"You're Gaining Weight, Eat Less, Ladies Don't Have Facial Hair; Things You Hear If You Have PCOS"
Affecting almost 1 out of 10 women in the world, Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) has become widespread. Due to the presence of male testosterone in the body, it often leads to the growth of facial hair and causes weight gain. While it is a hormonal disease, many women are shamed for the symptoms which can lead to depression. During this time, help is absolutely necessary. Here is the story of one such woman, who with the help of “fellow PCOS mates”, beat the loneliness and stigma.
Diagnosed back in 2011, I felt so very alone. People are often too familiar, saying personal things like ”you are gaining weight!”, “Eat less!”, “Why so many breakouts?” and “Ladies are not supposed to have facial hair!” Birth control pills did nothing.
But Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) creates imbalances, producing male hormones and causing cysts to form in our ovaries.
It can make us insulin resistant, cause facial hair, trigger irregular periods and dark skin spots. We can also get thinning hair, acne, insomnia and gaining weight is common.
Subsequently, shame and anxiety are common feelings.
So when I first met my fellow PCOS mates I realised together we could fight this. They understood, giving me diet and exercise plans as well as support. Mum was sweet, making special food just for me. Yoga helped too.
Yet whilst it’s great to have family who understands, it has also been crucial to reach out to others just like me. Because I no longer feel alone.
Story by: Aishath Reema Ibrahim
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