A Loss is a Loss: Miscarriage Hurts Too

It is sad when anyone loses a child, but I wonder why some think that losing one due to miscarriage is some how less sad, or less painful.  I really don’t get it honestly.  I am sure it is hard for anyone, but maybe infertility puts a different twist on things because I just don’t see it that way.  Maybe this isn’t for everyone to read because some may not agree with me, but in the end this is Mr O’s and my blog, so I am free to say as I (we) please.

To me having a miscarriage doesn’t hurt less.  I don’t care if it was one week or two weeks or a month or more, it still hurts.  Period.  When someone tries to prove otherwise by saying well at least you didn’t have to give birth, that would have made it harder.  Harder than what, is what I would like to know.  I still lost my baby I don’t care how long or when I still lost them: it hurts!  Also, for those who see it as only a fetus that matters not, because I don’t!  The loss hurts more than words can say.  Maybe it hurts even more in my eyes because I suffer with infertility and it is one more reminder of my struggle and one more reminder that I don’t have what I want.  I could go on and on.

Then there’s those who say that since they carried their’s longer than I did that somehow that makes it worse.  Sorry, but nope, not in my eyes.  A loss is a loss and I think how dare you try to prove that my loss was less significant than yours.  How can they even say that mine hurt less than their’s did.  It truly infuriates me.  Do not tell me how I should feel or that you think you know what I am going through, because if you even remotely knew how I felt you would not have said those words.

Or there are those who tell me at least you didn’t have to hold them for a few minutes and then lose them; because it was really hard for them to go through. How they would have rather not gone through holding them because it hurt so bad.  I am sure it did and it was hard and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but all I can think of is how I would give anything to have that chance to hold my child, if even for a moment.  I would suffer the pain to be able to do so.  I know it wouldn’t be easy, but  I would treasure that one moment, that to me, was stolen.  I didn’t get to have that opportunity, and I wonder why they can’t see how I would love to have that blessing: to hold them. Please don’t down play how I feel just because I didn’t get to physically hold my child.

There are, also, those who will say their pain is more painful because they got time with their child, time to build memories and since they had to live with them longer it is harder to deal with.  More painful to be without them.  So since they got to spend more time with their child it someone makes my loss easier?? However, it does not.  It still hurts just the same because the things you miss are the things I wish I had.  I still long for something that has not yet come.  I only get to dream of memories I wish I could make with my child and again I would treasure that time if I was given it because I would take even just a minute with them.  To see them, feel them, touch them, smell them and to hold them.  I’d count their toes, give them Eskimo kisses, wrap their fingers around mine.  I would intake every minute I had with them and memorize it for eternity.

Or how there are those who like to say that I should be use to it since I’ve already gone through a miscarriage.  Somehow people think it is supposed to be easier the more you have??  Sorry, but just because you experience a loss more than once or twice or more times does not mean it gets easier.  Does anyone else see how silly that thought is?  Or is it just me.  You see they were each their own person, whom I will miss and grieve for.  I mean it is not like you don’t grieve for each family member or friend you lose. It is not like if you suffer your first loss of a family member and that some how you just don’t hurt when another passes.  Each loss hurts, so now you see why that is silly to say to someone.  It is not like losing another makes it any easier.  They each are a different person, one to be loved and missed, and that is no different from having multiple miscarriages.

Now if you’ve even made it this far let me explain I truly am a kind person and I try my best to see things from all points of view, but I think that sometimes letting it out or shedding some light on a situation can help someone realize what they do when they say the things they do.  I am aware that sometimes people say things with the full intention they are helping, but in the long run they are making it worse.  When someone suffers a miscarriage:  Never tell someone they should be grateful for what you think they did or did not have to go through when they have suffered a loss.  Never down play their loss as not important.  Never tell them it does not hurt as much as your loss.  Never act like a miscarriage is less painful than losing a child later in life.

My point is not that my pain is worse than someone else’s or more important.  My point to this post is that each person’s pain is real, no matter how you look at it.  In the end a loss is a loss and you don’t have the right to put someone’s pain off for less than what it is.  Instead realize that they just suffered a loss and are hurting, and find a way to be a comfort to them without saying things that only make the situation worse.  Think back to the time you were in that situation of losing your child and think back to the things people would say to you that drove you completely nutty and wish they would just shut their mouths and let you cry, vent and fall apart.  Take time to realize that sometimes all they need is someone to cry with.  Someone to listen to them and hold them.  It is often better to say no words, but just be there as a shoulder for them to cry on.  And if you have to say something, just try saying “I am sorry for your loss”. IMG_2577

 

Life with Infertility

Very True!

I really hope you will take a minute to read this.  Truly it is a must read for anyone who knows us personally, but also for anyone who knows someone facing infertility.  I feel to often it is far easier for people not to actually try to see what it is like from our point of view – to see a glimpse of what we face.   To understand that we do not just need to relax or stop trying – that there is so much more to it than that.

Please read this article: Infertility Etiquette <=== click here, I know it is a bit long, but it would mean a lot to us.

It is a little glimpse of what it is like for us and for others facing fertility issues.  Hopefully, it will help you understand a bit more what it is like to hear what we hear or be in our shoes.

Fear: Alone in the End

So I was sitting here just thinking and for some reason the weirdest thought came to me.  Why I even thought about it is beyond me or where it even came from is a bit boggling… either way it had me wondering about a fear I never really knew I had until now.  A fear of being alone in the end… and not just any type of alone the alone feeling a non-parent would probably only have… let me clarify.

