What is Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)?
Polycycstic Ovarian syndrome is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. It can cause problems with your periods and make it difficult to get pregnant. PCOS may also cause unwanted changes in the way you look. If it is not treated, over time it can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.
PCOS is common, affecting as many as 1 in 15 women. Often the symptoms begin in the ten years. Treatment can help control the symptoms and prevent long-term problems.
What are hormones, and what happens in PCOS?
Hormones are chemical messengers that trigger many different processes, including growth and energy production. Often, the job of one hormone is to signal the release of another hormone.
For reason that are not well understood, in PCOS the hormones get out of balance. One hormone change triggers another, which changes another. This makes a vicious circle of out-of-balance hormones. For example:
The sex hormones get out of balance. Normally, the ovaries make a tiny amount of male sex hormones (androgens). In PCOS, they start making slightly more androgens. This may cause you to stop ovulating, get acne, and grow extra facial and body hair.
The body may have a problem using insulin, called insulin resistance. When the body doesn’t use insulin well, blood sugar levels go up. Over time, this increases you chance of getting diabetes.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms tend ot be mild at first. You may have only a few symptoms or a lot of them. The most common symptoms are:
*Weight gain and trouble losing weight
*Extra hair on the face and body
*Thinning hair on the scalp
Often women with PCOS have fewer than nine periods a year. Some women have none. Others have very heavy bleeding.
*Fertility problems. Many women with PCOS have trouble getting pregnant.
Most women with PCOS grow many small cysts on their ovaries. That is why it is called polycystic ovarian syndrome. The cysts are not harmful, but lead to hormone imbalances.
Unfortunately, women with PCOS tend to have a higher risk of miscarriage then women without PCOS. Some studies have suggested that as many of 50% of women with PCOS experience a miscarriage compared to the average rate of 15% among the general population. While the exact reason for the increased miscarriage risk is unknown; experts do have a few theories.
What causes PCOS?
The symptoms of PCOS are caused by changes in hormone levels. There may be one of more causes for the hormone level changes.PCOS seems to run in families, so your chance of having it is higher if other women in your family have PCOS, irregular periods, or diabetes. PCOS can be passed down from either your mother’s or father’s side.
You may be wondering why I posted this. I have PCOS. So many times I have heard “If you just relax it will happen” or “In God’s time” Well here are the facts. God has given me this disease. So God has different plans for me. If you truly are a God fearing individual then you will know that God’s tests come in many different forms. God is not testing my patience. He is not testing my husband and I’s ability to leave it in his hands and have faith we will get pregnant on our own. He has given me this condition to test our strength, maturity, and decision making. Unfortunately we will never have the joy of being surprised by a pregnancy. And my husband and I will have to sacrifice more than you will ever know and put our relationship at risk just for a chance to have a child. If we did not have the strength and true honest love we have I know that we would not have made it through the last 6 months and definitely would not make it for very long. So next time you tell me to relax thing about this.
In normal fertile couples there is a 25 percent chance of getting pregnant each cycle, meaning around 75 to 85 percent of women who have sex without using birth control will get pregnant within one year.
If I just “relax” and don’t take any fertility meds or any steps to get pregnant, I on an average have 2-3 cycles a year on my own. So since I’m not a math major you do the math on what my chances are of getting pregnant if I rely on just my body and natural methods to get pregnant.
I get so angry when people tell me what they think I want to hear. When you tell me it will happen if we just relax, I want to prove you’re wrong. But proving you wrong could mean that my chance of getting pregnant is drastically reduced and that every year that I get older my condition worsens and my chances of fertility medications helping us get pregnant gets less and less.
Yes we are young, and yes we should not have to think about these things. But this is what GOD has put us through. He has given me this condition and made my husband and I face reality that while we may be sacrificing the early years of our marriage that are supposed to just be about us and enjoying our youth, if we don’t make this sacrifice now we may never have children.
I know this was kinda long. And please don’t mistake this for sadness or depression or reverting back to the hole I was in a few months ago. I feel better than ever and I feel like my marriage is thriving in adversity and I find out just how much every day I love my husband for the man that he is and the unconditional love that he displays for me although he knows that being with me may mean that he’ll never have the family that he thought he would have.