We had an intimate conversation with an inspiring woman from the Love and Grace community. She shared her story about dealing with PCOS, giving us a real look into her ups and downs, and the strength that keeps her going.

…you may not be able to get pregnant after 25.

These were the words that broke me out of the numbness I had felt all through the processes of checks and tests. Words uttered with so much insensitivity from the one person I expected to understand my pain. I burst into tears at the thought of what would become my new reality. I couldn’t make sense of what was happening to me. I had been bleeding non-stop for three months, and I was finally at the clinic to get some answers, a permanent fix but instead I got this.

Nothing prepared me for the news I was about to receive. The doctor looked up at me after he had taken his time to study the results of my hormonal profiling and scan. “You have PCOS and you may not be able to have children after 25” were the words he threw at me so insensitively. It felt like the walls around me were closing in on me, I couldn’t breathe. I was holding on to the table in front of me for support, my blouse squeezed between my fist that was clenched tightly against my chest; I burst into tears at the realization that my dreams of having my children may always remain a dream. I’ve always wanted children of my own. I’ve had dreams about dressing them up for school, teaching them to bake, watching them grow, and building strong bonds with them, among other things. Hearing that there was a possibility it would all remain a dream, shattered me.

Since then, it’s been an emotional journey with PCOS. The constant loneliness and struggle to articulate and express my feelings. The endless rollercoaster of emotions. Days when I feel normal versus days when I feel trapped in a black hole. I feel like my body betrayed me. Like it’s not mine anymore, but entirely someone else’s, that I have to fight against. I have scoured the internet looking for answers, only to end up feeling overwhelmed. So many conflicting opinions and treatments. It doesn’t help that I can’t relate to the experience of others, because mine feels different.

I often feel like I’m drowning in my sadness, but I keep fighting to stay afloat; putting up a front like everything is fine when deep down, nothing feels right. From the unending feelings of uncontrollable anxiety and nausea… to insomnia and constant bloating, not to mention all the physical symptoms serving as clear reminders of what my body is doing to me. I have felt deep anger and frustration for what I have to deal with daily. A daily battle I didn’t choose, and can’t choose not to fight. I dread looking in the mirror and seeing the acne that never leaves my face, the hair on my chin, the weight that seems impossible to lose, or patches of hyperpigmentation expressly scattered all over my body.

It’s not fair! It feels unfair that my body won’t function like it’s supposed to. I get angry when people tell me to just lose weight, or that it’s not that bad. They don’t understand the emotional toll that PCOS takes on me. Aside from being a physical condition, it’s also a mental one…

Despite all this anger and frustration, I won’t give up. I won’t let PCOS win. I refuse to accept defeat. Though it’s taken a lot of time and effort, I’ve found ways to stay afloat. My methods are not perfect, but it’s progress. I’ve learned to eat healthier, prioritizing nutrient-dense foods, and quality over quantity, replacing soda with water and herbal teas. Incorporating physical activities like exercising 3 times weekly, and taking long walks into my routine. I prioritize stress management through meditation, yoga, journaling, massages, and spending more time on things I love. 

It’s not been easy but it’s worth it.

I have come to realize that PCOS is a part of me, but it doesn’t define me. Even though It’s taken me a while to get to this point, I’ve learned to accept my body and all its imperfections. I still have bad days but I’m mostly at peace with my journey, maintaining gratitude for the lessons it’s taught me, and the strength it’s given me. I’ve learned to love myself, PCOS and all, realizing that I don’t need to be perfect. Every little bit of progress is worth celebrating, and my happiness isn’t tied to a number on the scale or a clear complexion. It comes from within.

I remain hopeful that someday, I’d find someone who loves me for me, and not just out of pity. They would hold my hand as we navigate life together, with or without children; because there’s more to me than PCOS.

To the woman who may be struggling, it’s okay to not be understood, to feel angry, frustrated, sad, or isolated.  Always remember, you’re not alone, and someday, you’ll find acceptance, hope, and above all, self-love. 

PCOS may be part of your journey, but it doesn’t have to define you.

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