When i was first diagnosed i was a teenager maybe 12 or 13 i was going for some tests because my periods were irregular,i really had no idea that day would be a turning point in my life, I do have to admit at the time the severity of some of these symptoms did not sink in,looking back i was naive to think that i had time to come to terms with them because i didn’t . Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a condition that affects how the ovaries work meaning you may experience like i did irregular periods due to not releasing an egg each month. Other symptoms include insulin resistance,high testosterone,fatigue,mood changes,acne,excessive hair growth (Hirsutism) or thinning hair(alopecia) weight changes,low sex drive, trouble conceiving or infertility. 1 in 10 women suffer with PCOS,there is yet to be a cure and sadly it often goes undiagnosed. Over the years since finding out i have this condition i have actually experienced a lot of the above symptoms which have all had a massive impact on my mental health. I have also experienced inflamed and ruptured ovarian cysts that are very painful indeed. A typical day for me consists of waking up not knowing what symptoms will effect me ,exhausted,fed up and full of dread at the thought of looking in the mirror ,not wanting to get in the shower as that means i have to touch my own body & skin,i just feel like screaming ‘Why cant i just be like everyone else?!
I was previously on a medication that kept many of the symptoms under control in the shape of the combined pill but since my husband & i wanted to start a family we found out there are a lot less options in terms of medications to control my symptoms that dont harm chances of conceiving. I have tried natural home remedies as well as other prescribed medications from my GP but Sadly i still have not been able to find something that works for me and all the symptoms. I do not speak alot about my fertility issues for someone who is very open about how they feel. I have kept that rather privite between myself & Bryan. Even my close friends do not really know much about our struggles and how it impacts us. It is something that triggers alot of my other issues like my depression or anxiety. I find myself painting on a smile most days and i can barely cope with how fake i have to be. You can liken my feelings about life similar to the 2017 Paramore Album After Laughter with songs such as,Hard Times,Fake Happy,and Caught In the Middle.
Many women in the public eye have been open in their experiences with their PCOS like Daisy Ridley,Jools Oliver,Victoria Beckham,Emma Thompson ,Lea Michele and Jamie King.
Victoria Beckham has been very open with her fertility struggles over the years and has been just as open about her PCOS diagnosis & consequent irregular periods. Victoria explained her struggle back then ”im really feeling that pressure. Every time i go out,someone says to me : are you pregnant? Oh boy The ”When are you having babies?” question we inevitably get at every social gathering. At first,i tried to dodge these questions with a vague response and a smile but now i keep that big smile and say something like ”Actually im struggling with infertility becasue of my PCOS, so my husband and i have been through several fertility treatments. No baby yet,but it’ll happen soon” This provokes 1 of 2 responses : 1) shock at my bluntness and gurantee i’ll never get that question from this person again ,or 2) It’ll spur a genuine conversation on fertility,PCOS or simply the trials and tribulations of TTC(trying to conceive) Im good with either outcome.
Weather it be bad skin ,weight gain or infertility these amazing women have found ways to deal with their symptoms while still being in the public eye,facing scrutiny. This reminds us that conditions like this dont discriminate ,we are all effected differently and have so many different stories to tell. These women are my heros.
Remembering all the positives in a sea of negatives can be very difficult. Those mornings after sleepless nights or hours & hours of sleep that is just full nightmares,fear inducing,heart pounding out of my chest type nightmares that you wake up sobbing from. I try my best to focus on small things like when i wake up i will brush my teeth ,then a shower ,then after that onto my make up routine. Next might be choosing what book to read on the bus on the way to work today or what i’m going to have for breakfast. Small victories add up and before you know it you are functioning even though you thought in those first moments of opening your eyes that you could not, but here you are doing it,you should be so proud. I know there will be something out there that works for me its just finding it.
Wanting to be the best version of myself not only for me but also for those around me is one of my biggest aims in life. When my world feels like its crashing down around me I look to my friends who every single day to remind me who i am & to be strong, I talk to my parents who have a unwavering amount of love support & advice for me daily and on the days that i can no longer carry on or bare to get out of bed i look into the eyes of my wonderful husband who always makes me smile & laugh,he searches for the meaning of life’s little mysteries with me and comforts me without even saying a word. I am very lucky to know such beautiful people. I learn lessons from them constantly. We continue to grow together. Life is not perfect and I may never be rid of what effects me but with all these amazing things in my life i have the hope,passion and drive to carry on fighting.