This is a very personal long post with probably a little TMI, just so y'all know!
Friday I found out that I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).
I'd been feeling like something was wrong for awhile.
I stopped taking my birth control pill last August. Mainly because I thought it was making me crazy but I was also having bad migraines and I wanted to rule that out as the reason before I spent a lot of money going to a neurologist. Anyway, everything was ok and completely normal until February when I missed my period. After 3 negative pregnancy tests and still no period after it being 10 days late, I decided to make a doctors appointment. My doctor basically told me my body was reverting back to the way it was (extremely irregular) before I started the pill and told me to come back if I missed my period for 3 cycles. Well I ended up starting my period in March. Between March and now I started noticing some really weird things going on that I had never really experienced before.
My face has looked like an effing teenager. I was blessed with a clear complexion but these past couple of months you'd think I was going through puberty with the outbreaks I've been having. I've also been having awful night sweats and my hair is falling out like crazy in the shower. Those were the things that I noticed the most, but bloating, insomnia, fatigue, general PMS symptoms, and mood swings have also been coming and going over the past 3 months.
Anyway, I've been keeping track on a calendar of when I'm supposed to start my cycles (based on 28 days) and this week I was supposed to start again and didn't. This was the 3rd cycle I had missed. So back to the doctor I go, just as she recommended.
When I first told her I hadn't had my period, I got a very nonchalant attitude... "oh that's normal" "let's just put you on birth control" etc. Then I started mentioning these symptoms (and might have started crying in there too).
She immediately said PCOS.
Apparently these are classic text book signs of PCOS. She didn't even run any tests.
So, what do I do from here? Well, there's no cure really. Right now what we have to do is control the annoying symptoms I was having by taking hormones. Which means back on the pill I go. She gave me a prescription for progesterone to take to make me start my period and then I'll start taking the birth control every month.
The part that scares the shit out of me is the fact that we have no idea what is going to happen once we're ready to have kids. Yeah, I know I said a few posts ago that I didn't even know if I wanted kids. This has kind of made things real and I know I want them one day, I just don't want them now.
Anyway, the doctor said that when we're ready to start trying I need to start taking folic acid for a couple of months and then stop the pill. She said there's about a 3 month window in there where I'll ovulate because I'll still have the hormones in my system from the birth control and there's a very good chance I could get pregnant then. (This is why my period stayed on a 28 day cycle from August until January when I stopped the pill. The hormones started wearing off so I got later and later until I had no period at all.) But if I don't get pregnant then we will most likely need fertility help. Depending on how bad things are at that time affects how they'll handle it. She didn't really go into detail about that and said we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
Honestly, I'm kind of relieved. I'm really glad that all of the symptoms weren't just in my head. And I'm relieved that hopefully I will have some relief from these symptoms with the birth control. You have no idea how annoying it is to wake up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat, to be exhausted during the day but then can't go to sleep at night, and to have big painful zits popping up every day like I'm 17 again. (Well, you might know how annoying it is if you've been through it). But I am praying really hard that these go away with the birth control and we'll cross the path of fertility issues when we're ready.
The doctor also mentioned something about a low carb diet. Honestly, I was still stuck on the fact that I had PCOS so hearing about a low carb diet kinda went in one ear and out the other. She gave me a pamphlet, but told me there are PCOS websites that have more and better information for me. I'm still in the process of searching and going through those. Apparently, there is a link between insulin resistance and PCOS - I'm not going in to details on here about that because not all of you are nurses and will understand a word I type out. You can google it if you are intrigued. Anyway, a low carb diet can help your symptoms and even from what I've read can almost get you back to 'normal'. (and help with weight loss too!) So, that is something I am going to have to work on little by little. I'm the carb queen so this is going to be exceptionally hard for me.
After all the googling I've done, I've found out that PCOS is very common. I found on one website that 1 in 10 women have it. So I'm sure some of you reading this have had this same heartbreaking talk with your doctor or will eventually have this heartbreaking talk with your doctor. This gives me hope. It's not some rare disease that doctors aren't familiar with or something I can die from. If this is the 'bad' thing that God has handed me, I can handle it.
In the end, it's in God's hands. When it's time to have kids, we'll figure out what His plans are and we'll pray and let Him take us through it.
That's all we can do.