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So You’ve Been Diagnosed With PCOS. Now What?

“Your test results line up with PCOS, also known as polycystic ovary syndrome. Now, this disorder and your symptoms can be treated through a few ways, one of them being…”

Those were the words spoken by my gynecologist as I sat in the cold hospital chair.

At least, that’s what I thought he said. My mind drifted away after hearing the phrase ‘PCOS’.

College Women Freeze Eggs
Molly Longest / Her Campus

“Well, at least I know what these irregular periods mean now,” I thought. “But wait, what am I gonna do?”

PCOS is a hormonal disorder in which the ovaries produce an abnormal amount of androgens. This irregularity causes your hormones to go out of balance, leading to a host of symptoms such as excess facial hair, acne, irregular periods, weight gain, or difficulty getting pregnant.

After hearing the diagnosis, it can be daunting figuring out how to treat this condition, and scrambling to deal with the symptoms can lead to serious frustration. If you’ve just received the news, take a deep breath. Here are some productive ways you can proceed after being diagnosed with PCOS.

Cry (If You Want To)

Before overwhelming yourself with health remedies from the internet, allow yourself to feel all of the emotions creeping up on you. Diagnoses can be scary, especially when you’re young and have rarely had health ailments before. We’ve always seen people live with different conditions, but how are we going to fare with it ourselves? Take the time to address all of the feelings you have, whether it be anger, confusion or sadness.

Do Your Research

Most doctors are going to tell you these two things to treat PCOS: lose weight or take birth control. As somebody who’s always struggled with weight loss (which I now can conclude has been a symptom of PCOS) and been scarred from birth control horror stories, these options didn’t exactly give me hope on beating the disorder. 

What doctors may not tell you is what type(s) of PCOS you have and the actions you can take that are better suited towards it. For example, those with insulin resistance PCOS should consider reducing their gluten and dairy intake, while those with adrenal PCOS should consider decreasing their stress levels and increasing their hours of sleep.

If you’re fortunate enough to find a helpful gynecologist, don’t take him or her for granted. Nevertheless, there’s endless amounts of information out there that is helpful in discovering what treatment is most suitable for you.

Find a PCOS Community

Your journey to treating your PCOS symptoms can be annoying and a little lonely at times. Truth is, there are more women all around you going through the exact same struggles than you think. Hearing the testimonies of other women who have PCOS can be comforting in knowing that the grievances of your symptoms, like the pesky excess facial hair or weight gain, are shared. It can even be helpful as you can incorporate some of the methods they use to treat it. Some PCOS accounts that have been super helpful to me in providing a community along with lots of information are @pcos.weightloss and @pcos.positivity.

PCOS graphic
https://www.instagram.com/frecklesillustrations/

Oh, polycystic ovary syndrome. It may not be completely understood why women get it, but with the right knowledge and support system, you can remain hopeful in your journey of treating it. For those diagnosed with it, always remember this: there’s a community of cysters out there that are waiting to encourage and enlighten you!

Faith is a senior political science major and journalism minor at Georgia State University. In her free time, you can count on her either painting, baking, doing her hair, or occasionally playing guitar. From social justice issues to giving advice, read from a variety of topics that she is most passionate about!
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