I was thinking about the fact that when you are old you get to enjoy watching your children grow and their children.  The joy of being a grandparent and knowing your family line goes on.  Watching your little family keep on growing and living on.  Just the knowing that a piece of you will live on in each one of those individuals. It probably gives you some sort of peace in knowing this and that when the time comes for you to take on your next journey in life you will have a sense of happiness in knowing these things.

But what happens when it cannot or does not?  I mean it is a possibility this is what will happen to my hubs and I; not that I want it to or am giving up on the dream of being a mom some day.  I then thought how I never want to be in a nursing home, but what if I was??  Who would come visit me??  Besides my husband, I mean I would have no children or grandchildren to care for me or visit me (not that I want to have to be taken care of).  The bigger fear was in having  no one to share my husband’s and I’s little family traditions, hopes, dreams, life’s stories with.  Having those things passed on to anyone.  As if when my husband and I are gone that part of the family line vanishes a little each day until each person who may have known you is gone.  Pretty sad actually, but there you have it.  An unkind and unwanted morbid thought that crossed my mind.

It really just hit like a ton of bricks that if I come to the terms of accepting I will never be a mom I have to grasp the reality of this fear.  Or more so a thought of unhappiness.  It really makes me sick to my stomach actually to think about it.  Even while I write this and the only reason I am sharing this is I am hoping I am not the only one who has thought this or perhaps even if you had not, that by reading this, it will be realized I am not alone in this semi morbid thought.

How I wish that no one would ever have to feel this way or face infertility.  How I wish more than anything that someone or somehow we would be blessed with a child and not that it even has to be by birth.  Even if it was someone who said here we have a child you can adopt or that some day we would get an anonymous gift of money (or a not anonymous) that would pay for an adoption.  More than that I hope this for all those out there who suffer as we do and deserve to have their little miracle bundle of joy.

 

Priceless Cyster Moments

momentsThere are days and moments that are priceless.  We often see posts about the things that cost something and then lead up to that moment that we would define as priceless.  I am sure we have all had priceless moments in life; maybe some sad, happy, funny, embarrassing etc.  However, it came to my attention as a Cyster there are moments in life that I would define as priceless, and something only a Cyster can experience.  If you have ever experienced this moment for yourself you know what I am talking about.

I believe I can safely say that it is far easier for a Cyster to meet a Cyster online, whether on a forum, site, support group, blog, facebook… you name it you will find many Cysters online; and I am sure most would agree.  I have met far more online in one way or another than I have met face to face.  And it is moments when you make a connection online with a Cyster that is priceless.  The ones you talk with and message back and forth and are there for each other; those are the best.  It is that moment when you realize you are not alone in your fight, which often times you feel you are.  I would not trade any of those connections I’ve made with fellow Cysters online for anything.  You are all priceless moments in my life.

However, there have been many times I’ve hoped and wished that I could meet some of those Cysters face to face; to be able to hang out and… I don’t know… do girl things.  Having friends that are Cysters is something we hope and dream for because they are the ones who can support us in ways no one else can.  They provide you that shoulder to cry on when no one else will, and an ear for listening when you feel like everyone else just lets it go in one ear and out the other.  How many Cysters have felt this way?  I am thinking countless.  There is just something about being able to see the Cyster face to face that makes a difference, but we often settle because we do not have a choice.

Now the chance that you get to meet a Cyster face to face is what I would consider an ultimate priceless moment and not one you would soon forget.  Have you ever been out and for some reason or another PCOS gets brought up and some random lady you just met tells you she has that: PCOS?  This little thing goes off in you… like a realization that Cysters do exist in real life.  Call it strange, but I swear that is how it feels.  There is that moment in realizing this, that a connection between you two instantly happens.  Whether you become good friends or not, you will feel a connection of being a Cyster… in knowing you are not alone and this moment you will never forget.  If you have not experienced it I pray and hope you do at some point in your life.  You know that saying: “you never forget your first” well I believe that saying is true when meeting a Cyster face to face for the first time.

I remember my first and to this day, every time I meet a Cyster, by random, chance I get that same feeling of: they do exist.

Meeting a Cyster is priceless whether online or face to face.  There is a sense of connection instantly because who better can understand your walk in life than a those going through what you are.  Being a Cyster puts you in a forever kind of family like when you are blood related to a family, but it is when you choose to be apart of the family that you realize we are all a little different, perhaps a bit nutty, crazy, dysfunctional and everything in between… and that despite this you are just glad you are apart of family.. because it means you are not alone.

 

Know this Cysters You are all PRICELESS moments in my life.

 

Have you ever had a: Priceless Cyster Moment?  If so I’d love for you to share it in a comment to this post.

Worst Thing About PCOS

ImageSo what’s the worst thing about PCOS?  Do you have a worst?  The hubs and I were sitting here talking and I was listing off the things that I hate about PCOS, and how it just feels so unfair sometimes.  But who doesn’t feel like that when they have something wrong with them… in all honesty I am sure everyone can relate to the feeling of life not being fair.

I was saying, basically listing off, anything I could think of that I have disliked because of PCOS… and the thing is there are a lot of them, and I am sure everyone I listed off, most Cysters could relate to at least one of them or all.  The biggest thing for me is feeling like a failure when it comes to giving my hubs a child.  However, how often do we hear what our spouse thinks the worst thing is?  Do they speak of it?  Do they tell you?  Do you ask? or are you afraid to ask?  It was in that moment I asked him what he hated most about it.

