My PCOS experience..
Ok. I'd been wanting to post about this matter for so long already but procrastination is no good. No no good.
Being a teenagers in high school, I was never aware on one thing that most of the girls would get excited about. MENSES. Yeah, menses. The time of the month where you get all the reasons not to go to school, reasons for you to eat so much until you get bloated, reason for you to blame on the sudden buncitness, reason for you to get an excuse from doing exercises especially during P.E. class, reason for you to get an extra pocket money to buy pads, reason for you to blame on the big zits on your face and lastly, reason for you for not attending the Zuhur and Asar prayers or the weekly Al-Quran reading.
Yes. Reason for almost everything.
I wasn't aware that I'd been missing menses for few cycles until when I was 18, in KMJ. I was too naive to understand the true definition of a perfect women.
I'd never keep track of my menstrual cycle when I was in school so I don't know the pattern of my cycle. But I do remember the first menses came when I was 13 and it was just a stain on my panties.
When I enrolled in matriculation, my roommates were more concern of my cycle than I do. They kept on puasa ganti whilst I happily enjoying my life for not to ganti any puasa. Whenever they'd missed one cycle, they would pestering me, crying and hounding me days and nights for an answer. Seriously, how should I know?
I thought it was normal until one day when I realized I missed my menses for almost a year!
Mom finally decided on consulting me with a gynae. She made an appointment at Puteri and so we went and met with this female malay doctor. All she did was looked at my face, checked on my facial hair, checked on my weight and that's it. She diagnosed me of having Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS.
Doctor: Don't you realized that she has that with all the symptoms?
Mom: No. No. I'd never thought of it....
And there. As simple as that. I had PCOS. No explanation no nothing. I almost cry right on her face. I was 18. I know nothing about the disease. How should I know it is ok? How should I know I am not mandul?
I went back home and did some research on my own. And I hate that doctor for that.
PCOS is a disorder occurs among female that caused the absence of menstrual bleeding or irregular cycle. The etiology of PCOS is unknown. Some say it is genetic, you might get it form your parents but the evidence is not that strong for you to blame them (hehe). Your hormones level in your body get mixed up, became funny and eventually you will get some of these symptoms;
- irregular or the absence of menstrual bleeding
- acne on the face and body
- excessive facial hair
And if you do an ultrasound, you will find that there are small cysts on your ovary/ovaries.
Most of the cases nowadays, the symptoms are very mild.You can have PCOS but you're not obese. You can have PCOS but you have this perfect porcelain skin. The symptoms varies in some women. They can have very mild symptoms and still have PCOS.
I wasn't that chubby when I was diagnosed with PCOS. Although I was quite plump but the doctor said I wasn't that obese to fits in that categories. Some of the girls who have PCOS can be skinnier than me.
I was 18 and I was dying to get rid of my acnes. So I went to a dermatologist few weeks later. The doctor was so mad at my gynae he even jot down her name. Before she can diagnosed me of having PCOS, at least, she should have taken my blood sample to investigate, to confirm on the symptoms. Its a procedure.
Still furious, he gave me some oral contraceptive pills (OCP) called Dianne-35. Its a special OCP for PCOS patients to regulate the menses for a while, reducing the imbalance of hormones and reducing androgen level in our body.
I took it somewhere in December and I remember clearly after a year, my first menses came in January. 28 days after the first pill. I was overjoyed! I smsed everyone that knew my problem and I almost threw out a party for that :p And that was when I was in Year 1 in USM. But the first menses also lasted for almost 2 months! Kawan cakap nak ganti for the missing one year. Hoho.
The acnes vanished over time. The menses came every month but I know there were no ovulation if I were on OCP. So ok lah.
I told my Mom to consult me to another gynae so she brought me to Dr. Ding at the same hospital. He did an ultrasound and confirmed everything on what the earlier doctor had told me. Something you need to know on PCOS, it cannot be cure. But what you can do is reducing all the symptoms. And by reducing the symptoms insyaAllah, PCOS akan kurang.
Having PCOS it doesn't mean that you can't get pregnant. It just that the ability of you to get pregnant maybe kurang sikit. I'd seen so many patients with PCOS, they consult the doctor and managed to get pregnant. Most of the cases usually when they get married, the cycle would automatically back to normal. There's something to do with your hormones I guess. But in few cases, sometime, marriage still won't help them in regulating the cycle so the doctor will usually give some hormones treatment. And most of the cases, the couples succeeded to get pregnant.
I took the OCP for a year and then I stop. I was concern for the side effects of OCP. I still had my menses although it wasn't that regular but I still had it at least three times a year.
The bad thing about OCP: in most cases --> gain weight! But thank God with all the busy schedule and studies, I didn't gain any weight. In fact I lose some weight.
So, how can you reduce the symptoms of PCOS? Maintain a healthy lifestyle through diet and physical activity. Yes, I know you heard it so many times but it is the only way. Those who have PCOS will have high insulin resistance and hence would eventually cause obesity.
- Exercise regularly. Try to lose some weight or maintain your ideal weight. I jog at least twice a week, I played sports and danced a lot.
- Diet. Skip all those fattening food. Avoid any fast food and stop gobbling down the sweet stuff down your throat. I don't diet but sometime I was to busy that I forgot to eat :p I still took my desserts regularly though throughout those time.
- If you are not trying to get pregnant, get some OCP to balance your hormones level. Just for a while, then stop taking it.
That is why up until now, I still trying to maintain my weight. I observe my weights. I missed my menses when it hits 53 to 55kg. So I need to maintain it somewhere between 48 to 55. And that answer why I don't want to gain weight ;)
Back to the story, after a year I went for another check up in Sabah. This time was insisted by my Dad. During that check up, the gynae found another cysts on my right pelvic, a dermoid cyct. We went back to JB and I had a laparoscopic surgery by Dr. Ding. It was succesful alhamdulillah.
The last time I checked my ovaries, both were enlarged with multiple cysts. Left measuring 3.5 x 4.0 cm and the right one measured at 5.2 x 2.4 cm. The cysts may subside over time so I don't know. Last two month marks the 12th month of my regular menses. It came every month without fails. I almost (again) threw a party but...... Ahaha.
So this post is for every women out there who have menstrual problem. Don't worry and if you'd ever being diagnosed of having PCOS, fret not my dear, you're not alone. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, eat a balanced diet. You should know your body very well by this time.
I am too lazy to check on the grammar what so ever. Lantak lah. Terlampau panjang tak larat den nak baca.
But one thing, although I have PCOS, up until now I tak pernah dapat menstrual pain.
Email me if you want to ask me anything regarding the PCOS ;)
edit: (since I don't have that much time the other day :p )
Ovarian cysts happened when the follicle in your ovary that contains the egg do not rupture and release the ovum to the fallopian tube. In every cycle if the hormones are not sufficient enough to promote the release of ovum from the ovary, the egg will stay in the follicle and over time it will become a sac like thing, filled with fluid, enlarge and increase in number (one cyst for each cycle).
You might sometime feel pain on your pelvic region (I had these once or twice a month). Either on the left of right. It may bleed, rupture or twist the ovary. My gynae told me kalau rasa sakit gila gila on the pelvic area, sampai cannot move, go to the hospital immediately, might be ovary kau twist which may cause the adjacent tissue to die due to the lack of blood supply to the tissues.
From my experience, the pain was sharp, almost like a gastric-pain. You can't move at all but the pain will subsides in a few minutes.
The cysts will shrink over time, BUT only when some of the symptoms disappears. Taking OCP would absolutely help you with the shrinking process but be caution, it might also makes you gain some weight.
Sorry for the grammatical error!