*Living With PCOS

Wednesday, October 24, 2018
GIF from Tumblr 
I started my blog back in 2012 and I don't think I've ever consciously avoided difficult or more taboo topics such as periods, eczema and other skin conditions, laser hair removal and anxiety but one thing I don't think I've mentioned before is PCOS. I'm all for talking about mental health, periods and more difficult or potentially embarrassing topics because none of those should be taboo issues as they affect so many people!

What is PCOS?
PCOS or poly cystic ovarian syndrome is a very common syndrome that affects the ovaries and hormones resulting in various symptoms such as irregular periods, hair loss or thinning, infertility issues, excess hair on the face and body (hirsutism), elevated male hormones and cysts on the ovaries. However, you don't need to have cysts or all of these symptoms to have PCOS - you might only have one or two of the more milder symptoms.

PCOS is thought to affect 1 in 5 women in the UK - NHS 2016
PCOS is incredibly common and according to the NHS it is thought to affect one in every five women in the UK which is very high! You might never know that you have PCOS as you might think that irregular periods or a little excess facial hair is just part and parcel of your body but it could be PCOS so it's definitely worth going to your GP about as there might be something that could help. I have a couple of the symptoms and according to my GP, I have a mild version but your symptoms could differ in frequency or severity.

My Experiences 
I have slightly irregular periods (it's so much better now than it used to be) and they are also very painful at times. Additionally, I have very slightly elevated levels of androgens - androgens are male hormones and every woman has them but in some cases it can be a little higher than normal. Mine are only very slightly higher than normal but it still results in hirsutism which is my main symptom and something that makes me feel so awful about my appearance; thankfully it's fairly easy to rectify and manage. I think so many women experiences excess facial or body hair and it's something that needs to be discussed or accepted more than it is.

I was diagnosed when I was around 20 years old, when my super lovely GP suggested that from my symptoms I might have a mild version of PCOS so I had an ultrasound of my ovaries (which was nothing to worry about and it was a non-invasive test). My results came back completely normal with no cysts which can happen with PCOS, you don't need to show cysts to have it. However as I had a couple of the other symptoms and my blood tests showed that I had very slightly raised levels of androgens, I started taking the pill to help regulate my periods and manage my symptoms.

If you've ever been on the pill then you'll probably know that it can have some awful side effects and for me it left me feeling overweight, bloated and extremely sad resulting in me crying every few days which isn't like me at all. Now I don't take anything to manage my mild symptoms apart from hair-regrowth serums for my hair loss. One big lifestyle change that I think definitely helped my symptoms become even milder is my weight loss! Over the past year I've lost over two stone and for the most part, that time has been spent keeping the weight off now that I've lost it. My mostly vegan diet has definitely contributed and just ten or so minutes of exercise everyday helps too. I also take multivitamins to keep my levels topped up and other supplements (Nature's Best have a great range) might help you too but always consult you GP before taking anything or if you think you might have just one or two PCOS symptoms as you might be able to get a diagnosis and help!

Do you have PCOS or know someone who does? 

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19 comments

  1. I don't have PCOS but my friend does and it's the worst. I feel so sorry for her. It effects so many aspects of her life.

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  2. I can totally relate to this as I have it too. It can be tough at times, but I think I’ve found how to deal with it x

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  3. I feel like a lot more people are opening up about dealing with PCOS and I love that it is becoming something we can talk about and help each other with.

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  4. Great post, it’s great that people on general feel more comfortable chatting about these sort of once taboo subjects. X

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  5. This is a really honest post! Sending you lots of love x

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  6. I've heard about this before but I wasn't 100% sure exactly what it was!

    Gemma Louise

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  7. It is so important for PCOS to be spoken about more!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

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  8. I have a friend with this and this post is a helpful way for me to start a conversation x

    butterfly-culture.com

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  9. I am so glad that you wrote this post because my sister has this condition and it has brought her a whole world of issues over the years!

    Danielle xx
    https://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

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  10. I know so many people with PCOS now, its so common. It needs to be spoken about more.

    Erin || MakeErinOver

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  11. Great post and it’s good to see it being talked about so openly.

    http://littlemissmelanie.com

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  12. I also have mild PCOS, and the excess hair is the worst, especially since mine is black, but luckily I have gone for laser. The cramps I get for the first two days are unbearable too!

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  13. One of my close friends has PCOS so I only understand it from her point of view.

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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  14. My auntie actually suffers with PCOS so I can understand what you're going through. Sending you all the love. 🌸✨

    With love, Alisha Valerie x

    | BLOG | TWITTER |

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  15. Thank-you for sharing this! Sending you lots of ♥

    Joyce | http://www.joycelauofficial.com/

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  16. I have PCOS - was diagnosed as an early teen and it's been such a nightmare. Fortunately the symptoms lessened for me for a year or so after giving birth to each of my children but then it came back raging again as my hormone levels gradually went back to normal : (

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  17. Thank you for being so open about this. As someone who has never experienced this its good to learn from those who have

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  18. I had never even heard of PCOS before! I had irregular periods, but I've found the pill to be an absolute god send for me xo

    Char | www.charslittleblog.co.uk

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