I was diagnosed with PCOS in January 2018. The months leading up to the diagnosis, PCOS symptoms kicked in out of the blue. I went from everything being relatively normal to BOOM! Hello, weight gain, uncontrollable mood swings, acne (face and back), and hair growth in unwanted places. I then slipped on my denial pants and waited for the phase to run its course. It didn’t. Instead, it just slowly got worse and worse. It was incredibly frustrating. I felt like I was doing everything right. I was eating healthy, and I mean obsessively almost to an unhealthy point, eating healthy. I was working out, again obsessively almost to the point of overworking my entire body, working out. And yet, the weight continued to pile on. I was easily picking up 2-3kg in ONE week. This has never happened before and I honestly had no idea what to do or what to even think. I gained 20kg (44 pounds) in 2 months. When all of my clothes got too tight and my entire back was basically just acne, I took of that denial pants – it didn’t fit anymore – and went to the doctor. I knew I had to stop lying to myself and have it checked out. As we just started trying to conceive, and we expected that my bodily changes were hormonal, it needed to be addressed. I always had a feeling in the back of my mind that when I start trying for a baby with my husband, we will run into some trouble. My mom, and her mom, struggled to conceive so it always just seemed like a logical thought. I then had my first gynecologist appointment in my entire life, and within minutes I was diagnosed with the gift that just keeps on giving, PCOS.
For the next two months, I cried a lot, but I also slowly started doing some research. I bought a lot of books, only read one and just took it one day at a time. The book I got stuck on is Natural Solutions to PCOS by Dr Marilyn Glenville. By March, I had bought 350 euros worth of supplements and started taking them every single day. Within only a few short weeks, I could see their effects. I then stayed on that exact mix of supplements for over a year, repurchasing or stocking with another 200 euros worth of supplements every two months. Eventually, it was getting harder to afford the ouch-my-poor-wallet price tag, so I asked myself one simple question.
Is it worth it? Is it doing anything? What will happen if I no longer take these supplements?
Okay, it wasn’t one question but you catch my line of thought. I then slowly started the process of going off the supplements. I stubbornly used every single supplement to the last one ran out. It took six months to use all my stock and then another three months to realize I had might a big mistake. As I slowly dwindled down my supplements, I started to see some changes. They weren’t anything major so I didn’t give it much thought. I was still getting in some of my supplements so I just had that I-will-cross-that-bridge-when-I-get-to-it mindset going on. Eventually, I did get to that bridge, and three months in, I wanted to throw myself off the bridge. I GREW HAIR ON MY BOOBS! Yes, you read that right. I grew fucking hair on my tits. It’s not even those light little almost fluff you have all over your body. No. I got thick, dark almost beard like hair. You know the hair texture that grows on your chin? THAT! You can imagine my distress at this point. To really rub salt into my wounds, I then got blessed with the gift of CONSTANT NAUSEA. I also gained another 10kg (22 pounds) from just fucking breathing. It’s safe to say that my self-esteem basically killed itself and I was left in a depressed little ball of agony and self-hatred. Life didn’t stop kicking me there, oh no. My father died – flat lined but the doctors got him back – infertility was destroying my soul and well my depression and anxiety reached new levels. It was a real fucking party.
I got my answer though, so that’s something. I then faced a problem. I knew that not taking any supplements for my PCOS is a BAD IDEA, but the price tag is a bit unrealistic. So, what the hell do I do? I did more research and broke everything down. I made a list of all the supplements I took before and tried to find a new batch of supplements that at least covered 70% of the recommended that won’t break the bank. After hours and hours of searching, I found what I needed.
I now only take three supplements. Fem Complete, Cranberry, and Omega 3. Here in the Netherlands, I get them at the Holland and Barret. They almost always have sales on. As most of my readers are American – I even switched over to American English for you all (slang doesn’t count) – I dived in and searched for a similar product available for my PCOS sisters in America.
Fem Complete (Multivitamin for women)
I take the Cranberry supplement as I tend to get bladder infections at a bat of an eyelash without them. I recommend a natural, just cranberry and nothing else added to it, supplement if you have the same problem. The above recommendations are available at CVS, but it should be available at other drugstores as well? Also, can my American readers explain why there are gummy vitamins for adults?
I’ve been on the new supplements for three months now and it seems to be doing the trick. I started my new batch of supplements and hormonal fertility treatment at the exact same time, so it’s hard to tell. I do want to add, that at the time of writing this, we’re on a break thanks to COVID-19 and after two weeks, I can definitely tell the supplements are doing something. It’s nice to not be constantly nauseous. Unfortunately, the damage is done and I still have fur on my tits. At least, more isn’t growing out so that’s something right?
Hey, on the bright side of things, you can’t go lower than rock bottom, rightttt?
Damn, I’m a fucking peach. My best friend called me a depressed onion and nothing has ever captured me like that. I feel like at the moment my spirit animal is a cat that just got electrocuted. The poor little bugger lost patches of its fur, their eye is twitching a bit and every now and again it jolts from the aftershocks. Oh, the mental image. But cats have nine lives and I will recover. It’s just going to take time for the shocks to wear off and the fur to grow back. Damn, I’ve never related to anything this much. The shocks are my depressive states and the fur growing back is my actual hair growing back but also my confidence in my body returning. Okay, explaining it ruined it a bit but fuck me I stand by this to the end of time.
This took me 45 minutes to draw and I’m so proud. It really captures my mood. I did use a reference to get the proportions right though.
Before I go, let’s just insert this disclaimer. I’m not a medical professional (not yet anyway). Please do your own research and possibly consult a doctor before you take anything. This is simply what worked for me. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.
Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!
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