HEALTH UPDATE || I HAVE PCOS…

So as you can see from the title, I have been diagnosed with PCOS. This is something that my Mum and I have often considered as something I had but didn’t know for sure. Until now. 

Background

To give you a bit of background, my periods are all over the place. In the past year, I have had 5. And in those 5, only a couple have lasted more than 2 days and the others have been so light I could be forgiven for missing them completely!

Earlier this year I actually went 5 months without a period, which I put down to stress because I was in my final year and was working on my dissertation. At the moment, my last period was at the beginning of August – it is now mid/late October. 

The other main symptom I have is my weight. It’s no secret that I struggle with my weight, but over the past year it’s got even worse.

Before, I struggled to lose it, but I was maintaining it. In other words, I wasn’t worrying about putting weight on, I just couldn’t lose it. Recently though, I have putting weight on so fast I can’t keep up. Again, I kept putting this down to stress and blaming myself for giving up with my healthy lifestyle. I convinced myself that I was the problem and I was just kidding myself. 

To be honest, when the Doctor told me that there was actually a reason for my weight problems, a huge weight was lifted – pun definitely intended! For once, I had a Doctor who was on my side, who was willing to help me with my weight, rather than blaming me and just telling me I needed to lose it.

PCOS

In my initial appointment, I was in and out within minutes. As soon as I mentioned my periods, or lack of periods, the Doctor instantly suggested I went for an ultrasound and had a range of hormonal blood tests done.

Ultrasound Scan

I had actually been for a one about 2 years ago but they only did an external scan, not an internal one. So, this Doctor made sure that I was going to get both – *cringe*.

I did have to wait just over 2 weeks for the scan and let me tell you, I was more stressed in those two weeks than I ever was when I was doing my dissertation!! Not just about the results, but about the actual scan. I was terrified about the internal one, no matter how much I was reassured.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, they essentially put a little pen-sized ‘stick’ inside your vagina to feel your ovaries. As I said, *cringe*. But to be honest, it wasn’t as bad as I imagined. Yes, it was uncomfortable and definitely embarrassing, but it wasn’t painful and it really didn’t take long at all.

Although the nurse couldn’t tell me much, she did tell me that both ovaries were slightly enlarged and that there were a few cysts on each one. Obviously this was not a diagnosis, but it was at least enough information that I could start researching PCOS and get an idea of what I might be dealing with.

Follow-up Appointment

Fast forward another two and a half weeks, and we’re here. I’ve just had my follow-up appointment to discuss my results. All my blood tests came back normal apart from one; my androgens were higher than they should be. This, along with the cysts on my ovaries, was enough for a diagnosis of PCOS.

The Doctor was very thorough, explaining exactly how it worked and how it would be affecting me. She also went through various options I had, including going on the pill (which I’m not), going on Metaformin and also Orlistat to help kickstart weight loss.

I decided that, while I want my period back, I am not planning on having children yet (much to Angus’ relief!) and my main concern at the moment is my weight. So, I opted for the Orlistat. The Doctor was kind enough to talk me through some ‘diets’ that might be effective for me, including the 5:2 diet, a paleo-based diet and also a low-Fodmap diet.

I was given list of foods that you can eat on the low-Fodmap diet, along with more information about PCOS and a prescription for Orlistat. She also asked if I knew my weight – I don’t because I stopped weighing myself about 6 months ago. I explained that knowing my weight would probably be too upsetting for me so she decided to weigh me and not tell me what the number was, which I appreciated. She asked me to come back in a month when we can see what progress I’ve made and make any adjustments.

From Now On

Sidenote – did anyone else think ‘The Greatest Showman’ when you read that heading? No? Just me then…

There’s a lot to think about, as there is with any diagnosis. I have mixed feelings – I’m obviously not delighted about it but I am relieved because now I have some answers. 

However, there’s still so much I don’t know.

Will my periods come back? Will I be able to have children naturally? Will I actually manage to lose weight?

For now, I need to focus on my diet, try and slowly get back into exercise, and try to stay positive.

I will be writing more about this diagnosis, how I’m dealing with it, what I’m doing to help and any progress I make with my weight. Let’s call it, The PCOS diaries – we have to make it fun, right?!

If any of you have been diagnosed with PCOS, I would love to hear from you! Comment below with any tips or advice you have, I would really appreciate it!

AFTERTHOUGHT – maybe I need to change my blog name to ‘Living with ME and PCOS?! Nah, it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

Until next time,

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