Life of a brown girl dealing with PCOS
In 2015, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). When I had just turned 14, I had gone to visit a gynaecologist in India because of having very irregular periods. She told me to take a blood test and an ultrasound. Honestly, I was very scared because I didn’t know what exactly it was so when the reports came out and we had gone back to visit her, she told me that I have PCOS. I didn’t know how to react to it. She gave me certain medications and told me to take it regularly for a few months to see the differences. However, I had to stop the medications halfway because I started having side effects. After stopping the medications, I left things the way it was and let god handle my situation. “YES I BELIEVE IN GOD”
After being diagnosed with PCOS, I started gaining weight, getting a lot of acne, having excessive hair growth on parts of my body, and many more symptoms. I had lost my self-confidence because of my weight and acne. From the age of 14-18, I never had a day where I wasn’t judged on the way I looked physically. Because of the lack of confidence, I started wearing a lot of makeup because that’s what made me happy. I still took my PCOS very lightly as I thought I’ll be fine in a few years.
After 3 years, right before turning 17, I had gone to visit another gynaecologist in Bangkok because my symptoms were getting worse. She took the same tests and told me my PCOS had increased. She clearly told me that I need to lose weight in order for my PCOS to get normal. She told me that PCOS is incurable and the only thing you can do for it to get normal is to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I was 85 kgs back then. I tried maintaining a healthy lifestyle for 3 months but I failed because food is life. I left everything up to god and after a few months, out of nowhere I eventually started accepting myself, becoming more confident and realising that people will always talk bad about you but I cannot let that affect my happiness
When I had gone to New York for my undergraduate degree in 2019, there were a few people who were judging me for no reason because of my weight but I didn’t let those people affect me because they were clearly not worth it. In those 4 months in New York, I started losing weight because I had started eating less, started playing basketball and started walking a lot. When I came back for winter’s I had lost about 7 kgs but I started eating all the junk and gained those 2 kgs back. I was not happy with that. I had decided not to go back to university because I was not satisfied with that university and decided to transfer to another university in the states so I took a 6-month gap and decided to finally lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I have lost about 20 kgs now and I have seen such a big change within myself. The gynaecologist I met in Bangkok was right. As soon as I started eating healthy and started working out, my periods became regular, I started having lesser acne and my confidence grew even more. Ever since then, I have taken PCOS so seriously and have been taking care of it without any medications.
These experiences have only helped me grow as a person and I am thankful. I am no longer embarrassed talking about this and I am trying to bring this topic out in the open because everybody should know about this. It is definitely a big deal talking about such sensitive topics especially in the brown community.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) has become a very common disorder in women that is caused by the imbalance in our reproductive hormones. 1 in 10 women is affected by this after they hit their puberty.
Symptoms of PCOS :
- Irregular Periods
- Excessive Hair Growth
- Weight Gain
- Hair Loss
- Darkening of Skin
How PCOS affects our body :
- Sleep Apnea causes pauses of breathing in our sleep during the night which eventually interrupts our sleep
- PCOS can cause infertility. In order to get pregnant, women need to ovulate regularly but women dealing with PCOS don’t ovulate regularly, the number of eggs they produce are lessened therefore the chances of the eggs fertilizing becomes less.
- Women dealing with PCOS that are overweight are at a higher risk of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, low cholesterol and high cholesterol.
- In PCOS, you are at a higher risk of getting endometrial cancer. If you don’t ovulate each month, the uterine lining can thicken which can cause cancer.
Please do visit a gynaecologist if you have any more than 2 of those symptoms.