Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – The Root of it All

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common female endocrine disorders.  It is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. It can cause problems with your periods and make it difficult to get pregnant. PCOS may also cause unwanted changes in the way you look. If it is not treated, over time it can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. PCOS is very common.  Often the symptoms begin in the teen years. Treatment can help control the symptoms and prevent long-term problems.

What are the symptoms?
Symptoms tend to start out mild and increase as you age. My symptoms are:

  • Mild Acne
  • Weight gain and trouble losing weight – particularly in the abdomen area.
  • Facial hair (not enough to call me a bearded lady though!)
  • Irregular periods (I average zero per year without the aid of prescriptions)
  • Elevated Triglycerides

When I think back on it, I have had PCOS for as long as I can remember.  My periods have never been regular but were masked by the years of birth control.  When I came off birth control a few years ago, things went to hell in a hand basket   My weight ballooned out of control, I noticed a few stray hairs on my chin and my periods stopped completely.  It wasn’t until I saw an incredible Ob-Gyn that I was officially diagnosed.  An ultrasound revealed multiple cysts on my ovaries and my blood work revealed elevated insulin levels.  I am pre-diabetic.

Despite what many may think, I don’t live an unhealthy lifestyle.  I am physically active and I eat relatively healthy.  I am a firm believer in locally sourced, organic ingredients.  I cook healthy meals for myself and Jade.  I swim and workout regularly.  Despite this, I am on a boatload of medications to control this illness.  My daily regimen of pills includes:

  • Metformin (to help my body better use the insulin it produces)
  • Synthroid (to help my low thyroid levels)
  • Birth Control Pill (to regulate my cycle)
  • Baby Aspirin (to increase blood flow)

For many women with PCOS, conceiving can be difficult because we do not ovulate regularly.  What’s even scarier to me, however, is the fact that we have much higher instances of miscarriage.

PCOS is a condition that can be managed with proper care including taking medications and losing weight.  Conceiving and delivering a healthy baby will be a challenge but I am ready to make this happen.  I realize that my RE will likely ask me to lose a significant amount of weight before trying to conceive but the purpose of this appointment is to meet with her to find out the steps I need to take to become a mom.


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