So this is one of the hard parts of being a woman with PCOS – having difficult and sometimes near-uncontrollable symptoms that can be a source of embarrassment, lack of self-esteem and isolation for many.
Well we can tell you now – YOU ARE NOT ALONE – with around 1 in 10 women with PCOS there are many of us who have unfortunate signs of the condition, it’s just that we’ve spent so very long believing that it was just us, that no one understands and as a result we spend years suffering in silence…
Well – NO MORE – do not be ashamed of your symptoms; they may not be ideal but shit happens…having excess hair or some extra weight do not define you – neither does your PCOS…you are all fantabulous women who just happen to have a problem with polycystic ovaries.
Whether you are a teen struggling with PCOS in addition to puberty hassle, a mum waiting for a child and is desperately trying, or a gorgeous gal struggling to shift that weight for your ideal beach bod despite all your best efforts, this is your time to accept and embrace PCOS; keep your chin up, be loving and true to yourself, help yourself and continue being your wonderful self…this doesn’t change you as a person…it doesn’t have to mean the end of life as you know it…it’s something to deal with and keep under control so it doesn’t bother you as you go about your daily adventures!
To quote any number of resources on PCOS, the “classic” symptoms of the condition are:
- Irregular periods – whether it is a lack of periods, unusual bleeding or an infrequent cycle it is most likely a result of your PCOS…it has been said that only 20% of women with PCOS have “normal” menstruation…ONLY 20%
- Infertility – Problems conceiving often are the first sign for many women that they may have PCOS; it is true that PCOS can be problematic for those trying to get pregnant however many women manage to get their PCOS under control and successfully have children…so please do not panic or give up hope!
- Hirsutism/Excess hair – this occurs in approximately 70% of women with PCOS – NEVER worry that you are alone with this, the majority of women with the condition have issues with excess facial and body hair…damn that testosterone!
- Issues with weight – Around 40-70% of women with PCOS are overweight and it is one of the biggest issues we tend to face; hormonal imbalances and insulin resistance mean we are susceptible to gaining weight but also that is if much more difficult for us to lose weight…to make it worse being overweight has a tendency to exacerbate PCOS symptoms…it’s a vicious cycle!
- Thinning hair/hair loss – Or male-pattern hair loss (however you want to sugarcoat it) some women can develop bald spots in relation to their PCOS…So we have to be “too hairy” or “less hairy”…great!
- Oily skin and/or acne – Just when you thought you had escaped the dreaded teen skin and acne of ages past…no…due to your hormones being out of whack and causing chaos to your body it’ll take its toll on your skin…many women with PCOS suffer with oily skin and acne of varying degrees too.
- Abnormal blood chemistry – In addition to hormonal imbalances and insulin resistance women with PCOS appear to have high levels of “low-density lipoprotein” aka “bad” cholesterol and low levels of “high-density lipoprotein” aka “good” cholesterol.