This is what he had to say:

The thing I hate the most is that it has robbed me (Mrs. O) of many things: happiness, confidence, dreams, etc.  How it has robbed our marriage of the same things.  However, despite those things he says it has shown  him many wonderful things about me (Mrs. O) as well.  How I have grown into the person I am today, how though it may have taken me time to find myself again… the point is I did.  He sees my daily fight as an inspiration because many people would quit if they were in my shoes.

And here I thought he would just list off a bunch of negatives.  His comment really hit me and in a good way.  However, I had to ask how he felt about me not being able to give him a child… did he see me as a failure?  Did I rob him of his dream of having a family.  Even though part of me really didn’t want to know, I had to know how he really felt.

He said:

No he did not see me as a failure.  Even though he wants to have a child that does not mean we cannot have a child through adoption or other means.  And even if we never had a child he would still die a happy man.  Kid or no kid we are family just as we are… a child does not make us more a family than we are now.

He has a great point we are a family and we have always thought about adopting even if we had our own.  Despite that, it is still hard to not feel like I have failed him in some way, but his answers show me more of why I married him… why I fell in love with him.  God truly knew who I needed when he gave me him.  This moment made me fall in love with him even more.

So fellow Cysters have you ever asked your spouse the thing they find the worst about PCOS?  Also, what is the one thing that you find the worst?  Let me know in a comment.

Chemical Free = A Natural Me

I decided I would copy this blog post from my old blog and put it in a post on this blog.  I did this because this is one of my more popular posts and it seemed to help a lot of Cysters and others who are doing things naturally.

Warning this is long, but may be worth a read for you… especially fellow Cysters 🙂

Okay so I promised my first post in this series would be about why I am choosing to making the switches I am.  I’ve been taking supplements and watching what I eat and put a lot of time and research into that, but then when I thought about it isn’t what we use on the outside of our body just as important as what we put in our bodies… I mean the knowing what we are using and what it does.

I just felt like I was caring for my inward parts a little more than the outward parts.  What is in my shampoo, make-up, body wash etc.  And after thinking about it and how we Cysters should stay away from chemicals I started thinking about everything I use and how it has it too.  I was so caught up in concentrating on the food I eat and staying away from chemicals and processed foods that I didn’t stop to think about how many chemicals are in our other every day things we use.

So I started looking into things and came across SLS items and how they are not good and are believed to be the cause of hair loss.  Well, with PCOS already causing issues with hair loss, thinning and breakage this caught my attention.  I know I talked a little bit about this in a previous post, but thought I’d try to go a little more in depth as to why I am trying to stay away from SLS products.

SLS FREE Because….

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SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) is a common in shampoos, soaps, detergents, toothpastes, body wash etc.  Basically, if it is a foaming type agent you can bet it’s in it… why because that is what helps it give it’s foam (and it’s cheaper to use).  They are chemically known as surfactants.

SLS can go by over 150 different names, but one common one is SLES, which I guess it is closely related too, but SLES is not as harsh as SLS, but still cannot be metabolized by the liver 😦 which makes it’s effects last even longer.

I was shocked to learn that something like that was used, but I guess the reason that it’s used is because it’s cheap… how sad is that.  However, what was even stranger to me is that if it’s so cheap to use why in the world do some of those shampoos that use it cost so darn much.  I felt like the price difference in the more natural stuff that didn’t have that was not that big of a difference: cause you still have your store brand ones, mid-grade ones, and high end ones.  To me the switch wasn’t that hard to think about when the price really wasn’t that big a deal.

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And then when I read that SLS is used in car engine cleaner too that kinda freaked me out.  I guess it helps cut oil and grease… eeeek is all I could say.  I really don’t wanna be putting that on my hair.  But the biggest reason I don’t want to be using it is because of it’s biggest effect on the body…. it has the ability to mimic the hormone Oestrogen (which is a form of estrogen)…. which most ladies with PCOS already have an abundance of.  Studies have shown that PCOS tends to cause an overproduction of estrogen, which in turns causes issues with fertility and your monthly cycle 😦 which is not something you want when you are trying to make babies.  It is also thought that Oestrogen is the increasing cause of breast cancer and other female cancers.

So if that wasn’t enough for me to change then I don’t know what is.  I don’t need my hormones being anymore messed with that they already are and I sure don’t want something that causes miscarriages too. Having to much of the estrogen doesn’t allow for proper supply of progesterone which you need during pregnancy to help carry to term.  And since I’ve had two I don’t want to feel I am adding to the problem.

source

Here is one of the biggest things this chemical causes and I felt like sharing it so fellow Cysters can see the major issue it causes:

