Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The dreaded letters...PCOS

Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome. 

For those who want a brief explanation: PCOS is a hormone imbalance which stops the ovaries from releasing eggs which means that no eggs reach the uterus to be fertilised.

For those who want to read a little more into it :

So from the beginning.....I had known for a long time that there was something wrong with my reproduction side of things, there was something niggling away at me that all wasn't right. We should listen to our intuition more often. For a long time my doctor passed it off as just irregular periods, a hang-on from when I was very underweight as a teen (I was 45kgs at 18). She did send me for blood tests which showed some levels that were on the slightly higher side of normal but nothing overly concerning.

It was only when I was seeing a gynecologist about my abnormal smears that I expressed my concern about my lack of a period (at that point I hadn't had one in 8 months) and he said it might pay to do some more investigating as lack of a period for extended time, other than infertility, can lead to other complications such as much higher chances of ovarian cancer. He didn't seem to concerned but wanted to get a scan to rule out anything untoward.

I referred for the scan which, despite being through the public system, I was seen very quickly for. The radiologist was lovely and when she said casually said whilst doing an internal ,"have the cysts in your ovaries already been diagnosed?" I felt, believe it or not, of all the emotions I could have had, I was relieved.

There was a reason my body wasn't working!
It wasn't all in my mind!
It was something that could, hopefully, be fixed!!

The last time I saw the specialist he confirmed what I had already been inadvertently told, I had PCOS. We talked briefly about the side affects of PCOS. I'm lucky in the sense that the only real side effects that I have had is a bit of weight gain and irregular periods. I have *touch wood* not had any of the hair loss/gain or excessive amounts of acne (other than the occasional hormonal breakout!) that a lot of other people experience.

We also went over the options going forward, mainly being starting drugs to induce ovulation, the main risk being ending up with multiples! But first I had to make the actual decision, was I ready to start treatment? Then and there, in the hospital room with only my trusty nurse as support (she is the same nurse that by fluke chance has been with me for all of my colposcopies) I wasn't ready to make ANY decisions. The specialist said that given the severity of the PCOS he would an encourage a patient who was emotionally ready to start a family to begin treatment given that it isnt something that generally improves with age.

So that's basically where I am today. I have an appointment scheduled in 2 months time where I have to be able to tell my specialist if I am ready or not.

Am I? Pass. I guess I have two months to decide.

Today's pic is a photo my partner took of me around the same time I was beginning to see the specialist. I think its quite poignant, me on my journey.

Until next, wonderment and delight


P.S I Promise not all my blogs will be this long!

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