I’m scared because I have PCOS.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that affects how a woman’s ovaries work.
The three main features of the condition are:
- cysts that develop in your ovaries (polycystic ovaries)
- your ovaries do not regularly release eggs (ovulate)
- having high levels of “male hormones” called androgens in your body
[If you want to know more -> http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Polycystic-ovarian-syndrome/Pages/Introduction.aspx ]
The reason I’m writing about this today is because I’m scared.
I’m only 20, and already my PCO is worse than my mum’s was at my age. The main problems with this “ailment” are a little mediocre. If I didn’t have it and I heard someone complain about the problems they’ve faced with it, I would probably sympathise for a minute and then move on. But it’s so different when you’re going through something yourself. It’s different because humans are selfish and we won’t know the worth of something until we’ve seen it first hand for ourselves.
The problems that have been cropping up more are issues with my weight and the hair on my head. Because of my height, which I consider average (5 ft 6.5 in), you can’t really accurately guess my weight, which is much higher than it should be. And not that “oh I wish I was skinnier” weight, because it’s more like an actually-is-a-health-concern weight. But I can promise you, you’d never be able to tell. My weight yo-yos most of the time. I was extremely lean and extremely heavy in the space of just a year – which obviously isn’t good for my health. I lose fat from my face first so I hear “have you lost weight?” every few weeks – but it’s not the case.
My hair got thinner as I grew up. Stress can be a cause of hair fall, which makes some sense because I’m a second year med student now. But my hair has become so frail that at one point, it was coming out in clumps like a chemotherapy patient’s hair.
This terrified me to my core. So my mum helped me out (she’s a doctor) and I changed my shampoos, tried some serums and vitamin supplements and medicines etc. The hair fall decreased to a more normal amount, but it left me with small patches of missing hair – bald patches. So these days if you see me, I will probably have my hair tied up in some way.
I know there are people out there who have absolutely terrible diseases and my “disease” or whatever you want to call it, seems so mediocre in comparison. (My friend here would argue that just because someone seemingly has worse problems, it doesn’t mean that mine don’t exist).
But when you don’t regularly menstruate, when your weight has increased again despite only having ONE meal a day, when your hair falls out just from tying it up – it gets frustrating. Not to mention the terrifying notion that I may not be able to have kids in the future, or that one of the cysts might turn into cancer one day.
But, I’m still young and I have a lot more of the world to see and a lot of stupid mistakes left to make. So it’s fine. As long as I have a good support system (and I do), and my own strength and resilience. I think I’ll be fine.