In the last 100 years or so, many new health problems have come to light. These include PMS / PMT, the so-called “menopausal symptoms” which never used to exist, and more recently a massive drop in male fertility which threatens our continued existence in many western countries. SLS is most likely a major contributor to all of these problems due to its oestrogen mimicking activity.Oestrogen is a hormone found quite normally in both men and women. Like all other hormones, it’s circulating levels are rigidly controlled by the glands of the body due to the potent effect of its presence on virtually all cells. Not only does SLS irritate the skin, it is also absorbed through the skin (high levels of skin penetration may occur at even low concentration). Once in the body, the SLS molecule attaches to oestrogen receptors, mimicking the effects of the hormone in various body systems.
The result is hormonal chaos. The body can no longer control it’s own oestrogen levels (or at least, what it sees as it’s own oestrogen levels – it can’t tell the difference between endogenous oestrogen and SLS) and therefore loses control of many normal endocrine (hormonal) functions.
In men, whose oestrogen levels are normally extremely low, this massive increase causes breast enlargement, reduction of male hormone levels and a massive drop in both sperm count and sperm motility (ability of the sperm to fertilise an ovum). Gender confusion may also be related to SLS levels, either in the male himself or in his mother during pregancy.
In women, the reproductive system, which is totally controlled by oestrogen and progesterone, goes haywire. Rapidly shifting oestrogen levels and their effect on progesterone levels mean that the body is totally confused, leading to menstrual problems, menopausal symptoms and potentially infertility. Because this subject is so important, we have devoted a whole section of this site to womens health.
So that is why I am eliminating SLS from my products.  While I was looking for make-up that was SLS free the lady showing me the make-up asked why I was wanting SLS Free and I told her because of what I have and shockingly she guessed it was PCOS.  She knew because she has it one and she use to work in the medical profession.  So when showing me a make-up she also pointed out that parabens were bad too and I should stay away from them.  However, she couldn’t tell me why so when I got home I decided to look into it and this is what I found:
Paraben Free Because….
I found out that parabens are a chemical used as preservatives in cosmetics, soaps, shampoos, moisturizers, toothpaste, shaving gels, pharmaceuticals and other things.  On top of that they are used as food additives :s
They are efficient as preservatives and they are low cost.  They were considered a great substitute to natural alternatives such as grapefruit seed extract, but are now causing controversy.  They also have been found in breast cancer tumors and also (like SLS) mimic estrogen.  On a side note: it is said an over abundance of estrogen is thought to cause breast cancer and infertility issues.  Which is probably why women with PCOS have a higher risk for it; being that we already have an abundance of estrogen.
Some common parabens are: methylparaben, ethylparaben, proylparaben and butylparaben.  So when looking at products it is best to stay away with anything that paraben in the word or ending in the word.
They are suppose to be easily desecrated by the body, however, they still cause damage.  A lot of bad things can be flushed from the system, however, they still do damage and long term use eventually gets you in one way or another.  Cause some how some of it manages to stay in the body… you’d think.  Having another thing mess with my endocrine system is not something I need or want.
And though there are tests on both sides saying it’s safe and others saying it is not I find it best to stay away and that is why I am choosing too.  Obviously if some testing has shown bad effects I don’t want to use it.  Even more so when it’s something that messes up my endocrine system worse than PCOS already does.
After finding out that stuff I got a wonderful article from Holly the Health Coach of the SCWLC… it was an article to share with those in the challenge and reading it was awesome.  She really knows her stuff and is really out to help those Cyster’s with their health.  But reading her article highlighted on stuff I already was finding from my research to stay away from.  Another thing is phthalates.
Phthalates Free Because….
This is a plasticizer and used in every day plastics and used in shampoos and carpeting even.  The evidence is of course a controversy too, but I find a lot of things are, but I can’t bring myself to ignore the studies that have shown the side effects of these things.
And because this chemical doesn’t bind to things it is easily absorbed through our skin and into our food and through inhalation.  Eeek.
Now this has a huge long list of things about it, but the ones I want to touch on is that there have studies showing the effect it has on the endocrine system and a disruption in the metabolic system.  It is thought that it may cause insulin resistance which in turn has shown to cause some to develop diabetes.  So with PCOS causing a high risk of developing diabetes and we already have hormone issues etc.  this is something we really really want to stay clear of.
They are starting to take the use of it out of plastic etc. because of the harm it is thought to cause.
Now knowing you can breath this stuff in and it’s in a lot of things around us… I fully am aware that I can’t eliminate it altogether, but I will eliminate it as much as possible.  Having PCOS I really need to not add to the issues I have.
If you want some other things that it can cause please look at sources below.
So these are some of the things I want to avoid and why.  This is again my life style choices and I am by no means a medical professional.  But being that I have had nothing but great success from switching to organic and natural things that I eat and taking natural herbs… I want to try my best to make every effort I can to do that with the things I use every day.  So what I use on my face, in my hair or on my outward body is in need of a natural approach… my outward body is just as important as my inward.  Why only take care of the inside if I ain’t going to take care of the outside… cause there are these things called pores and we absorb things through our skin too… and the stuff we put on and use affect sour inner body as well.
I know this seems like a lot and I am by no means knocking anyone who does not use them, but I am trying my best to beat this PCOS naturally and why not.  I think taking care of my body in general is important… though I am sure PCOS has opened my eyes to that importance more so.
It’s just that I’ve read great outcomes from going natural and some from every day people not living with PCOS too… but the ones that live with PCOS stand out more to me cause they suffer with what I have and knowing that taking these things out of their system as much as possible has greatly helped them…. is so worth trying to me then.  They’ve had great changes in their health and their PCOS systems improving and going away because of eliminating those things.  Cycles regulating and fertility improving…. all this along with the great success I’ve already had has me wanting to go further into the natural way of life 🙂
I know it ain’t for everyone, but it’s working for me and others 🙂  And by sharing this I hope it will help others too.  I know sharing my supplements and why I take them has helped numerous Cysters already and that makes my research and time of typing these things up so worth my time and energy.
Now that I’ve share that part stay tuned for my other blog posts about the things I’m using that are free of such things.  Not sure which will come first: make-up, or skin care.  We will see 🙂  cause I will also be going over laundry soaps, house cleaners etc that I am switching to too 🙂
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post and if you have anything else you’d like to share please do so.

