PCOS in ConnecTion
“When we open up about PCOS, we help ourselves and others along the way.”
“I haven’t had a period in almost a year and I gained like 30 pounds in the last six months. What’s wrong with me?”
“You have PCOS. Are you trying for a baby?,” asks the doctor.
“No, not now,” she replies.
“Ok, well here’s some birth control pills, quit eating junk food and lose that weight. Come back to see me when you want a baby,” he says.
With a name like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (abbreviated into ‘PCOS’) and the way many doctors treat the disease it is hard for many people to understand that PCOS is not a reproductive affliction. In fact, it is an endocrine and metabolic disease. For many women the common side effects result in reproductive disorder; although some women do not have issues with reproduction at all.
Often times, PCOS doesn’t come to light until a woman has issues with conception or problems with menstrual cycles. Even then, she is usually made to feel like the disease is not that health-threatening. A doctor can indicate to the patient that it is only a concern when she wants to conceive and until then a simple pill (i.e. birth control – which has its own risk factors) will rectify the problem until conception is desired.
This is definitely not the case. In fact, PCOS affects all aspects of our lives: general health, increased health risks, mental stability, relationships, employment, desires, etc. The risk is passed on to next generations as well.
Healthcare professionals need to realize and recognize that this is a very real disease. PCOS is not isolated to reproduction and our long term health is in jeopardy if left unaddressed. It is this reason that we must take responsibility for our own health and become our own “doctor.”
What can you do to help?
1) Bring your concerns and questions to your doctors. Remember the saying “no question is dumb?” Same rules apply.
2) Don’t settle. When a doctor gives you information, use it as a reference for more research. Take it to the web or another doctor to get more insight. Then return with the information in hand.
3) Stand up for yourself. If you feel like you are not being heard, being dismisses or shown no interest in helping, find a new doctor. Let your doctor know why too. It could help another patient.
4) Network. Reach out to others. You never know if the person you are speaking with or someone they know might also suffer from PCOS.You could make a friend and maybe they know of a PCOS-knowledgeable doctor
5) Talk about it. If you are comfortable enough, discuss it with your family, friends or women at your church or school. Find a support group in your area – it doesn’t have to be a PCOS support group, it could be for women, health issues, infertility (if you are trying), natural living, etc.
When we open up about PCOS, we help ourselves and others along the way.
Angi Ingalls; PCOS in ConnecTion
Guest PCOS writer
Educator for over 18 years
Diagnosed in 1985 at 12, living with PCOS since 1981
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article and the Insulite Labs website is for the sole purpose of being informative. Information obtained is not and should not be used or relied upon as medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician, nurse or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment, take any medication, supplements or other nutritional support, or for answers to any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.