I’ve written about PCOS before and it’s something that has continued to cause problems for a long time.
PCOS(Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is a condition that affects the ovaries. Not to be confused with PCO(Polycystic Ovaries), which is cysts on the ovaries, PCOS doesn’t actually cause cysts on the ovaries and can be hard to diagnose and manage. I’ll admit this was only explained to me last week, after ten years I’m still not completely sure what it is.
It affects all sorts of things from periods to excess hair – you can find out more on the NHS website here.
PCOS made falling pregnant very difficult for more and it took three years to fall pregnant, by complete fluke – my son is four this year and I’ve continued to have problems with pain and irregular periods therefore last week I had a diagnostic laparoscopy to check all was well.
The operation itself went well and was straight forward; frustratingly all looks well which is one of the hardest things about PCOS. The surgeon explained to me that the ovaries/womb/etc. is a complicated area and PCOS is very hard to treat as it’s hormonal rather than physical. Many say it’s common, and it tends to be shrugged off by many – but it can cause lots of problems, so why isn’t it investigated and treated better?
I’ve had a Mirena™ coil fitted on the advice of the surgeon; it’s an IUD(intrauterine device) that releases small amounts of a hormone and it’s thought to reduce periods and although it’s a contraceptive it’s thought to benefit PCOS. It’s in for five years, after six months periods should be less if not absent and it should help things calm down. Fingers crossed. I have had a couple of these in the past and they seemed to affect my mood – I’m really hoping it helps this time round.
Time will tell as to whether it helps or not, but in the meantime I have decided to make a few changes to try and ease my symptoms:
- Lose weight. PCOS causes weight gain but weight gain makes PCOS symptoms worse – it’s a vicious circle. I know that my weight is making things worse and I’m actively trying to get my weight down. Even 5% body weight is thought to make a difference – game on.
- Reduce carbs and processed food. I know that what I eat massively affects how I feel, and it’s been said that foods with a low Gl(Glycaemic Index) can help PCOS. You can read more here.
- Move! Exercise is one I struggle with due to my AS, when it flares I can’t always commit to exercising but I really want to make an effort to keep moving. Even if it’s parking the car a little further away from school or work – every little helps. Moving more lowers sugar levels – PCOS is a hormonal imbalance linked to insulin and therefore lowering blood sugar is important.
- Supplements. I’ve previously tried a few supplements like multi-vitamins and vitamin D, however myo-inositol is one that is widely recommended on forums, a form of inositol which is made by the body and again can help with insulin and PCOS. I have previously tried myo-inositol, which I purchased from Nature’s Best(it was really reasonable, good quality and had awesome reviews) and it did help me – my blood sugar was relatively stable and my hair growth wasn’t as rapid. There are lots of recommended supplements, I’d always recommend doing your research before you try anything, make sure you buy from a reputable source and check with your doctor if you are taking any medication.
I’m guilty of playing down my PCOS yet it’s obvious it affects me daily – I really hope I can eat better and be healthier and reduce my symptoms, I’ll be interested to see if it makes any difference. Watch this space!
**This is a collaborative post**