The issues I have dealt with for 17 years have caused many health problems in my life, physical to mental, and emotional – all resorting back to a diagnosis I received when I was 18 years old. A little about me: I am a female, 33 years old (2019), sexually active, no biological children, active.
My past complications leading to the diagnosis: I started my menstrual cycle at age 13. I was not sexually active at that age, therefore I contained myself and my virginity. I remember my menstrual only lasting 48 hours and not seeing it again until the age of 16. At that age, I only had menstrual periods half of the year and lasting only a few days. I inquired with my mother and never did she think of it as anything. (I don’t think she wanted anyone messing with her virgin daughter, and I understand that, too) Therefore, though symptoms existed, no one was really thinking of it as a serious issue.
Read more: Ovarian Cysts: A Sudden Cause of Infertility
At 17, I called myself “being in love” and became sexually active. My menstrual started to come more, but stay around for a couple months at a time. At age 18, during intercourse, I had the worst sharp pain in my pelvic area. My significant other stopped, and I balled up, unable to stretch my legs, in excruciating pain! He picked me up and rushed me to the hospital.
The doctors stated I had a cyst eruption on my ovaries, and the pain is 5 times worse than having birth! They discharged me from the ER and requested I see a regular doctor or OBGYN. I went to the local clinic for a follow-up, and there I received a diagnosis of PCOS. At age 16, I had thick blond hair growing on my face and neck. Therefore, at age 18, it was more visible. The doctors used the hair, my high blood pressure, the cyst eruption, my low estrogen count, and high testosterone levels for the PCOS diagnosis.
Over the past 17 years, I have had Type 2 diabetes, never became pregnant, high levels of testosterone, hair growth on face and neck, more hair in places women don’t receive, deeper voice tones, emotional changes frequently, constant blood pressure issues, depression and anxiety, as well as irregular menstrual periods which last months at a time or never come for months at a time. Oh yeah, let’s not forget, I love children, and I still don’t have one! We’ve tried different birth controls, none being effective enough or just making things worse, and also dieting. I lost 75 lbs, and though it rid my type 2 diabetes, the dieting did not make any difference in my PCOS issues.
Read more: The Diagnosis – Ovarian Cysts
Still today, at age 33, I suffer from anxiety, depression, always feeling exhausted, coping with leg swelling, diabetic troubles, mood changes, irregular periods, etc. In 2003, I was told by many doctors that PCOS was not common, and it is something they are still today trying to figure out. I struggle still in 2019 with finding a doctor who truly understands my diagnosis.
Now, if researched, one can see that from an online article from Huffington Post shows the following statement, “Between five to 10 percent of women of childbearing age in the United States, or roughly 5 million, have PCOS. That percentage makes it one of the most common hormonal endocrine disorders in women. What’s more, it also makes it the most common cause of female infertility.” -Huffington Post July 10, 2015.
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Still, in my opinion, is not a lot of women. That is a blessing, but this terrible disease exists. Us, who may be diagnosed, suffer every day. Every issue mentioned throughout my writing above are symptoms of PCOS. The point I am making is women are suffering. PCOS is becoming more common and if not somehow controlled, could be reasoning for many women of our future, even our kids today, having infertility issues, and even possible mental breakdowns with no one understanding why. If one has issues like these, I suggest getting help immediately for the sake of your health in the future.