September has been PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) awareness month, therefore we felt it incredibly important to speak with someone who is experiencing PCOS struggles first-hand. This fertility blog article will delve into the important topic of PCOS which can affect many women when trying to conceive.
Say hello to Jade’s, as she talks openly about how she discovered that she has PCOS and the struggles that she’s had to overcome.
Over to Jade…
The Harsh Reality of PCOS
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome has really affected my personal experience of trying to conceive. PCOS is no joke, it’s real and it’s a struggle for anyone enduring it. I started my periods very young. I was only eight or nine and at primary school. I had no idea what was happening, I just thought that I had cut my leg and my mum told me to run to the toilet first and then we’d look for a cut after.
PCOS Weight Gain
I’ve always struggled with heavy periods. When I was younger and on my period, I didn’t go to sleepovers or stay out because I would leak constantly, without fail. That was just the norm for me.
As the years passed, I was always having heavy, horrible periods, excruciating pain and was feeling weak all the time. They then become very sporadic and all over the place. I’d go months without one, then have a period for two months! That’s two months of constant bleeding, or constant spotting. My weight was fluctuating constantly. Whilst I am not actually a big eater, I’m an eyes too big for my belly kind of girl! I’ll want everything at a buffet, but won’t even finish a plate of food. So this started to become a problem for me because I couldn’t understand how I was putting on weight. I didn’t realise at this point that there can be correlation between weight gain and PCOS. Then I started to get hairier, which made me rather self-conscious, as I remember girls at primary school shaving their legs. I wasn’t allowed to because I was too young, so I always had worries about it at the back of my mind. I wanted to wear trousers instead of skirts and socks.
Related Article – What is PCOS? By The Women’s Wellness Centre
A Rollercoaster of Symptoms
Fast forward a few years spent like this (with undiagnosed PCOS symptoms) and I had suspected appendicitis – so they took out my appendix. However it later turned out to be a burst cyst on my ovary. At this point they mentioned PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), but nothing was set in stone. They asked me if anyone in my family suffered from it and I told them that my mother does. It was never mentioned again, so I guessed it was something I suffer from, but nothing to worry about. More years passed, and I had a gut feeling there was something wrong.
Please believe me when I tell you women know their bodies
I was absolutely convinced that I couldn’t have children. Everyone around me was telling me, ‘Don’t be silly, don’t be ridiculous, get checked if you feel this way’. It was constantly on my mind day in day out. So I went to the doctor and they more or less said to me, ‘Well you’re not trying to conceive, so how are we going to know?’ I pushed it to the back of my mind and carried on.
I ended up losing a lot of weight, living life and having a great time. Then I met Jack by pure chance and we’ve been inseparable since. I know a lot of people say, ‘You know when you’ve met the ‘one’. I’d never been loved or treated so preciously by anyone before, and we knew it was a forever thing. I couldn’t live a day without him, genuinely.
Related Article – Losing Weight Before Pregnancy – Fighting PCOS
Time went by in our relationship, and my head was all over the place again, so Jack and I decided to go to the doctor and asked that I have some tests done. So in the end it did happen. I cried and cried to this doctor saying ‘I know I can’t have kids. I know my body. You are a woman, please believe me something isn’t right and it’s affecting me badly’. I was due to go for an interview for a maternity job and told her I needed help, and she helped me. She carried out blood tests, which came back proving what I felt, and then I was sent to a fertility clinic in the hopes I would be provided with some fertility help.
The fertility clinic had my blood scans and told me that I do not ovulate. They told me that my ovaries are so surrounded by cysts that the eggs can’t pass through, get stuck and die in my ovaries, which then causes a big bleed. They said that Clomid wouldn’t be worth starting because the eggs can’t pass through. On top of all that, they told me that one of my fallopian tubes also had an issue. They wanted to do further fertility tests, a hysteroscopy to go through my vagina into the womb, to make sure that it was okay to carry a baby, then a laparoscopy to see if anything else was happening. That would involve drilling my ovaries to allow the eggs to pass. Lastly there would be a cyst removal and clean up and the fixing of my fallopian tubes.
Related Article – Madeleine Shaw on How to Cope with Anxiety
Trying To Conceive After PCOS Struggles
The good news is that the surgery went well and I am recovering okay. Even though my fertility experience may not have been the smoothest, our future trying to conceive is looking bright.
I have craved someone to talk to. I’ve craved avenues to follow, I’ve craved someone who could answer my questions, so I don’t feel like I’m going mad! Tell me I’m not the only girl to have facial hair and hair on her belly and nipples. Tell me I’m not the only one in a constant battle with energy, motivation and pcos weight struggles.
PCOS is real. It hurts, it sucks and it is challenging!
But if starting our journey has done one thing for me, it has brought many of us together. So many people have messaged me and sent similar stories. I’ve been able to offer them fertility help and provide them with the confidence to talk.
We. may have just started trying to conceive, but inside my head, I have already been travelling the road for years. I know in my heart that our journey trying to conceive, and my journey with battling PCOS, WILL help women and couples. Together we will all guide and help each other, without googling every scenario possible and reading endless forums. My aim is to help as many people as possible who are also on my journey and who are dreaming big. I hope to take this further, to offer support groups and support lessons to educate people from the classroom, to the workplace.
Related Article – Fertility and The Mind – The Truth