Before I start, if your a frequent reader it's probably already apparent that I'm not a health professional, but i have lived with this condition for a while so i will try and give my best advice based on my own experiences. Please seek medical advise if you think you are effected by this illness, or need any more information on it. 
Living With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Endometriosis

A bit of a different post to what I usually cover on my blog but one that I think is important as it effects nearly 1 in 10 women and  has been the bane of my life since I was 18, the joy that is PCOS and Endometriosis.


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

 

So what is PCOS?  


PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is condition that effects the way your ovaries work due to a hormone imbalance which (sorry if you're squeamish) causes cysts to grow over the ovaries and can even make them larger than usual. Because of the hormonal imbalance having acne or even hair loss and weight gain is common, as well as some of the more disheartening side effects of ovulation problems. However being diagnosed with PCOS doesn't have to mean the end of the world as fortunately there are things that can be done to aid these ailments.


Endometriosis

 

 

So what is Endometriosis?  

 

Endometriosis is a condition which effects more than 2 million women in the UK alone. It is the condition where pieces of womb lining is found in other parts of your internal organs, often resulting in internal scaring and can even leave organs fused together. As well as PCOS it is a life long chronic illness without any cure, it can result in fertility problems, extreme abdominal bloating (Endo Belly), lethargy, constant back and ovary pain and depression.

 


My PCOS & Endometriosis Story


I was diagnosed with PCOS and Endometriosis when I was 18 years old, I'd been having problems with my 'monthly meet and greets' ever since I was 12 as they where always excruciatingly painful to the point where I wasn't actually able to move for the entire miserable 5 day duration. Often this meant I couldn't go to school on these days and if I even dared to attempt to leave the confides of my house I'd find myself getting faint and wouldn't be able to move far. To try and counteract the pain I would have to strap two hot water bottles to myself. one my stomach and one my back (no need to tell me, I know I'm a catch) then I would dose myself up on pain killers to try and dull the pain but unfortunately it never really seemed to make the blind bit of difference; Eventually other side effects set in like acne, it was (and still is) mainly located around my lower cheeks, creating what I like to call my 'beard of acne'. It took a long time to get my doctors to check me over, as they constantly told me what I was experiencing was normal teen hormones and it was unlikely for someone of my then age to get PCOS (which I later learnt to be ludicrous). 

There is a history of womb history in my family my Mother had Endometriosis, which is a condition which causes the lining of the womb to grow elsewhere in the body causing intense pelvic pain, this disease is also hereditary. It was after I began suffering random pelvis pain attacks - which would result in me rolling on the floor in agony with a bloated stomach and feeling extremely nauseous - that I decided it was time I consulted with my doctor. When I went to discuss it with my GP I was refused because of my age, eventually after a long series of nagging with said doctor I managed to sway them into referring me. Once I was referred to a specialist again I was hit with the same news, stating that because of my age it was unlikely I had the condition, nevertheless I was booked into for an ultra sound to check if there was any under lying problems.

At the ultra sound it become immediately clear that there was a problem, my ovaries where full of dark patches indicating that their was cysts covering them, (again I'm sorry if your squeamish) the 'random' attacks of pelvic pain was the result of these cysts rupturing,  often this is confused with appendicitis and frequently women who didn't know they had PCOS would end up in hospital after a rupture.  

Once the ultra sound confirmed the presence of cysts I was sent for key hole surgery - this is so they can drill into the ovaries and attempt to relive the pressure,  this is also meant to help with the acne it causes. Once I was under they noticed I had lots of internal scaring which was a clear indication for Endometriosis, upon waking and finding out the news I was both relived and extremely anxious. At first I was emotional, all the usual questions when talking about menstrual problems starting cropping up, like would I be able to have children or not? Fortunately these concerns where short lived, although it may be harder than the average women to conceive it's not impossible and after reading lots of success stories I feel much more relaxed about it these days. 


 

Living With Chronic Illnesses

 

It's now been 4 years since I was first diagnosed, I'm pain free 70% of the time thanks to using the contraceptive implant and bi-annual minor surgery to check on my ovaries and endo activity. The implant isn't for everyone and it does have some horrible side effects that take a while to settle down, some women prefer to use the pill to alleviate their symptoms (as well as stopping something else) but that just didn't work for me.

I also struggled with hair loss prior to being diagnosed, year after year my hair would thin around my hairline and i'd often end up with bald patches on my temples, when it got too bad I started using Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo, which I swear by if you're suffering with the same problem. Thankfully i've not had any more thinning and my hair is now healthy. My acne however is a different story, the 'beard of acne' is still very much prevalent and no matter how many expensive lotions and potions or skin treatments I subject myself to I just cannot shake those pesky pimples, you can imagine my frustration every time someone tells me 'Its because of you wear makeup' *fist shake*.
My skin used to bother me, but to be honest I've had it for so long I'm just over it! Ill keep trying something new until it goes but for now ill just stick to my trusty foundation and concealer. 

Weight gain is unfortunately another one of the side effects of PCOS and bloating as a result of 'endo belly' is another one, I eat healthy but no matter what I continue to keep gaining weight and bloating - it's got to the point where my jeans no longer fit, but I've recently signed up to The Body Coach so ill keep you posted.  

• • • • • • •

If you would like to know anything else about PCOS or Endometriosis please feel free to get in touch,  if you are already effected with either condition just know that you are not alone! I'd love to hear from you and learn how your adapting to life with it.

