Today I was thinking about writing a nice fluffy post about Memphis and all the fun places there are to eat here, and then I decided it was time to get out of my comfort zone. So today we are going to have a little chat about the monster that is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome otherwise known as PCOS.
I was officially diagnosed in 2008, but my gyno was convinced I had had it since around the time I hit puberty at 10 because of all the symptoms I have had over the years. So puberty hit when I was in fourth grade and no mention of it had been made to me before Aunt Flow showed her lovely face. I was left to believe I was dying sitting on the abnormally small toilets in a elementary school bathroom. When I was 16 I had horrible stomach pains and ended up in the emergency room at 3 am where I was checked for appendicitis and given a shot and sent home with a prescription for Percocet. Three weeks later after passing out at school because of the pain I was admitted into the hospital and became a lab rat for 2 full days. After running every test known to man and finding nothing the doctors decided I was preggers even though I had been given numerous tests and all had came back negative, there was also the fact that I was a virgin. Well during the ultrasound leave it to me to have a healthy 11 pound cyst latched on for dear life to my left fallopian tube. If only it had been immaculate conception I might have ended up with something other than just a nasty scar starting at my belly button and ending right above my naughty bits.
After that fiasco I was put on birth control and nothing was really mentioned of it. Until 2008 I lived with once a year periods (I was young why would I complain), excessive hairiness (I should have bought stocks in razors), and weight gain. Well I thought all of that was just normal. Then I decided I was tired of it all and needed answers. I was getting older and I knew I would one day want little jessica's running around. So back to the gyno I went. Well they drained me of most of my blood and decided that I had PCOS, and back on birth control I went. Supposedly it helps some people, not me though. So now I live with it. I try to lose weight to no avail, I still need to take out those stocks in razors, but I have been able to get my periods to be normal (yay *sarcastically*).
So what is PCOS:
According to the PCOS Foundation:
PCOS is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, also known as Stein-Leventhal Syndrome, and is one of the most common hormonal endocrine disorders in women. Many women may experience weight gain or obesity, yet there are others who may be very lean. Multiple cysts on ovaries in a "string of pearls” pattern is also an indicator for PCOS. In addition, this hormonal imbalance can cause Insulin Resistance, which is also a prime indicator that you may have PCOS. Women suffering from PCOS may experience high testosterone levels, which cause other signs and symptoms such as Hirsutism (excessive hair growth), male pattern baldness and acne. This high level of testosterone can also prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg each month.
Common Signs and Symptoms:
So here are some things to look for and know that not all women have all of these. If you think you might have PCOS talk to your gynecologist.
Irregular periods or secondary amenorrhea
Weight gain, Overweight
Difficulty losing weight
Excess hair growth on face and body- called Hirsutism
Darkened patches of skin
High cholesterol and high triglycerides
High blood pressure
Cysts on the ovaries (multiple)
Sleep apnea (when breathing stops for a short period of time while asleep)
Decreased sex drive
Increase in stress levels
So lovelies thanks for bearing with me today. I hope this helps at least one person out there.