Dodgy Hormones and Weird Ovaries
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. A long ass name for a straight up bitch.
Welcome To The Cysterhood of Blood-Stained Pants
PCOS is a bitch, a demonic entity living comfortably on my ovaries, causing a myriad of problems I’d – quite frankly – rather not experience. I mean, it’s not great when an illness is the sole reason you have a fucking moon face.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a hormonal disorder that causes a vast array of symptoms, including the aforementioned moon face, irregular visits from Mother Nature and full on lady beards. It’s not life threatening in any way, but it’s incurable, and if your symptoms fall somewhere on the severe end of the spectrum (like me), it’s more than a pain in the backside.
When I got my period when I was 10, I thought leakages were normal. I thought it was normal to experience extreme dysphoria before and during shark week. I was blind to the fact that my monthly (or sometimes tri-monthly) cycle was not normal because I was still a child. But after a very fateful experience involving white jeans and some pre-teen boys, I started to do a little research.
I’d been living an all out hell for a girl on the cusp of womanhood, one who was trying to come to terms with a body that had suddenly became alien, and I wanted to know what was going on.
I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 16, after 6 years of horrific periods, dramatic mood swings and excess hair growth.
A few ultrasounds and a symptomatic diagnosis later, I was put on Co-Cyprindiol – a medicine used to treat some of the various side effects of the condition by regulating hormones and period cycles.
Long story short: it didn’t help and my doctor and I made a collective decision to steer clear of hormonal medications in future.
Sorry I Ovary-Acted
Fast forward to the start of 2018. I am 21.
My symptoms have worsened quite noticeably. I’m now rocking a thick layer of pube-like hair on my upper arms. My periods are gifts from Satan himself. I have put on a considerable amount of weight.
But, really, it was all good. It’d taken me a good few years to come to terms with the fact I couldn’t really escape the crappy side effects of PCOS, but I’d finally done it.
The excess hair on my face, neck, chest, arms, and stomach no longer made me feel depressed. The cystic acne had subsided after ditching cosmetics, moisturisers, masks and serums in favour of a product free face.
(The moon face, however… let’s just say I’m still working on acceptance on that front.)
But, all of a sudden, there’s a spanner in the works!
A new relationship suddenly brings to my attention the realisation that my fertility is somewhat of a complicated issue. I learned that conceiving would not be an easy journey. Safe to say the PCOS blues arose swiftly, biting my enlarged ovaries in the metaphorical butt.
I decided to do something about it, knowing that the sooner I addressed the issue, the better my chances of conceiving in the future.
Fast forward again, to August 2018.
I was sitting uncomfortably in the pre-op suite, tapping my anti-embolism stocking-clad feet against the chair in front of me, wondering what the fuck I was doing.
Was I really going to go through with this? It was too late to turn back, but instead of thinking of the positives, I’m running all of the possible negative outcomes through my brain.
When my gynaecologist suggested laparoscopic ovarian drilling as treatment for my PCOS, I had never heard of it. I’d expected a laparoscopic investigation for endometriosis, but 10 holes in each of my ovaries? No way.
When I returned home from my initial gynae appointment, the first thing I did was research the shit out of it. What was it, was it risky, what are the benefits?
I was met with countless success stories of women who’d gone through the same procedure with amazing results, and I knew I would be going for it. It sounded perfect!
Increased chance of ovulation, regulated hormones, weight loss, conception… It was a god send surgery.
But sitting in the pre-op suite, clad in my sexy hospital get up, I began to doubt everything I’d read. Was it worth the chance of early menopause? Will I survive general anaesthetic?
I was wheeled into a room, and ten minutes later I was high as a kite. 10 seconds after that, I was out cold.
Suddenly, I was awake, and talking absolute shite to two nurses I’d never seen before in my life.
Eggsactly What I Was Hoping For
It’s now almost a month since I had the surgery, and I can already feel a difference in my body. My cycle is actually normal, my mood swings and emotions have calmed drastically.
I’m still recovering, but it was a pretty easy surgery. I was out walking the dog the next day, cooking and cleaning the day after that.
Maybe it’s a kind of placebo effect, but I already feel a lot more positive about my chances of conception in the future.
I’ve still to see some real changes in the physical symptoms of my conditions, but time will tell. After seeing some really confidence-inspiring success stories, I’m hoping for the best.
Who knows, maybe one day my moon face will be replaced with a more normal shape. Fingers crossed.