What is PCOS?

I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2003 and since then the definition of what PCOS is or how we get it has changed.  Here is a general idea of what PCOS is, which I found through searching the internet.  Each thing is given a sourced link for referencing to as well.  Please feel free to share more info in a comment to this post 🙂 please make sure you share the source link, so proper credit is given.
Poly-Cystic Ovary Syndrome – PCOS – is the most common endocrine disease that affects women of reproductive age (puberty to menopause). It is also one of the most confusing. It affects approximately 10% of women in the reproductive age group. There have been some new developments that are giving us a much better understanding of this problem.
PCOS is an unfortunate term because the word “ovarian” appears in the name of this syndrome. For years, many people automatically assumed that it is purely an ovarian disease. We now recognize that it is in fact, a systemic endocrine and metabolic disorder. Multiple factors are at work. It should really be called the “Poly-Cystic Ovary/Excess Androgen Production /Adrenal Hyperplasia / Insulin Resistant / Hyperpipidemic / Often Overweight / Anovulatory /Hirsute / Sometimes Acne” Syndrome.
PCOS is a total body endocrine disease. It is unfortunate and confusing that the word “Ovary” appears in the name. The abnormalities in the ovary are really more the result of the problem – not the cause.
The problem is further complicated by the fact that there is really no universal definition of PCOS even though most endocrinologists would agree on a set of criteria necessary to make the diagnosis. If there is one absolute that is necessary to make the diagnosis of PCOS, it is the complete or almost complete lack of ovulation. Women who are ovulating regularly on their own, cannot, by definition, have PCOS. There are however Reproductive Endocrinologists who feel that women who have all the features of PCOS except for the fact that they ovulate may have a subset of the syndrome. However, these women are much less likely to be insulin resistant.
The other criteria that must be satisfied is that the women have either clinical or laboratory evidence of increased androgen (male hormone) production, either facial hair and/or acne. Laboratory confirmation is important because women from certain ethnic groups such as Oriental, Hispanic, or Native American may show very little clinical evidence of increased androgen production even in the face of significantly elevated blood levels.
Source

PCOS is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance.  It can cause problems with your periods and make it difficult to get pregnant.  PCOS may also cause unwanted changes in the way you look.  If it is not treated, over time it can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.

source

PCOS is the most common hormonal problem in women.  It is also a metabolic disorder that affects several body systems and cause significant long-tern health consequences.  PCOS is often characterized by enlarges ovaries, with multiple small painless cysts or follicles that form in the ovary.  Two other key features of PCOS are production of excess androgens (male sex hormones) and an-ovulation (the failure to ovulate properly), which makes PCOS the leading cause of infertility.

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

– Acne

– Weight gain
– Trouble losing weight
– Thinning hair on the scalp
Irregular periods (often women have fewer than 9 periods a year, some have none, other very heavy bleeding)
– Depression
– Anovulation
– Hyperandrogenism (increased testosterone)
– Cystic ovaries
– Enlarged ovaries
– Insulin resistance

– Hypertension (high blood pressure)

– Hirsutism (excess hair)

– Hyperinsulinemia

– Diabetes
– Alopecia
– Acne
– Oily Skin
– Acanthosis nigricans (dark patches of skin)
Acrochordons (skin tags)

source 2

How is PCOS diagnosed?

 

1. You can do a self examination and see if you notice any outward changes in your body, check your BMI etc.  If you see any of these symptoms in your physical appearance you will want to get blood tests and ultrasounds done to confirm whether you have PCOS.

2. Ask your doctor to check the following: blood sugar, insulin, hormone levels, cholesterol levels, leutenising hormone (LH), progesterone blood test 7 days before your expected menstrual cycle, prolactin levels, and have them do a pelvic ultrasound to check for cysts.  You will also want them to check other glands and your thyroid to make sure it isn’t something else that can cause some of the same symptoms.

Myths About PCOS

Image I thought it would be worth sharing the myths and facts of PCOS that I have come across through searching through the internet.  Like a one stop shop… so you can see the different ones.  Some may be repeated, but I left each the way the original person wrote it; and I have sourced the place I found the information.  If you find any other ones I did not please share them in a comment to this, along with the sourced link 🙂

MYTHS & TRUTHS 

MYTH 1: If you are overweight you will just have to put up with it because there is nothing you can do.

WRONG! If you have PCOS and you are overweight, it can be more challenging to lose weight than the ‘average’ person, but it is certainly not impossible. The only way you will lose weight and keep it off is by dealing with the underlying factors that cause you to hold onto fat. Fat will not be burned when insulin levels are high, so you need to target insulin resistance by following a low GI diet, doing regular aerobic and resistance exercise every 2 days, maximising your sleep, and taking nutritional supplements. A multivitamin is a good place to start, but insulin resistant people need more magnesium, chromium, and B vitamins as well. If you are taking metformin you should supplement with a multivitamin and separate vitamin B12 tablet. A naturopath can also prescribe you a herbal formula to target insulin resistance.

