Sunday, 2 September 2012

PCOS Awareness Month:Fight Like a Girl

I know I'm keeping in line with my awareness post yesterday, but this is something very close to my heart.
As well as being Blue September, to raise awareness for Cancers affecting men, September is also PCOS awareness month.

This is a text heavy post but please at least look at some of the information.

The PCOS awareness colours are Teal and white and i am loving the new Fight Like a Girl awareness campaign. you can check out their page on facebook here.

(source)


Some of the facts:

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is one of the most common female endocrine disorders.

It produces symptoms in approximately 5-10% of women of reproductive age (12-45 years old)

As many as 1 in 10 women are likely to have PCOS and it can affect females as young as 11.

It is thought to be one of the leading causes of female subfertility

it can affect a woman's Menstrual Cycle, Ability to have children, Hormones, heart, blood vessels and appearance.

It often causes excessive hair growth, weight gain, acne and problems with ovulation.

PCOS can also lead to new health issue, some of which include Diabetes, High levels of LDL cholesteral and sleep apnea.

This also increases the risk of heart attack by 4 to 7 times compared to women without PCOS.

It is not 100% know as to what the cause of PCOS is but it is widely thought to be a genetic disorder and the severity of the disorder will vary from woman to woman.

Now that we have some of the facts out of the way, I'm going to tell you a little bit about how i came to be diagnosed with PCOS and how it affects me.

It was around June 2009 that i started to feel 'unwell'. I had noticed that i was feeling very tired all the time and was getting pains in my stomach every now and then. At the time, it was nothing of much concern and i thought i had just been pushing myself too hard, but i decided to go to the doctors anyway.

Now before i move on to the doctors, let me just tell you that we had been trying to conceive a second child for nearly 3 years at this point.

I spoke to the doctor and explained to him all the symptoms i had been getting. Went through all the usual palava of explaining no changes in lifestyle or foods blah blah blah.

the doctor checked my temperature, did no other tests and proceeded to tell me that i was pregnant and that i need to go and buy a test and come back to him with the results. I was in the room for 2 minutes. I went over it in my head and thought that it might just be a possibility. I had been feeling very similar to the first month or so of my pregnancy with my son and i hadn't had a period for nearly 2 months.

A little bit of excitement pinged inside me, so i wandered over to Morrisons and bought a pregnancy test. Negative. So i went back to see the doctor the next day to tell him the results.

he refused to believe it, believe me. He said he was convinced i was pregnant and that i should do another test. I've heard of false negatives before so i tried another one. still negative.

By this point, i had starting getting a little irritated so i decided not to go back for a while. Until a few weeks later i started feeling really ill. i started getting new symptoms, hot and cold sweats, mood swings, strange eating habits, and to top it all off, still no period.

I went back to the doctor, and he had the audacity to say i was pregnant again without even checking me over. This went on for months and months. I started seeing other doctors on emergency appointments and i was at the point where it was so upsetting that everytime i saw someone new, i was in floods of tears about how i felt no one was listening to me. Pretty much all of the doctors said they didn't want to get in the way of plans my doctor had for what was wrong with me. What plans? He wasn't doing anything.

Finally in February 2010, yes, 8 months later and with no visible bump or new born baby, i saw yet another doctor. again i was very upset and this doctor advised me that it might be worth seeing a female doctor, so i proceeded to not only book an appointment with the most popular female doctor but i requested to be changed over as her patient. This took a few weeks as her appointments were all full up.

When i finally got to see her, i was too distraught and frustrated to talk about it all over again so i handed her a list of the symptoms i had been having for nearly a year. She looked at the list, looked at the state i was in and said almost withing seconds of me being in that room 'I know what you have'.

She booked me in for a Ultrasound scan at the nearest hospital which again took a few weeks but it was such a relief to finally be getting somewhere.

At the scan in May 2010, the nurses confirmed it was PCOS, quite a severe case and i would have to be monitored every 6-12 months. but now i knew, i had a reason. The only problem was, that i am now unlikely to conceive a second child. I'm so lucky to have my son as so many women out there don't get that chance.

i only get one period a year and i get times when i am so tired i could sleep for days but i get on with it. My weight fluctuates but stays on the heavier side, I'm not massive but I'm not slim or even at an ideal weight. And of course, i still get pains in that general area.  As you may know from reading previous posts, i was in hospital recently as i had appendicitis which wasn't picked up for months (i don't have much luck with doctors) and they are now saying that the pain was so bad and is still there because i also have a cyst on my ovary. fun times.

There are people out there who have this much worse than i have and do, and some of those people will never get a diagnosis.
Its likely that someone you know has PCOS, they might know it but then again, they might not and a friend or family member noticing the symptoms may be what helps get a diagnosis.

I haven't posted this for sympathy, just for awareness and I'm sorry it is depressing or boring. I promise i will do a post with awesome sauce next.

Thank you for reading.

:)x


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