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polycystic ovarian syndrome

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My PCOS Journey

November 7, 2017

What is up you guys? It’s been a long time since I last made a personal post for the blog. I’ve been busy lately with food events and travels that I get to forget to write one.

Today, I went back to my Ob-Gynecologist. Only my close friends knows one of the health conditions I have – PCOS. I never told other people this condition of mine because it doesn’t seem that important to share to other people at first. But apparently, a lot of women my age experiences this condition as well.

W H A T  I S  PCOS?

If you do not know what PCOS is, it stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. According to WebMD, PCOS is “a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance.” If left untreated, this can lead to diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Got the picture through Mayo Clinic. Image shows you how a normal ovary looks like vs a polycystic ovary

WHEN DID I FIND OUT ABOUT MY CONDITION?

I found out about my PCOS condition 2 years ago. Before I found out that I have PCOS, I was able to have check-ups with the first doctor I went to. I’ve noticed that I wasn’t getting my period regularly. The first doctor prescribed metformin – a medicine used by patients with diabetes. The medicine helped for a while. But once I stopped taking metformin, my period would also stop. So, I would go back to that same doctor and she would still prescribe metformin. But I’ve noticed that when I took metformin again, it wasn’t working anymore. My mom and I decided to have a 2nd checkup in another clinic and doctor. Through this checkup with the 2nd doctor, that was the only time I found out I have PCOS.

What my 2nd doctor did, she let me undergo a transrectal ultrasound to check my ovaries. A transrectal ultrasound is where they put the device in the anus rather than the vagina. Apparently, there were cysts found in my ovaries. Thus the reason why I am diagnosed with PCOS.

 WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Aside from not getting your period regularly, there are others that gets bad acne, weight gain and has a hard time to lose weight, extra hair found on the chin, chest, belly, back and thinning of hair. There are possibilities that the person can get anxiety and depression.

DID MY DOCTOR PRESCRIBE ANY MEDICINES?

Usually, birth control pills should help regulate your menstruation. But what my 2nd doctor did, she did not prescribe me birth control pills at first. She told me to treat my PCOS naturally which is through living a healthy lifestyle. So how does one live a healthy lifestyle? By eating right and exercise. If this still did not work, then she told me to have a follow up checkup.

Can PCOS be cured?

At the moment, there’s no cure for PCOS.

MY JOURNEY

Ever since I found out I have PCOS, I was already overweight. In order for me to have my period naturally, I had to start losing weight. In all honesty, it was really hard for me. Even though I would exercise and not eat a lot, I still had a hard time to lose weight. I almost gave up on myself and I would get criticisms saying “ang taba mo na (you’re so fat already). You should lose weight”. First of all, it’s really hard to lose weight plus dumagdag pa yung mga criticisms from other people. So, the stress was very real. There were times I tend to look down on myself kasi nga nahihirapan talaga ako maglose ng weight. My doctor also told me that by the time I plan to have a baby, it will be hard on my part. It’s either I pray for a miracle or undergo surgery.

Last year, I had to see an endocrinologist because diabetes runs in my mom’s side. I had to know what the status of my bloodwork is and I would want to avoid getting diabetes. Results showed that I was borderline of being diabetic. So, I had no choice but to try again to lose weight in order to avoid having diabetes and to treat my PCOS. (P.S. I started the program weighing at 145lbs).

Before I went through the weight loss program

In order to start this journey, I had to eat right and exercise. My doctor taught me the proper way to eat right. Instead of using a normal plate, you have to use a platito (a small plate) and that is where you put your rice and food. My doctor told me to avoid eating pork. Instead, I should focus on fish, chicken and vegetables. As much as possible, he told me to avoid eating rice as well because that is one of the main reasons why we have a hard time to lose weight. But he knows that I am starting out with this program. So, he told me to lessen my rice intake slowly. He also told me to avoid eating chips, oily food and desserts. To add, I should also avoid drinking soft drinks, alcoholic drinks and coffee. It was hard of course because while I was in the program, I was surrounded by people who would intake the food & drinks I would crave for.

I got used to the program after 3 weeks. This went on for a year. After, big results were shown. From 145lbs, I already weighed 120lbs. Through the program, my stomach fat slowly decreased. My clothes became loose on me. Finally, my dream of losing weight came true!

The Aftermath

Since I lost a lot of weight, I was already expecting that at least I should have my period already. Apparently, it still hasn’t come. This became alarming to me. That is why I decided to go back to my Ob-gyne and make a follow up check up.

After my check up with my doctor, she requested me to undergo another transrectal ultrasound for an update on my ovaries. I am hoping that there is improvements.

GENE, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

My doctor will start giving me birth control pills to regulate my menstruation. Honestly, I still don’t want to take these pills because I don’t want to be dependent on them. But, what can I do?

Women with PCOS knows it’s a hard journey to be in. Despite the rollercoaster ride, I know that I am not alone battling this health condition. I believe we need a strong support system and we should talk more about this condition so that other women can understand and educate them.

If you feel that you have the symptoms of PCOS, I urge you to visit your doctor and have it treated as soon as possible. If you have more questions about PCOS, feel free to leave a comment and let’s share our journey to help one another!