MYTH 2: If you have PCOS you won’t be able to have kids without the help of IVF.

WRONG! Although having PCOS can make it difficult to conceive, and IVF has helped many women with PCOS to become mothers, it is not the only option for you. There are also many women who have conceived with less invasive treatments, and some even just with natural treatments. With PCOS, ovulation does not always occur regularly, so the first step is to determine if you are ovulating which you can do via blood tests, daily temperature testing, and/or ovulation detector kits (although these may not be 100% accurate for PCOS). If you are, great! it’s a matter of getting the timing right for conception. If not, seek help with naturally stimulating ovulation. Losing 5% of body fat can help restore ovulation, as can reducing stress, dealing with nutritional deficiencies, and restoring hormonal balance with herbal medicine and/or acupuncture. You can still have PCOS and be a mother!

MYTH 3: PCOS is only a real concern if you are trying to conceive.

WRONG! For many women, trying to conceive is the biggest concern they have with PCOS, but PCOS brings with it many other concerns that can be just as challenging. The effect that PCOS has on a woman’s femininity and self esteem cannot be underestimated. Depression can be a real consequence of this and should be taken seriously. The physical issues that occur with PCOS such as excess hair, hair loss, weight gain, and acne can cause a lot of distress and are sometimes dismissed by health professionals as being only a cosmetic problem, when in fact they are a consequence of more serious underlying imbalances. Insulin resistance is a major health concern underlying many PCOS symptoms and should be dealt with as early as possible, to prevent the risk of diabetes. If your symptoms are being dismissed as minor, when you know they are affecting your quality of life… find a new health professional who will take you seriously. It is your right to have a supportive health guide who will not judge or dismiss you.

MYTH 4: PCOS goes away after menopause, or a hysterectomy will fix all my problems.

WRONG! After menopause, a lot of changes occur. Some of your PCOS symptoms may subside such as period problems obviously, but the underlying metabolic causes of PCOS will still be there. Menopause will not cure your PCOS, although it will affect you differently. You may still experience excess hair and acne, weight gain, and sugar cravings. Although the name of the syndrome implies an ovarian basis, cystic ovaries are really just another one of the possible symptoms that you can experience. Don’t be fooled into thinking a hysterectomy will fix all your problems either. As with menopause, it will stop period problems, but it won’t stop the other symptoms. After menopause or a hysterectomy, you are more at risk of weight gain, osteoporosis, hot flushes, and cardiovascular disease. PCOS is a whole body condition that requires a more ‘holistic approach’.

MYTH 5: The oral contraceptive pill will ‘regulate’ my cycle.

SOUNDS RIGHT, BUT IS TECHNICALLY WRONG! Taking the pill will provide your body with artificial hormones to simulate what a normal cycle is supposed to be. It gives you a period regularly which can prevent the lining of the uterus from building up which is beneficial, and it is also a good contraceptive, and can reduce symptoms such as acne and excess hair. BUT, most pills actually make insulin resistance WORSE! Why take something that is going to stimulate one of the main factors contributing to your symptoms? The pill may also increase the development of atherosclerosis, a process that leads to heart disease in which PCOS women are more at risk of. So, the pill is not really regulating your cycle because it is not allowing your body to do the work, it is doing the work for your body. A regulated cycle is one that is occurring regularly of it’s own accord.

(source for above)

I have PCOS — I am never going to be able to have a baby.
MYTH. Some women with PCOS are able to become pregnant with no assistance. Many more are able to become pregnant with minor assistance and others still with IVF. It depends on the severity of your PCOS and what exactly is going on. Your fertility doctor will work with you to figure out where the problem is. Once your doctor has more information, you can work together to figure out the best ways to help you get pregnant.

I would know if I had PCOS.
MYTH. It would not necessarily be obvious that you have PCOS. Though for some women the symptoms are clear-cut, PCOS is associated with a wide range of sometimes-vague symptoms. It can occasionally take years to reach a diagnosis. And there are a few other rare conditions that have similar symptoms. If you are having trouble becoming pregnant and have any of the symptoms of PCOS, talk to your fertility doctor about doing some tests to explore the possibility of PCOS.

I had an ultrasound and it did not show any cysts on my ovaries, so PCOS cannot be the problem.
MYTH. Some women do not show cysts on their ovaries but have other symptoms that lead to them being diagnosed and treated for PCOS. Other women have cysts on their ovaries but do not have PCOS. The presence of cysts can be an important symptom in identifying PCOS, but it is only part of the picture.

Women whose mother or sister has PCOS are more likely to have PCOS.
FACT. There appears to be a genetic component to PCOS.

All women with PCOS are overweight.
MYTH. Many women with PCOS are overweight, but thin women can have PCOS as well. If you have signs and symptoms of PCOS, you should talk to your fertility doctor about the possibility.

I have PCOS — losing weight can improve my chances of becoming pregnant.
FACT. Losing as little as 5 percent of your body weight can help balance your hormone levels which can help improve your fertility. Because of the way insulin is processed in many women with PCOS, a diet with a low glycemic index may be the most beneficial way to lose weight.

There’s no cure for PCOS.
FACT. But there ARE treatments that can improve your health and fertility. Losing weight is one of the most important things you can do. You may be given clomiphene citrate, which helps you to produce more FSH. If you are also insulin resistant, you may be given a drug called Metformin (or glucophage) that makes you sensitive to insulin and can help return ovulation to normal. Depending on what other symptoms you have, you might be given medication for acne or excess hair growth, too.

