be amazing, until I started noticing changes to my body that were more than alarming. I noticed that my energy had gone down, I mean, completely. In addition, I gained a little over 30 pounds in a short amount of time, I began to grow facial hair (yikes), and my cycle – when I had it – was horrible! I mean, it was heavy and sometimes lasted for month than a month, the feeling was unbearable.
At first, I tried to ignore all of the signs that something was wrong, until I could no longer. I tussled with going to the doctors for a couple of months; you see, I’m one of those hypochondriacs who will, literally, google one symptom and think the worst. So, after I decided to stop googling phrases such as, “heavy period,” (trust me, don’t go down that rabbit hole; I think I called my best friend and told her I had 25 different things) I realized it was time to go to the doctor.
At 27 years old, I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) which left me kind of … shocked. I think I was more so embarrassed because I couldn’t understand what was happening to my body, and in a sense, I felt like I was less of a woman. Now, I know that sounds completely ridiculous, but between unexplained facial hair all of a sudden, trust me, it was a lot to take in. Yet, instead of feeling sorry for myself or feeling like it was something I should be ashamed of, I have become more open about the changes I am going through with other women, and making changes to control my symptoms. I can’t lie, it’s a pretty scary thought; I want to be able to have children, and to not feel like my body is rebelling against me at times, but I have also learned of so many success stories of women who, like me, struggle with PCOS, but also have been able to conceive. Infertility is just one of the many complications associated, but there are so many more.
Some of those complications include:
- Weight gain
- Insulin resistance
- Irregular or missed periods
- Hormonal acne
- Pelvic pain
- Thinning hair on scalp/hair loss in general
- Increased risk for Type 2 Diabetes
There are so many more I could post, but what I’m trying to say is that when I finally stopped deciding to put things off, I was able to get the help I needed! No, this process hasn’t been easy in the slightest bit, but it’s made me more aware of my body also taught me not to be ashamed or embarrassed, because there are so many more women who are going through everything I have been dealing with, and it makes me feel a lot better. One person I have to thank, especially, is my friend Nicole; she encouraged me to go the doctor no matter how much I resisted, and has held my hand the entire way. She’s been more than a friend, I can’t begin to tell you how many times I would call her with questions, or just to vent and she listened, even if it was at five in the morning. Taking the proper medication and being open with more women has helped me feel so much better, along with some changes I’ve made to my personal life. PCOS doesn’t define me, and for any women who have been struggling, it doesn’t define you, either! I am learning more about my body than before, and if it’s anything this has taught me, it’s one thing: it gets better.