I haven’t spoken about my PCOS for a while – even when I was actively writing. In hindsight, I think that was because my symptoms were less prominent in my life due to the weight loss. Now obviously everyone with PCOS experiences different variations of the symptoms but for me, having put back on all that I had lost, my symptoms are back with a vengence.
WARNING! Detailed content ahead. If you are easily offended by the natural workings and malfunctions of the human body then I advise you to not continue reading this post.
Lets start with the obvious and then make our way to the lesser.
I am not blaming my gaining of weight purely on my condition. That would be delusional and irresponsible. I am however, blaming it for the sheer rate of the weight gain. My diet hasn’t been the best for nearly a year now so going up on the scales was going to expected. However, when placed next to someone eating pretty much the same and doing as little exercise you would expect sort of the same rate of gain wouldn’t you? As I said before everyone is different but I have balooned at a colossal rate with the majority of fat piling up on my mid drift and hips, making my stomach bulge over any item of clothing tight or loose. My head has a perminant stand to which to sit at the back and now the front to aid my neck.
As a woman, this has to be the biggest bane of my life since having PCOS. I have had excess hair growth on my upper lip, beard, tummy, armpits and inner thighs for a long time. It seems to have been a losing battle. Not only is it embarrasing it makes me feel extremely self concious and un-attractive. Embrace your natural hair I hear feminists say to me. I try but when you have so much it is hard!
When I lost weight, the hair growth seemed to plateux and I could manage with the trimming and shaving less frequently. Now it is back ten fold. Even if I wax – to which everyone says ” this is going to be brilliant for you, you wont have to wax again for up to 6 months” hair starts to come back within 2 weeks. If I shave, forget 5 o’clock shadow, it’s ‘give it an hour after shaving’ shadow. I even paid for laser treatement for my moustache and beard last year. I followed the rules to the book, applied suncream every day and only shaved just before going to my next session. Once my 6 months had finished I was advised I wouldn’t need to come back for maybe another 6 months to which I was estatic. I had notice how my hair was lighter and thinner in those areas and didn’t grow back as quick. The ones that did, I could simply wipe off of my face. A month after I had finished, hello new, completed random, sideways long hairs growing out of my throat. Ones that I had never had before.
Today, as well as these new horizontal strips of protein filaments, my facial hair is getting back thicker and more prominent as well as trying to join my face to my head – you know in the style of those Victorian/Edwardian older men (look up Ambrose Burnside and you will understand what I mean). There doesn’t seem to be many areas on my body that I don’t need to perform any barber skills on anymore.
Otherwise known as dark patches of skin. Patches are getting dark! I don’t mean a nice, natural skin brown colour or tan type of darkening I mean an un-clean looking colour. I have a love/hate relationship with summer. I love the heat and the sunshine but dread having to wear anything without sleeves that cover my armpits. Even if I have just shaved so that I don’t need to worry about my armpit hair for half an hour, my armpits look almost mouldy, like I haven’t washed for weeks.
Down below it’s the same. In the bedroom I am so self conscious of my foof/noonoo/vagina etc as it looks a lovely shade of unclean. Not attractive in the slightest.
Now I have even started noticing it more around my neck and betwen my breasts. I scrub and I scrub daily to no prevail, it’s just that good ol Acanthosis Nigricans. My main concern is people looking at me and thinking that I am un-clean especially as I am a healthcare professional.
Yes I did just make the sub-heading red. As with most other sufferers of PCOS, my periods are still irregular. I can’t complain though, there was a time in my life when I didn’t have one for over a year. They are more or less every month, never on the same dat and sometimes I skip a month. I get very bad PMS now days. Two weeks before I ‘come on’ I start to feel run down and ill. A few days before, I get frustrated and angry. The day before/the day I ‘come on’ I cry at anything (literally anything) aswel as feel extremely… amourous. Once I start, it’s pain all the way. No lite bleeding either. Not the three teaspoons a day what our teachers told us about during the 1 lesson we had on periods at school. Sometimes I get worried with the amount along with the clots that come out of me and wonder if I’m anemic after.
But wait, haven’t I just complained about too much hair? Yes I have. But that was about the hair that I didn’t want. The hair I actually want on my head has decided to thin down like an old shag pile rug. I wash my hair and handfulls come out. It doesn’t grow in length. I even have the start of a bald patch.
So – What Can Help?
I stopped taking the contraceptive pill that was prescribed for me after being diagnosed as it made me gain weight in an instant. Since then, I have not been to a Dr to see what alternative pills I could take. To be honest, my GP has only just retired and I stopped going to him for various reasons due to him not being helpful in the slightest. Going forward, once this pandemic is over and time has been given for the resultant strains on the health service have died down a bit, I shall seek advice for medication from my Dr. Not only for my periods but for my hair growth too
In the meantime, I shall try and be healthier and once my pneumonia has cleared up, I shall exercise once again. Afterall, they are the only two aspects which help those with PCOS and no pill can cure obesity. Hence me re-starting this blog, writing posts a few years ago whilst I was actively being healthy helped me keep going. I intend to do the same again. Not only that but those with PCOS are at a higher risk of becoming diabteic – something which I have been EXTREMELY lucky not to already have. I want to take back some control from my hormones.
For any of you reading this think that you may have PCOS please see your Dr to get tested so that you can receive the right treatment if necessary for you. You can find more information on these websites:
For those of you reading this who have already been diagnosed, there are so many other blogs on WordPress that discuss living with PCOS and helpful tips along with many other blog sites. There are also useful podcasts on Spotify and other platforms that you can listen to.
Please leave a comment for any tips you may have or sites/blogs/podcasts/books you know for advice for anyone with PCOS.