(source for above)

Myth: PCOS Only Affects Women in Their 30′s and Beyond

Fact: The fact of the matter is that PCOS does not discriminate based on age. While it was once thought that PCOS only affected pre-menopausal women in their 30s and beyond, the medical community is now recognizing that the condition can affect females of all ages, and even young adolescent girls.

Myth: Women Who Develop PCOS Cannot Have Children

Fact: The truth is that while PCOS can complicate conception, it does not have to prevent you from having a baby. There are treatments and lifestyle changes that can help you manage your condition and, as a result, achieve pregnancy when you are ready.

Myth: All Women Who Have PCOS Have Ovarian Cysts

Fact: The name of this disorder is very misleading. Many women assume that PCOS only exists in women who develop ovarian cysts. This is definitely not true. PCOS is a hormone-related disorder and ovarian cysts, while common in women who have the condition, do not have to be present in order for the disorder to be diagnosed.

Myth: All Women with PCOS Are Overweight

Fact: While PCOS and the resulting insulin resistance can lead to excess weight and obesity, not all women who have PCOS are overweight nor do women who live with this condition have to remain overweight if they are having trouble losing excess pounds. A proper diet and certain insulin-regulating medications can help the weight problems that are commonly caused by this frustrating disorder. If PCOS has led to significant weight changes in your body, there is hope. While you won’t be able to lose the weight overnight, you will be able to fight these changes and get your body back.

Myth: There is No Cure for PCOS

Fact: This myth is technically true. There is no actual “cure” for PCOS. However, there are many treatments and lifestyle changes that can help you take control of the disorder. A proper diet, control of insulin and an active lifestyle can make a significant difference. For example, if you are insulin resistant due to your PCOS, you might be given a prescription called Metformin. If you are suffering from acne, a dermatologist can help you control your acne symptoms. Instead of letting your PCOS control you, these changes will help you control your PCOS.

(source for above)

Myth #1:  If you have PCOS and are overweight, you will not be able to lose weight.
While it may be more difficult for a woman with PCOS to lose weight, it is certainly not impossible.  PCOS affects insulin production, so a change in diet is an important factor to get insulin levels under control.  Also, regular exercise and sufficient sleep are beneficial to women with PCOS who are trying to lose weight.  Adding a multivitamin to your diet can also help to control insulin resistance.

Myth #2:  In vitro fertilization is the only solution for PCOS sufferers.  
PCOS makes conception more difficult, but it is not impossible to conceive naturally despite having PCOS through the use of certain alternative treatments.  An ovulation kit can help you to determine when you are ovulating, and in turn assist in determining the best time to attempt to conceive a child.  Losing weight can also help to increase the likelihood of conceiving a child for those with PCOS.  In some cases, herbal medicines and acupuncture have even been found to have beneficial effects on restoring the ovulation cycle.

Myth #3:  PCOS only affects a woman’s ability to conceive.
While one of the major side effects of PCOS is its affect on fertility, there are a number of other side effects that go along with PCOS that can present challenges.  Weight gain, acne, excess hair growth, and hair loss are all common physical symptoms that require treatment, and can affect a woman’s overall quality of life.  If PCOS symptoms are affecting your quality of life, it is important to speak with a qualified medical professional to learn of the treatment options that are available.

Myth #4:  Hysterectomies solve PCOS.
Some women experience a decrease in PCOS symptoms after menopause, but the underlying causes of the PCOS symptoms may still be present.  Hysterectomies work well to stop period problems, but they do not cure other issues associated with PCOS.

Myth #5:  Birth control pills will regulate the menstrual cycle and cure PCOS.
This is true in the sense that the pill provides artificial hormones that simulate a normal menstrual cycle.  The downside is that most birth control pills actually exacerbate the problem of insulin resistance, which is one of the main factors that contribute to PCOS symptoms.

(source for above)

Myth #1: I don’t plan to have children so it doesn’t matter if I don’t ovulate

Truth: it doesn’t matter if you plan on having children or not, if you don’t ovulate each month, your body is deprived of a vital hormone, progesterone, which means you may be more susceptible to estrogen dominance conditions like fibroids, breast cancer and endometriosis.

Myth #2: I get a period regularly so I must be ovulating

Truth: Having regular periods does not mean that you are ovulating. It just means that estrogen production increases and decreases each month to signal development of the uterine lining and subsequent shedding. Regular ovulation is vital to healthy hormone balance regardless of parenthood plans.

Myth #3: The ultrasound showed no cysts on my ovaries so I can’t have PCOS

Truth: The name is misleading, people with Polycystic ovarian syndrome, do not have to have cysts present on the ovaries. The body breaks down and resolves cysts regularly so cysts can come and go. The syndrome is diagnosed on the basis of the presence of a collection of symptoms that can include some (but not all) of the following: head hair loss, excess facial/body hair, weight gain, insulin resistance, poor glucose tolerance, irregular menstrual cycles, anovulation, infertility, acne and oily skin.

Myth #4: The blood tests were fine so there’s nothing wrong hormonally

Truth: Hormone blood tests are notoriously poor predictors of health or disease. The reference ranges are incredibly broad (eg. for and are set based on an average of the values measured amongst the general population. Reference ranges for hormones should be set by health screening the people being used to set the range for any reproductive disorders such as fibroids, breast cancer, endometriosis, PCOS, irregular menses, heavy menses, painful periods, infertility, anovulation etc. Select only those who have perfectly regular periods, who ovulate every month at midcycle, have no evidence of fibroids or endometriosis, no history of reproductive organ problems etc, then use those people to set a healthy range.