Before I start, if your a frequent reader it's probably already apparent that I'm not a health professional, but i have lived with this condition for a while so i will try and give my best advice based on my own experiences. Please seek medical advise if you think you are effected by this illness, or need any more information on it. 
Living With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Endometriosis

A bit of a different post to what I usually cover on my blog but one that I think is important as it effects nearly 1 in 10 women and  has been the bane of my life since I was 18, the joy that is PCOS and Endometriosis.


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

 

So what is PCOS?  


PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is condition that effects the way your ovaries work due to a hormone imbalance which (sorry if you're squeamish) causes cysts to grow over the ovaries and can even make them larger than usual. Because of the hormonal imbalance having acne or even hair loss and weight gain is common, as well as some of the more disheartening side effects of ovulation problems. However being diagnosed with PCOS doesn't have to mean the end of the world as fortunately there are things that can be done to aid these ailments.


Endometriosis

 

 

So what is Endometriosis?  

 

Endometriosis is a condition which effects more than 2 million women in the UK alone. It is the condition where pieces of womb lining is found in other parts of your internal organs, often resulting in internal scaring and can even leave organs fused together. As well as PCOS it is a life long chronic illness without any cure, it can result in fertility problems, extreme abdominal bloating (Endo Belly), lethargy, constant back and ovary pain and depression.

 


My PCOS & Endometriosis Story


I was diagnosed with PCOS and Endometriosis when I was 18 years old, I'd been having problems with my 'monthly meet and greets' ever since I was 12 as they where always excruciatingly painful to the point where I wasn't actually able to move for the entire miserable 5 day duration. Often this meant I couldn't go to school on these days and if I even dared to attempt to leave the confides of my house I'd find myself getting faint and wouldn't be able to move far. To try and counteract the pain I would have to strap two hot water bottles to myself. one my stomach and one my back (no need to tell me, I know I'm a catch) then I would dose myself up on pain killers to try and dull the pain but unfortunately it never really seemed to make the blind bit of difference; Eventually other side effects set in like acne, it was (and still is) mainly located around my lower cheeks, creating what I like to call my 'beard of acne'. It took a long time to get my doctors to check me over, as they constantly told me what I was experiencing was normal teen hormones and it was unlikely for someone of my then age to get PCOS (which I later learnt to be ludicrous). 

There is a history of womb history in my family my Mother had Endometriosis, which is a condition which causes the lining of the womb to grow elsewhere in the body causing intense pelvic pain, this disease is also hereditary. It was after I began suffering random pelvis pain attacks - which would result in me rolling on the floor in agony with a bloated stomach and feeling extremely nauseous - that I decided it was time I consulted with my doctor. When I went to discuss it with my GP I was refused because of my age, eventually after a long series of nagging with said doctor I managed to sway them into referring me. Once I was referred to a specialist again I was hit with the same news, stating that because of my age it was unlikely I had the condition, nevertheless I was booked into for an ultra sound to check if there was any under lying problems.

At the ultra sound it become immediately clear that there was a problem, my ovaries where full of dark patches indicating that their was cysts covering them, (again I'm sorry if your squeamish) the 'random' attacks of pelvic pain was the result of these cysts rupturing,  often this is confused with appendicitis and frequently women who didn't know they had PCOS would end up in hospital after a rupture.  

Once the ultra sound confirmed the presence of cysts I was sent for key hole surgery - this is so they can drill into the ovaries and attempt to relive the pressure,  this is also meant to help with the acne it causes. Once I was under they noticed I had lots of internal scaring which was a clear indication for Endometriosis, upon waking and finding out the news I was both relived and extremely anxious. At first I was emotional, all the usual questions when talking about menstrual problems starting cropping up, like would I be able to have children or not? Fortunately these concerns where short lived, although it may be harder than the average women to conceive it's not impossible and after reading lots of success stories I feel much more relaxed about it these days. 


 

Living With Chronic Illnesses

 

It's now been 4 years since I was first diagnosed, I'm pain free 70% of the time thanks to using the contraceptive implant and bi-annual minor surgery to check on my ovaries and endo activity. The implant isn't for everyone and it does have some horrible side effects that take a while to settle down, some women prefer to use the pill to alleviate their symptoms (as well as stopping something else) but that just didn't work for me.

I also struggled with hair loss prior to being diagnosed, year after year my hair would thin around my hairline and i'd often end up with bald patches on my temples, when it got too bad I started using Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo, which I swear by if you're suffering with the same problem. Thankfully i've not had any more thinning and my hair is now healthy. My acne however is a different story, the 'beard of acne' is still very much prevalent and no matter how many expensive lotions and potions or skin treatments I subject myself to I just cannot shake those pesky pimples, you can imagine my frustration every time someone tells me 'Its because of you wear makeup' *fist shake*.
My skin used to bother me, but to be honest I've had it for so long I'm just over it! Ill keep trying something new until it goes but for now ill just stick to my trusty foundation and concealer. 

Weight gain is unfortunately another one of the side effects of PCOS and bloating as a result of 'endo belly' is another one, I eat healthy but no matter what I continue to keep gaining weight and bloating - it's got to the point where my jeans no longer fit, but I've recently signed up to The Body Coach so ill keep you posted.  

• • • • • • •

If you would like to know anything else about PCOS or Endometriosis please feel free to get in touch,  if you are already effected with either condition just know that you are not alone! I'd love to hear from you and learn how your adapting to life with it.

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