Posted on 5th April 2016

My Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: part one.

Lifestyle

Hi everyone, this post today is a little different from my usual posts about beauty and life at university as I will be discussing something which effects so many of us: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – or PCOS for short. It sounds very scary and clinical but it honestly isn’t that daunting.

Now you may be asking yourself: why is she writing about something so personal? or why should I read a post like this? Well, you may be shocked to know that it is thought to affect at least one in five women in the UK – so the chances are that at least one member of your family or friends have it.  So I think it is important to spread the word about PCOS so that people are aware of the symptoms; and also to break the taboo revolving around female illness and their bodies. The following image sums up how I would like this subject to be approached and how open I try to be about my own body:

My-Womb-Says-Hi- libertyantoniasadler

Artwork by Liberty Antonia Sadler

So with that long introduction aside: In this post I will be discussing my own personal experience with PCOS – my initial symptoms, why I felt the need to go to the doctors and the diagnosis experience. Due to the length of this topic I have chopped the post into two – so in my next post I will discuss my life with PCOS and how it has been effected since the day of diagnosis. Please remember that every experience is different and if you have any concerns after reading this, ask your GP. I am not a doctor and I know through my own mistakes to never self-diagnose.

My PCOS journey began at age 16: all my friends had long started having periods and I was feeling left out and a little worried about why I was so late. I was very athletic – I danced for a minimum of 17 hours a week; 9 of which were on a Saturday and when my Mum was younger she was athletic and didn’t start her period until the age of 17 – so I chalked up my late start up to that.

One day we were doing stretching exercises before our ballet class [I was wearing the signature pale pink tights with a leotard in the box splits…. Nice and exposed. *winces at the traumatic memory* when all of a sudden I felt a warm sensation at my crotch, as though I was weeing myself. Having had many informative conversations with my friends I knew that the day had finally come. I excused myself from class and took a friend with me, and she coached me through the bathroom door the complicated procedure of attaching a sanitary towel to my pants.

Life Over GIF

After my first period, I waited with anticipation for my next…. I waited and waited and waited. Four months went by until it came again. I was embarrassed and didn’t tell anyone about this and told myself that my periods must just be irregular. I was noticing quite a bit of weight gain and skin breakouts – not helped by the fact that I was no longer dancing thanks to Sixth form and my new part time job – so once again, I chalked my weight gain and bad skin up to a lack of exercise.

My gaps between periods were becoming larger and larger each time – at one point I went half a year without one. When I was due I was having excruciating pain, but no blood. There were times when I would make the hour journey to sixth form, to have to turn back in agony. On one of these occasions my mum sternly told me that I need to book an emergency doctors appointment because something was clearly wrong for me to be in so much pain and so lethargic at the end of the day, at this point I was 18. So I dragged my sorry self to the doctors surgery, my stomach knotted with cramps, sweat covering my entire body. The doctor poked my tender abdomen [OUCH] and diagnosed me with indigestion and prescribed me with Gaviscon… GREAAAT.

Great GIF

I was too timid to say anything so I took the gaviscon and shuffled home. My mum, for obvious reasons, wasn’t content with that diagnosis and booked me an appointment with a female doctor who came recommended for issues like mine. I obviously didn’t hold out much hope, having been pretty much dismissed as a hypochondriac but I went anyway, and was told that from the sounds of my symptoms: weight gain, very painful and irregular periods and excess hair growth, she thought I had polycystic ovary syndrome and booked an ultrasound for me at the hospital.

At this point I was TERRIFIED. I’ve always been very healthy and have never been diagnosed with anything so permanent in all my life. The ultrasound experience was interesting. Apparently my bladder wasn’t full enough so I had to have an internal examination [at this point I once again hadn’t had a period in several months], and during the process I felt a bursting sensation and I came on my period, covering her “wand” as she called it in blood.

Embarrassed GIF

The consultant was really understanding and let me go ahead and clean up. When I returned she informed me that the wand and actually burst one of the cysts on my left ovary which she managed to measure before it happened – and it was the size of a golf ball! EEK! No wonder I was in so much pain! So I finally had my answer: I had polycystic ovary syndrome and my left ovary is the issue. Following my ultrasound I had to have a blood test to be 100% sure before they prescribed me with medication.

In my next post I will be discussing the medication which I am on, the lifestyle I lead and how I try to deal with the symptoms of PCOS.

If you would like to know more facts about PCOS please follow this link for official information from the NHS.