Myth #5: If I have endometriosis, PCOS or fibroids, I can’t have children or I can only have children if I undergo aggressive fertility treatments like In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

Truth: You can have children with any of these conditions, they do not automatically spell infertility. Depending on the severity of the condition, the best course of action may be either combination conventional therapies like drugs and surgery with naturopathic treatment or naturopathic treatment alone may be sufficient to solve the problem.

Myth #6: If there was something that could help with my problem, my specialist would know about it

Truth: Unfortunately not. Most medical doctors have quite enough on their plate to keep abreast of the latest drugs and surgical options and see a wealth of patients every day. They have neither the time nor the interest in investigating naturopathic treatments for disease.

Myth #7: There is no research to support naturopathic therapies

Truth: There is plenty of research to support acupuncture, herbal medicine, vitamins and nutritional supplements. There was a time as little as 10 years ago when research was sparse. Public interest in using more natural therapies has sparked interest in researching remedies that have stood the test of time for hundreds if not thousands of years.

(source for above)

MYTH 1: If you are overweight you will just have to put up with it because there is nothing you can do.

WRONG! If you have PCOS and you are overweight, it can be more challenging to lose weight than the ‘average’ person, but it is certainly not impossible. The only way you will lose weight and keep it off is by dealing with the underlying factors that cause you to hold onto fat. Fat will not be burned when insulin levels are high, so you need to target insulin resistance by following a low GI diet, doing regular aerobic and resistance exercise every 2 days, maximising your sleep, and taking nutritional supplements. A multivitamin is a good place to start, but insulin resistant people need more magnesium, chromium, and B vitamins as well. If you are taking metformin you should supplement with a multivitamin and separate vitamin B12 tablet. A naturopath can also prescribe you a herbal formula to target insulin resistance.

MYTH 2: If you have PCOS you won’t be able to have kids without the help of IVF.

WRONG! Although having PCOS can make it difficult to conceive, and IVF has helped many women with PCOS to become mothers, it is not the only option for you. There are also many women who have conceived with less invasive treatments, and some even just with natural treatments. With PCOS, ovulation does not always occur regularly, so the first step is to determine if you are ovulating which you can do via blood tests, daily temperature testing, and/or ovulation detector kits (although these may not be 100% accurate for PCOS). If you are, great! it’s a matter of getting the timing right for conception. If not, seek help with naturally stimulating ovulation. Losing 5% of body fat can help restore ovulation, as can reducing stress, dealing with nutritional deficiencies, and restoring hormonal balance with herbal medicine and/or acupuncture. You can still have PCOS and be a mother!

MYTH 3: PCOS is only a real concern if you are trying to conceive.

WRONG! For many women, trying to conceive is the biggest concern they have with PCOS, but PCOS brings with it many other concerns that can be just as challenging. The effect that PCOS has on a woman’s femininity and self esteem cannot be underestimated. Depression can be a real consequence of this and should be taken seriously. The physical issues that occur with PCOS such as excess hair, hair loss, weight gain, and acne can cause a lot of distress and are sometimes dismissed by health professionals as being only a cosmetic problem, when in fact they are a consequence of more serious underlying imbalances. Insulin resistance is a major health concern underlying many PCOS symptoms and should be dealt with as early as possible, to prevent the risk of diabetes. If your symptoms are being dismissed as minor, when you know they are affecting your quality of life… find a new health professional who will take you seriously. It is your right to have a supportive health guide who will not judge or dismiss you.

MYTH 4: PCOS goes away after menopause, or a hysterectomy will fix all my problems.

WRONG! After menopause, a lot of changes occur. Some of your PCOS symptoms may subside such as period problems obviously, but the underlying metabolic causes of PCOS will still be there. Menopause will not cure your PCOS, although it will affect you differently. You may still experience excess hair and acne, weight gain, and sugar cravings. Although the name of the syndrome implies an ovarian basis, cystic ovaries are really just another one of the possible symptoms that you can experience. Don’t be fooled into thinking a hysterectomy will fix all your problems either. As with menopause, it will stop period problems, but it won’t stop the other symptoms. After menopause or a hysterectomy, you are more at risk of weight gain, osteoporosis, hot flushes, and cardiovascular disease. PCOS is a whole body condition that requires a more ‘holistic approach’.

MYTH 5: The oral contraceptive pill will ‘regulate’ my cycle.

SOUNDS RIGHT, BUT IS TECHNICALLY WRONG! Taking the pill will provide your body with artificial hormones to simulate what a normal cycle is supposed to be. It gives you a period regularly which can prevent the lining of the uterus from building up which is beneficial, and it is also a good contraceptive, and can reduce symptoms such as acne and excess hair. BUT, most pills actually make insulin resistance WORSE! Why take something that is going to stimulate one of the main factors contributing to your symptoms? The pill may also increase the development of atherosclerosis, a process that leads to heart disease in which PCOS women are more at risk of. So, the pill is not really regulating your cycle because it is not allowing your body to do the work, it is doing the work for your body. A regulated cycle is one that is occurring regularly of it’s own accord.

(source for above)