So this is somewhat of a personal post. A post that I’ve been meaning to write for a considerable amount of time, and one that I’ve put off, namely because it can be a little embarrassing and I thought best not to share with the internet world. But hey, for the good of any other girls out there who suffer with the syndrome, to hell with the shame!
So for those in the dark, what is it exactly? Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) basically means there is an excess of the small amounts of male hormones that all women have, necessary for sex drive (can I get an amen to that?!), bone health and oestrogen production. It affects around 1 in 10 women, and many have no idea they’re even suffering with it, as they may be unaware or lacking in symptoms. If you have particularly irregular or absent periods, as well as other traits I have listed below, then you too may well be in the PCOS gang. Far from a debilitating condition however, I am most definitely not writing this for any pity or worry, I can tell you it is controllable, widely reported on and dealt with fairly easily.
So here are the symptoms – and this is the mortifying part… 4 years ago I was bordering on being overweight (and had an ex boyfriend at the time who insisted on me losing some, the charmer), but as far as I was concerned, I followed a relatively healthy diet and exercised (very) occasionally, but I found it particularly hard to keep my weight under control. I had very bipolar periods (i.e, up and down, erratic and totally of split personality), a bout of acne which took residence all over my face, and worst of all, a shadow of very dark hair appeared around my chin, neck, cheeks and jawline. All in all, I was feeling less cute and more like King Kong after a run in with a pepperoni pizza. I had very up and down emotional levels and was continually low in self-esteem and most definitely not a fan of the reflection in the mirror.
Thankfully there was a reason for all of this… after visiting my GP then a Gynaecologist who did an ultrasound scan, I was diagnosed with PCOS.
I would like to point out that not all PCOS sufferers have the same symptoms. Some actually experience weight loss (god damn you), whilst others are bordering on clinically obese, and some have a perfectly healthy normal weight. Infertility is perhaps one of the worst symptoms one can experience. Some experience depression and poor self-esteem as side effects, whilst some never develop acne and others suffer with Hirsutism (excess hair growth) on their face. Everyone is different and each symptom needs to be dealt with in your own personal way.
I was supremely bothered by the symptoms on my face (the hair and acne) and I wanted to really address my health and diet – as a beauty journalist I felt my appearance was really important – working in a fairly superficial industry, I know I’m judged on how I look!
And now for the ‘treatment’…. Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment to cure PCOS. Not one. You can control and monitor the syndrome and that’s precisely what I am going to share with you – the diet adjustments, skin saviours and hair zappers to get you back to looking your beautiful best.
The most important thing to remember is that PCOS is common, it’s not terminal or life debilitating and with a few minor adjustments, is noticeable to no one except yourself. If anyone would like to get in touch directly and ask me any further questions, or see before and after photos of the skin treatments I had, I am more than happy to oblige – contact me at email@example.com.