That polycystic ovary looks quite foul, diseased, pustular, plague-infested and, frankly, gross. Both my ovaries are like that.
So, this PCOS stuff…I whitter on about it quite a bit. It’s a merry state of affairs, oh yes indeedy! The good news is that if you’re a bloke, you’re in the clear, this is a women only event, like periods.
But with PCOS, periods might not show up very often and our male hormones are higher than the average lassie. We get to grow hair on our faces, chests, back and buttocks all while being susceptible to our heads going bald. It can be pretty gosh durn hard to get pregnant. I am a manager in the construction industry….dear god, I’m a man with boobs!
It’s an absolute bastard to get a diagnosis of PCOS. The NHS, in its wisdom, says that of the 1 in 5 women who have it ‘more than half of these have no symptoms’ and to speak to your Dr if you think you may have it. I did. I had no clue about PCOS, I just knew that three periods a year wasn’t how a woman works.
He told me that this was normal, that he had patients who had only one period a year, that I shouldn’t worry and he offered me the pill to make my periods monthly. I declined. A few years ago there was an article on the BBC detailing that this same Dr had been struck off for sexually assaulting patients.
Anyway, back to PCOS. It means you’ll never grow out of the zit faze, will have high insulin levels resulting in a stonking chance of obesity, of that poor, overworked pancreas packing up and your developing type 2 diabetes as a result.
It means that losing weight is an uphill battle, that you have increased risk of high cholesterol, of developing high blood pressure and heart disease. It means an increased risk of cancer of the uterus lining and abnormal uterine bleeding, of severe non-alcoholic liver inflammation and a higher occurrence of sleep apnea if overweight.
It means a propensity to anxiety, depression, a lowered sex drive and stress.
It means you might not ovulate. It means that despite all ‘best efforts’ (coughnotthatimbittercough) by the NHS you may never have a child. That while the male hormone-inspired cysts cluttering up your ovaries inhibit ovulation, to add insult to injury, those juicy, plump fat cells you carry around are packed with oestrogen which messes up your ovulation too.
And all of this while living a life as outwardly normal as every other woman in the street.
It’s genetic, incurable and a no-win situation, so you’re stuffed AND buggered.
Some additional reading, should you be so inclined:
Verity-PCOS The UK charity for women affected by PCOS.
PCOS Foundtion The US equivalent.
National Heath Service (NHS) On diagnosis and treatment of PCOS.