Thank you so much for reading this everyone – I hope you have a giggle at my cringy period experiences and find this post informative! Please spread the word so that others can find the medical help they need!

Do you suffer from PCOS? Do you know anyone who does? Have you found any tips to deal with the symptoms? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you so much for reading. Don’t forget to follow me on my other social media accounts. Links are posted in the sidebar. And stay tuned for my next post on PCOS.

Jade x

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  • Jade it is admirable of you to be able to openly discuss something so personal in order to increase awareness for others! Thank you for sharing ?

  • Thanks so much Corinna? I try to be as open as possible about my body and about PCOS – however daunting it may be! ❤️?

  • Oh wow you have had a tough time!!! I hope everything works out and this is a great post!

    Laura | http://www.dramaqueenconfessions.com

    • Oh no it’s all been uphill since diagnosis I promise ? the next post will be much more positive!! Thank you for reading ?❤️

  • Jade this is a great topic to write about as so many of us women experience it. I had a very similar experience to you and still suffer from excruciating pain and irregular periods. Topics like this shouldn’t be a taboo.
    Great post, well done Jade 🙂
    Kate x
    Kateiscoveting.wordpress.com/2016/03/

    • Hi Kate! I’m so glad that you could relate to my experience! I’m so sorry that you still suffer from some of the symptoms. I totally agree with you – I want to break down the silly stigma! Jade x

  • As a fellow PCOS sufferer, I am so with you on how much it sucks.

  • I’m sorry to read that you suffer from pcos lovely ❤ very informative and I’m positive this post will help others who may be suffering from the same symptoms xo

    • Thank you so much for reading Jacqui! I really hope that that is the outcome?? xxx

  • So amazing of you to write this post – more people need to speak out about the things in life like this, because it shouldn’t be something we’re scared of talking about. This post will hopefully help others who may be experiencing symptoms to see a pattern in their period cycle and seek advice. So proud you wrote this. Chloe (Lady Writes) x

    • Hey! I’m so glad you managed to read it after our conversation!! I totally agree with you, this should definitely be talked about more. Thank you so much Chloe, it means the world☺️x

  • You poor thing! PCOS is really common but hardly ever talked about. Great, informative post 🙂
    https://advicefromblog.wordpress.com

    • Thanks so much Soph! ❤️? and I agree – it’s a shame it isn’t discussed more openly!!

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  • BeiFit

    A great post, thanks for sharing such a personal experience. This post will help someone out there. Sending much positive vibes, health, & Love your way.
    Best wishes Bei. X

    • Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed reading ?❤️✨xx

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  • Holy smokes. This is so intense. I’ve never heard of this before. It’s so amazing of you to be sharing this story. It will bring more awareness, so great work. XOXO

    • Thanks Breanna!! I’m glad I’ve introduced you to something new?❤️ thank you so much!! xxxx

  • This post was so great, My doctor told me I have PCOS although my ultrasound found no cysts at the time! I just have all the symptoms and it runs in my family. It’s very hard to deal with but since starting on the pill it’s been so so so much easier to manage! I also started late and went months and months without it and then months and months on! Now at least it’s regulated which helps so much with the anxiety. It’s great that you’re talking about it! x

    • Thank you very much ?❤️ and I’m glad the pill has helped you as it has me!! Some side effects persists but the main things for me: the cysts, the irregularity and the weight gain are managed ?xxx

  • I love that you’ve written about this and I really respect you for it. I knew nothing about PCOS before I read this so I’ve really learnt something. I think there needs to be more education and awareness on this – I went to an all girls school and never heard anything about this.

    Good for you, and thanks for sharing this ?
    Hannah xx

    • Thank you sooo much Hannah for your kind words! The problem with PCOS is that no one really talks about it, so naturally not many people know about it! I’m really glad to spread the message and I agree, more education is definitely needed on such a common issue! Ps, thank you so much for sharing this on Twitter, you’re an absolute gem! ❤️xxx

  • Hi Jade loved this post, I have pcos, I got diagnosed at 17, it made it extremely difficult for me to get pregnant. My periods started at age 11 and are 12-18 months apart. Usually closer to 18months. Itd so annoying.
    Sophie
    what Sophie says

    • Hey Sophie, bless you that’s awful – I know it effects pregnancy for so many women. Periods are ridiculous as well! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me – it’s so important to remember that we’re not alone 🙂 xxx

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