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Polycystic Ovaries: What it really means to live with PCOS.

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Having polycystic ovaries is known as having a condition called PCOS. This condition affects how a women’s ovaries work. despite the name, you do not actually have cysts if you have PCOS. There are 3 main elements that indicate the diagnosis of PCOS.

  • Irregular periods meaning your ovaries do not regularly release eggs AKA ovulation.
  • excess androgen – a higher than expected level of “male” hormones. which may cause physical signs such as excess facial or body hair
  • polycystic ovaries – your ovaries become enlarged and contain many fluid-filled sacs (follicles) that surround the eggs.

If you have at least 2 of these features, you may be diagnosed with PCOS.

woman curled up on floor
Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com

Polycystic ovaries & me

From the minute I hit my puberty years I had problems. Severe cramps, heavy periods, emotionally drained and tearful constantly.

Endless trips to the Drs to talk about my crippling periods. They tried me on the contraceptive pill at first. Which honestly had zero effect. After a few times of being asked to give it a little longer to work, I was finally sent for a scan.

I was referred for an internal ultrasound which was how it was discovered that I had polycystic ovaries. For a while, I continued to get on with it, and manage the cramps and feeling shit. however, it has got worse over the years.

I have been visiting the gynaecology department at Southampton Hospital for nearly 5 years now. I’ve had countless investigations and treatments.
For a while, they thought I had endometriosis due to the amount of pain I was having alongside the troubles I was having. However, I don’t have that. They discovered issues with cysts blocking my tubes instead.

I have basically bad PCOS, with other things going on along side them. So when it comes to the issues Polycystic ovaries brings, I am sadly very experienced.

Unpredictable/heavy periods.

Pcos is one of the most commonly associated symptom of having unpredictable and heavy periods.
heavy periods tend to mean that we end up needing to use twice as much sanitary supplies as the expected period would.

As for our periods been unpredictable. I have had periods that last up to two weeks, as well as periods that come back every 2 – 3 weeks.

Experiencing chronic pain is a daily occurrence for me. In this post, I discuss how pain has an effect on my mental health, here.

horrendous cramps

I remember how many times people have said ‘Oh it’s just a period, man up’. As I grew up when I complained about the painfulness of my cramps. However, they continued to get worse the older I Got. Pain that will literally stop me from being able to walk, having me curled up in pain.

If you are going through this you really need to keep your doctor informed. They can refer you for help through gynaecology.

polycystic ovaries hot water bottle
Hot water bottles are literally my best friends.

The unwanted hair growth.

the unwanted hormones that we lucky people managed to get extra of allows are body to do the most distracting things. Even down to giving us dark facial hair that is hard to get rid off.
we spend ages plucking at our chins etc just to ensure we don’t look like we are growing a beard.
Fighting the temptation to grab a razor and shave it off because we know this will make it a worse.

Struggling with body weight.

One of the most annoying symptoms of having PCOS is definitely the struggle of loosing weight, and maintaining a low weight.

our polycystic hormones cause our insulin resistance to go haywire meaning we are at a greater risk on having type 2 diabetes.

Self-care has a positive impact when you are struggling with health, read more, here.

polycystic ovaries
Img src: google

oily skin? acne? Dry skin? or all of the above.

I always know that I am about to come on when I start breaking out with loads of spots and lumps that appear. Especially all over my face. In fact, it isn’t just my face, it tends to be the whole of me. I suffer from cysts everywhere, which the doctor isn’t worried about because it’s just part of the PCOS joyful effects.

It’s taken me years to find products that Work for me, and it is genuinely about trial and error.

Getting the right support, medically, if you believe you may have Polycystic ovaries.

If you have not been diagnosed with PCOS. If you can relate to these symptoms. Keep a diary of when and what your symptoms are. You can take to a GP/Specialist to get the right help and support.

A doctor will be able to refer you to the correct departments for testing. Such as having a blood test, and an internal ultrasound.

There are, however, plenty of places to gain knowledge and support when it comes to PCOS, and the worry of endometriosis. Including Facebook groups.

Helpful tips:

  • Keeping to a healthy lifestyle including exercising regularly, eating fewer carbs.
  • Taking feminine targeted pain relief such as Feminax
  • using a hot water bottle to help ease cramps.
  • investing in a heated blanket is a brilliant way of coping with painful cramps.
  • Wear Cura heat pads, direct to skin to help you carry on with your day.
  • Trying a moon cup. It may not be for everyone, however for the sake of saving money on supplies as well as being a sustainable product. These are pretty amazing concepts.
  • Avoid shaving facial areas where possible, as this causes hair growth to come back darker, and thicker.
  • Don’t skip breakfast – Our bodies need food to function and eating small portions regularly can support this!
  • Using cleansing toner Such as the one by Simple, for skin issues.
  • moisturise regularly with a lotion that is suited to your skin type.
  • Staying hydrated.

If you ever need someone to talk to about PCOS symptoms and relief. Pop me a message to one of my socials or my email, thealexajadeblog@gmail.com

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