"While other women my age show off their baby bumps and look up names for girls and boys, all I have is a constant discussion about infertility. All this would have been so much easier if I was not suffering from PCOS." If you have been suffering from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, this testimony may ring a bell.
Infertility and conversations about possibly complicated pregnancies are a constant for 1 in 10 women worldwide, who suffer from PCOS. Sadly, due to a paucity of knowledge and the mental weight of the condition, various women suffering from PCOS give up on having a child. However, like most conditions, PCOS and consequent 'infertility' can be dealt with.
After all, we live in 2020 where science has progressed by leaps and bounds enabling both natural and assisted conceptions. What's important is for women to understand what they are facing so they can formulate the perfect fight plan.
Once we have an action plan, nothing can stop us!
The 5 Ws:
What am I dealing with? Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is one of the most common hormone imbalances observed in women. In simple terms, it is a state where the body has higher levels of insulin and male hormone or androgens.
What am I experiencing? PCOS patients would have few or all of these symptoms, not limited to:
Accelerated facial hair growth
Irregular menstrual cycles
Loss of hair
What can I do to help myself? Get a good doctor and get the right diagnosis. Once diagnosed, each patient requires a custom-designed treatment plan. Broadly, it would include:
Lifestyle changes This would include cutting down on one's calorie intake, a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and adequate sleep. Alternative systems of wellbeing such as yoga or the practice of naturopathy also help some patients. It is understood that a holistic approach to good health would be required.
Medical intervention Depending upon the patient's age and health conditions, suitable medications are prescribed by physicians. It is important to have regular check-ups and follow the instructions of one's doctor.
Why me? Stop thinking that you are any different in your abilities because of this disease. One's genetic predisposition combined with their lifestyle choices may be the cause for PCOS, but nothing has been conclusively found out by research, yet. Thus, focusing on negative thoughts such as "why me" do not help. Instead, channelising one's energy towards positive thoughts help develop a healthy mind and body.
What do I do now? Will there be issues conceiving? Would the child be at risk because of their mother’s health? Does PCOS cause miscarriages? Instead of going down the rabbit hole of difficult questions, understand that conceiving with PCOS is only as difficult as you make it to be. Medical science has made substantial progress in the arena of fertility, and today the process of conceiving a child is very well understood. There are medical interventions available to address challenges that might come during this journey, and also alternatives such as IVF in case those interventions do not help.
Make a plan: It needs two to tango and two to have a baby! Make sure your partner is with you through this journey. You would need his support to keep the positivity around and to conceive. Experts tell us that a happy couple conceives faster. Make your sex life is natural and exciting for yourself and your partner. Do not make revolve around conception.
Open-up to change: Lifestyle changes and medical interventions could create anxiety, and, sometimes, emotional breakdowns. Therefore, it is essential to make gradual yet significant changes. Do not focus on the process; focus on the objective for which you are making this effort. Your baby is worth all this effort. Consult a good physician and follow their instructions. Your age is an essential factor in treatment, so start early and increase your chances of success.
Manage yourself well: ‘First time right’ is the most desired state of success but often eludes us when we want it most. Conceiving is one such desire. Don’t get disappointed because you did not succeed in the first month or someone else took just 2 months to conceive. The process works differently for different people. What's important for you is to manage your mental and physical health. Keep a record of your menstrual and ovulation cycles. Seek support but do not give up. This syndrome does not define you.
From hormone replacement therapies to IVF, there are medical options that can help women with PCOS conceive. While the journey may be difficult, it is certainly not impossible, so tread your path with patience. Get the right support from friends, family, doctors and believe. We are with you.
In case you have questions or simply want to reach out, comment here or reach out on firstname.lastname@example.org. We're listening.