The Fat Truth Behind PCOS: Part 2

Last month to celebrate Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Awareness Month we posted The Fat Truth Behind PCOCS: Part 1. A new month has come and we wanted to share the stories of two more members of the Fat Girls Traveling community. Enjoy part two and if this is the type of posts you’d like to see more of on The Fat Girls Guide, leave a comment below.

What is PCOS?

The following is a great image that explains and breakdowns the statistics behind PCOS.

PCOS Awareness Symposium 2016 Fat Girls Guide
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Meet Kayla

Name: Kayla
Age: 31
Occupation: Staff Recruitment Specialist

How old are you now and what age were you diagnosed?
31 now and 16 when diagnosed.

When and how where you diagnosed?
I was 16 years old, I remember going into the doctor and I was really scared because I didn’t want to have any kind of exam. I had a pelvic exam when I was 13 years old and thought this would be the same. I don’t remember what we talked about or how I was diagnosed. I just remember being thrilled that I didn’t have to be touched to be examined and being told that I had PCOS which would effect my ability to have children and was the cause of my excessive chin hair growth.

Do you find it hard to treat PCOS and what difficulties do you face because of it?
I only actively tried to treat it from 16-20 years old. I was put on low level birth control (Nuva Ring) I was told to not take it out so I didn’t get my period at all. Before this they were terrible and I would bleed for weeks. After about 20 I didn’t have insurance so I didn’t see a doctor for many years. More recently I started going to the doctor again on the regular, because I began getting DVT (deep vein thrombosis) in my leg, because of this even if I wanted to birth control wouldn’t be an option to regulate my symptoms. At this point I take medication for depression and that’s it. I have asked to have a hysterectomy to help with things but due to my age and that I don’t have children I am not allowed to elect to have one done according to my doctor.  

What is one thing you wish you had known about PCOS when you were diagnosed?

What is was even, I was only really told that the birth control would make my periods go away and that I would likely not have my own children. I was 16 at the time and I don’t think that is information that I could process.

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Meet Amanda 

Name: Amanda
Age: 28
Occupation: Digital Marketing and Freelance Writer

How old are you now and what age were you diagnosed?
I was 22 when I was diagnosed and am now 28 years old. 

Did you have to ask your doctor about PCOS or did they bring it up?
My cousin was the person who asked if I’d ever heard of PCOS after I shared that I was experiencing excessive hair growth. Looking at her, I responded, “Nope.” She told me to look into it when I got home. So I did. I soon realized I had many of the symptoms. I knew I’ve had a few cysts from previous check ups with my Gynecologist but that was about it. When I went in for my appointment a few weeks later, I mentioned to my doctor that I thought I had PCOS and he agreed. At the time, I was just happy to have an understanding of what was causing my excessive hair growth, weight gain and more. 

Looking back, I wish my response I had been “how did you not diagnose this long ago?” “Why did I have to bring it up to you?” “What does this mean and how can I handle it” Here’s the thing, I loved my GYN. I was happy that he always made me feel comfortable. Yet, he let me down. He knew I was struggling with these issues and instead of giving me an answer he just kept prescribing me my birth control.  I have not gone back to him since. 

What is one thing you wish you had known about PCOS when you were diagnosed?

That there are lots of things that I can do to help manage it better then I did. It wasn’t until I begin self-advocating and looked into what I needed that I have been able to get a grip (note I say grip not a handle) on it. 

How does PCOS impact you most?
I grow hair back quickly all over my body but the main sticking point is the facial hair. I shave almost every day. Now I actually use a proper razor and facial cream but for a long time I’d just dry shave and be so rough with it. I was so embarrassed and I still get annoyed but not embarrassed.

My husband is really supportive. I am lucky. I’ve tried everything from different birth controls to supplements but nothing slows these black prickly hairs down. I am looking into laser hair removal but am not sure it will work. I didn’t get my period for 3 years at one point because of it and then after a lot of hard work to lose weight, my period suddenly reappeared but it’s still irregular. 

Anything else you’d like to share?
There are people who have an understanding of this, from nutritionists to trainers and more. Don’t settle for less when it comes to you and your body. If someone makes you feel like PCOS is just an excuse for something then LEAVE. If they only focus on the weight loss part to help you with PCOS, get OUT. You don’t have to stand by and take it. PCOS is very real and it impacts people so similar and different all at once. Listen to your body. Trust it.

What Now?

There are so few resources for people living with PCOS. Which is the reason  why this project was so important for us. The following are a few accounts that we love. They help inspire and guide those of us on a PCOS journey. Check them out! 

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Amanda Wilkinson

When Amanda is busy running While Fat she can be found running her own Digital Marketing Agency in Bristol, UK. Amanda can also be found reading books on her Bookstagram, drinking Aperol, and dreaming about her next trip.

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