I saw a Plus Size Princess on the 3 train yesterday. She carried her weight in her stomach/midsection, her skin was a little shiny and I could see the bumps under her chin where she’d shaved away her facial hair. I would be willing to bet money that she had Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. Sadly, I couldn’t be so sure that she knew that she had it.
I have PCOS, and while knowing about it doesn’t solve my all of my problems, it does help me understand my body. I think those of you who have been diagnosed will agree that knowing what this issue is changes everything. With PCOS in the picture you dont feel like a total freak because you’re a girl who has to constantly shave random parts of her body. You start to learn what you can/can’t eat and why you have to work extra hard to lose weight.
The unfortunate thing is that many women live with PCOS for years before a doctor bothers to tell them what’s going on. These women are without the expert knowledge of information that comes from doctors being educated. (Even the most basic health science degree program, could prevent women from never being diagnosed with what hurts them).
I can remember being 17 (I was diagnosed in high school) and listening to my 28 year old cousin complain about having to get her face waxed. I took a deep breath and asked her a few personal questions: Do you have irregular periods? Do you feel like your skin is oil/acne prone? She answered “yes” to both. The irregular periods, facial hair and the fact that she was plus size made me pretty confident that she had PCOS. I told her what it was and suggested that she talk to her doctor about it. A week later she called me to say that her doctor confirmed what I said.
I’ve heard stories of women who find out they have PCOS because of fertility issues or women who have to see three or more doctors before someone can explain why that never have their period and cant lose weight. Of course, once PCOS is identified there’s so much that can be done, (the cousin who I diagnosed struggled with infertility, but she gave birth to her first child last year after getting herself to a healthy weight.)
The problem is that women can’t get healthy if they dont know what’s going on in their bodies. Education and knowledge is so important, which is why I wish I could stop every girl I see with traits of PCOS and make sure they know what they might be dealing with. Its just frustrating that as someone living with PCOS, I can spot it a mile away, but so many doctors can’t do the same.
Have any of you had to educate someone about PCOS?