I have PCOS. I wanted to get straight to the point with that. If you have read up on PCOS and/or have it yourself, you would know how tough it can be. It affects women in varying degrees however. I have heard of some women who have had cysts found on their ovaries during an ultrasound exam but experienced no other symptoms than that. I am not one of those women.
I went through puberty at age 11 (5th grade). This is considered pretty early I believe. My periods were regular (still are) which was nice but I was still unhappy that I had to wear pads when none of my friends had to. Not long after I got my period I also started getting bad acne. It started on my forehead and moved down to my chin and around my lips. Having acne shot my self esteem down even lower than it already was. It was tough enough being one of the very, VERY few black people in the school but to add in the disfigurement that the acne caused…whew! I felt so horrible and depressed.
Age 13 came around and I started developing lovely upper lip hair. My mom noticed it and pointed it out to me. I am not sure why I did not see it myself first. I ended up getting waxed regularly. Oh and I still had bad acne. As far as depression went, middle school was not as bad as 5th grade but there were still lingering feelings of sadness.
Everything becomes jumbled up beyond middle school in regards to how exactly I came to be diagnosed with PCOS. I know that in high school I still had bad acne, worsening depression, stomach fat, excess hair, oily skin and food cravings. These symptoms continued on except that I did decide to get fit and lost a lot of fat at age 19. Then at 24 I was diagnosed with PCOS.
I think I must have googled my symptoms one day and came to a PCOS site. I went to a Gynecologist to get the battery of tests that are done for a PCOS diagnosis. These included an ultrasound and blood tests (cholesterol, insulin, total testosterone, free testosterone, estrogen, DHEA and progesterone). The blood tests showed normal results but my ultrasound did show that I had cysts on my ovaries. You can still have normal hormone levels and have PCOS. This just means that your body is responding to your hormones as if they are out of whack.
There are medications you can take for PCOS and I will talk about that in the next post.