The anxiety of living with PCOS

PCOS is a tricky syndrome to live with. It preys on your mind even when you aren’t thinking about it from day to day, and it makes you worry.

When I was first diagnosed, I wasn’t that concerned, because the way the gynaecologist put it to me was that it was a very common and manageable issue. Just lose weight and maintain it, she said. You’re good to go. If only things were so simple. It was near impossible to lose weight and even harder to maintain any weight loss. Once that was achieved, guess what, the periods were still a no-show. So all that harping about losing 5% of body weight resulting in miracles.. nope. Not that being a healthy BMI isn’t good. Of course it is, but it is not the be all and end all solution to PCOS. Case in point is that there are women who are thin and suffer from PCOS. What do doctors advise them to do?

In my early twenties, I worried about what I would tell the man I’m going to marry. Would anyone marry a girl who didn’t really have periods without medical help? Why would anyone pick me when the chance of having a child naturally were questionable? I spent years worrying about this. Turns out, I shouldn’t have. My boyfriend at the time did his research and decided that it was no big deal for him. Just like that. I needn’t have worried. If your partner is okay with it, all that you need is his support.

Before we started trying to get pregnant, I was full of anxiety about how it would work out. I had no real periods to speak of. I read a lot of research, and this one statement stood out:

“With PCOS, it is not a matter of whether you will get pregnant or not, but how

That sentence alone kept me going whenever things seemed impossible. I thought to myself, well if this doesn’t work out, we will try something else.

I tried to figure out how many body worked, and realised that I would usually get a natural period for one or two months right after I stopped birth control pills. So, I took birth control pills to induce periods for a month and then stopped them. I tracked ovulation signs and basal body temperature and managed to get pregnant the following cycle. Sadly, that pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage at 10 weeks. I was devastated, and I will share that story with you another time. But it gave me hope that hey, my body could get pregnant. It was just a matter of time, and a matter of how.

Once I somehow managed to get pregnant again, I was consumed with anxiety yet again about miscarrying. I put myself on moderate bedrest for 3 months and prayed constantly. It didn’t help that I had the same issue which resulted in my first miscarriage the second time around as well. I really didn’t enjoy pregnancy at all till well into the third trimester when I could feel the baby moving regularly.

Now, I am 8 months post partum, and I worry about when my periods will return. I wonder whether I’ll have to take medication to get them back. And although we don’t have plans currently, I worry about how hard it will be to conceive again. Not to mention, worrying about the long term complications of not getting regular periods like ovarian cancer or the wonderful after effects of PCOS like diabetes.

As you can see, it is a constant never-ending anxiety that can take over your life in all stages. You need to find a balance in being aware of your PCOS and its implications yet not letting it ruin the quality of your mental, emotional and physical health. I’m definitely still trying to find it.

For all of you who are living with the anxiety of PCOS, I assure you, there is light at the end of the tunnel. It is just a matter of time. Try to embrace the anxiety in your heart and turn it into something positive, a driving force to keep you going in this journey. Good luck and lots of love to all of you. Please feel free to leave me a comment, I’m always available if you need someone to talk to.

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