Life With PCOS as a College Student

PCOS might just be a bunch of random letters to you but it stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It’s a hormonal health condition that affects about 10 million women worldwide.

It comes with a whole slew of symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, acne, and mood changes which makes it difficult to diagnose since these symptoms could be overlooked or attributed to other factors.

 

I didn’t find out I had PCOS until I was 19 (I am currently 21), after my aunt prompted me to go to the doctors after we were talking about health concerns and she mentioned she had endometriosis, which is another disorder involving ovaries.  

 

Once I got the diagnosis, everything started to click. I could check off on all the symptoms that come with it and it made sense that this was what was causing so many problems for years. While there’s no cure for it, my OBGYN prescribed me to birth control to try and control the hormones and keep the PCOS from getting worse.

 

The only knowledge I had of PCOS was what little I googled and saw on TV. I should have talked directly to a doctor, but I was scared to after watching My Big Fat Fabulous Life, a reality show on TLC that follows Whitney Thore and her endeavors.

Whitney has PCOS and has attributed her weight gain to it. At the beginning of the show she weighed in at 380 lbs and has been struggling to lose weight since. Weight has always been an issue for me and now with the diagnosis of PCOS and seeing someone like her struggle, it was a definite roadblock in my health journey.

 

Just recently I decided to change around all my doctors so that I could have a team that would support me, and I asked for more information about my PCOS. I went to my mom’s doctor, who’s known me since I was a little girl, and she was very informative on what I should do to help better myself and how certain things affected my body.

 

I learned that alcohol makes it harder for me to lose weight and that I need to lay off the sweets because the PCOS has affected my insulin which contributes to weight gain. She prescribed me some diabetes medicine to help with the insulin and we set up a plan on the best way to lose or at least maintain my weight and how I can be healthier overall.

 

My doctor also directed me to the PCOS Awareness Association which has been a helpful resource. My biggest tip for anyone going through this is to work with your doctors and listen to your body. If you can tell that something isn’t working, then don’t be afraid to try something new! It might take time but treating your body well and being mindful will help you tremendously.