PCOS - @skbowick

“My sister and I are wearing teal necklaces for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which we both have. It is a hormonal disorder that can cause ovaries to be enlarged and small cysts on the outer part of the organs as well as insulin resistance. It’s extremely painful and cysts can burst, causing even more pain. There is no cure for PCOS. People with PCOS are more likely to develop diabetes than those who don’t have the condition. The National Institutes of Health estimates that 20-40% of people with PCOS have a mother or sister with the condition. In 2013, I was diagnosed with PCOS after pleading with my gynecologist to test me. I didn’t fit all of the criteria. I wasn’t overweight, but I had severe acne, hair in unwanted places, painful periods, and cysts drained off of my ovary during three of my laparoscopic surgeries for endometriosis. Once I was finally tested by simple blood tests, my insulin and testosterone levels were elevated and I was properly diagnosed. I was put on Metformin to try to combat PCOS, but my body couldn’t tolerate it. I had a complete hysterectomy in 2014 because of endometriosis. Some doctors have told me that I no longer have PCOS because I don’t have ovaries, but there is research to suggest otherwise. PCOS doesn’t only affect the ovaries; it also affects metabolism, insulin, and hormone levels. I have changed my diet and do my best to stay away from fried foods to help keep my insulin level within range. My sister started having painful and heavy periods back in 2017 and I wanted her to be tested for PCOS. She was having many of the same symptoms that I was having. She’s married and has never been pregnant, so we thought maybe she wasn’t ovulating. Unfortunately, we were right. Her gynecologist did the same blood tests I had done years ago and her levels were also elevated. She had an ultrasound done, which showed cysts on her ovaries that indicate PCOS. She has been going back and forth with birth control since trying to manage her symptoms and ovulation. She has been doing Weight Watchers for about four months now and has lost weight.“ @skbowick

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