When I was in high school, around the age of 17, I realized that I never got regular periods. My periods were on and off – SOOO irregular to the point where I didn’t even get a period for two to three months at a time. I mean, as a teenager, I was more than happy that I didn’t have to suffer through the cramps and the horror of periods like the rest of my girlfriends, so honestly I didn’t care. But, I did tell my mother that I didn’t get a period for the last two months, and she FREAKED out – like her eyes got all wide and she started sputtering, saying that I had to see the doctor. “Why do I need to see the doctor? I like that I don’t get my period,” I stupidly said.
Needless to say, I ended up listening to my mother, (cause of course, mother knows best, right?) and made an appointment. On the day of my appointment, I begrudgingly walked into the doctor’s office, checked in, and sat down to wait. As I was in the office, the doctor asked me a numeration of questions – whether I was pregnant, if I ever felt pain in my side, If I had a change in physical activity, or if I was stressed. I answered no to all of them, and she was dumbfounded. She had me take a blood test, and found that I had elevated male hormones. I also had plenty of other hormones tested, and found that all the levels were irregular or elevated. I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It all made sense now – the acne, the difficulty with weight loss, the excess hair.
Ah, the hair. I always had more hair than I felt like the regular female had. I had some faint facial hair, PLENTY of leg and arm hair, and even hair on my lower back and belly. Hirsutism is what it’s called – unwanted, male pattern hair growth. It was caused by the excess testosterone, that was the culprit. Yeah, I didn’t like it, but it’s something that I learned to accept and take care of.
Now, 7 years later, I’ve definitely learned to live with my PCOS. I’ve learned the best diet for it, the best ways to handle the issues, and how to control the feelings that come with the disorder. It’s common that women who are diagnosed with PCOS feel less satisfaction with their body, feeling less feminine because of the excess hair, and also unhappy because of the ease of gaining weight, and the difficulty of losing it. I’ve definitely felt that way – feelings of frustration and impatience because of how difficult I’ve found it is to lose weight, even with a clean diet and proper exercise.
Because of these feelings, ladies, lets take some time to pamper ourselves sometimes! – get your nails done, your hair done, do your makeup and go out on the town. You’re beautiful with or without everything done, however if you feel confident in yourself, you feel happy, and you forget all about the negativity. I know that it’s helped me feel better at times, because I feel beautiful, and ultimately more empowered.
Besides the nails, hair and makeup, a healthy, wholesome diet, and regular exercise will help with your PCOS symptoms. Avoid dairy, as it can increase testosterone levels, and make sure that you have a hobby that can help you to relieve any stress that you may face! It’s also important to have a good support system who understands your condition – friends, family, or significant others.
If you ever decide you would like to get your hair done, but are confused by what color to pick, visit one of our newest blog pieces “Hair Color Confusion” to match the right color to your skin tone!