PCOS: The Beast That Is…

flower, pcos

Have you ever heard of PCOS? Its full name is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and the best estimate is that one in five women in the UK may have it. Being the lucky lass that I am, I’m one of those women. 

Despite PCOS being more common than you might think it is not as well known or as understood as you might think. I’ve had to explain what it is to a number of healthcare providers in the past for example. This is something I live with every day and while sometimes it’s just something that ticks along in the background, sometimes it can be a pain in the backside. There is some great information on PCOS on the NHS website.

My PCOS 

PCOS affects different women differently. My particularly fun afflictions include excess weight that is incredibly difficult to shift (even though most of the time I eat like a blumming rabbit), fertility issues (more on this below), raging hormones (no, I’m not just a cowbag), oily skin and insulin issues. I’m type two diabetic and have to work very hard to control it. I’m not saying that PCOS made me diabetic, but it won’t have helped. Many women with polycystic ovary syndrome find that they are what is called insulin resistant.

Where Does it Come From

No-one really knows where PCOS comes from and why some have it and others don’t. Some women with PCOS struggle constantly with weight gain, some don’t. Some may have thinning hair, some don’t. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. Some experts think that there may be a family link, however, this is far from having been proven.  Right now, it simply seems to be the luck of the draw.

Managing PCOS

From a healthcare point of view, (from our experience and many others) the main medical support you get for PCOS tends to only happen when you are having fertility issues. We were told at one point that it would be very unlikely that Roy and I would be able to have children without artificial help such as IVF. I don’t ovulate regularly. At one point I was releasing the odd egg here and there about every six months or so, and regular periods have never been something I’ve had. Sheer bloodymindedness and an ounce or three of luck gave us two sons after years of trying. The fertility team we were under were great but their hands were tied at the time by the postcode lottery that exists around IVF. Thankfully we eventually conceived successfully without that level of help.

There are numerous other ways to manage PCOS, natural supplements work for many, such as those from Nature’s Best, a healthy diet, exercise and checking in with your GP every now and then to keep an eye on blood glucose levels if this is a thing for you.  There are some fabulous online support group set-ups too. Verity is well worth looking up for those looking for better understanding and peer to peer support.

Moving Forward

Above all,  I would like to see more work go into PCOS understanding and general awareness, for women and for healthcare providers. One woman’s experience of PCOS may be very different to another’s. From hormone issues to physical issues, it really can feel like the luck of the draw. If you feel some of these symptoms match up with what you are experiencing, speak to your GP for further advice.

 

This post was sponsored by Nature’s Best to raise awareness of PCOS.

 

Maintaining Positive Relationships

positive relationships

Roy and I have been married for 15 years and together a few more than that. I’m very lucky in that I didn’t just marry the man I love, I married my best friend. We have people ask us (we’re both very soppy when it comes to each other) how we’ve kept our marriage going so well so here are some things for anyone to consider. We’re not marriage guidance counsellors but these are good all-rounders for working on positive relationships, be this a partnership, marriage or friendship.

Spend Some Quality Time Together

Make sure you spend regular, quality time together. Get away from social media, the TV, and technology, and focus on one another for a while. You could go on weekends away, one date night per week or fortnight, or even plan regular vacations. Just bear in mind that one break every so often is unlikely to be enough to bring you and your partner closer together if you’re not spending enough time together during the week. We have busy weeks, children and all sorts going on but still make time to have date nights, even if they are in the house! It’s all about making time in your busy life to build and enjoy positive relationships.

Reconnect With Yourself

Work on finding your own passions and hobbies, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying yourself. When you’re in a better place personally and mentally, you stand to make your relationship far better with your partner, with family and with friends. Self care is important! When you and your partner aren’t happy in yourselves, it’s going to be virtually impossible to be happy with one another.

Be Creative In Showing Your Love

Find new and exciting ways to show your love to one another. Be creative, whether it’s writing one another love letters, making fancy dinners, or dressing up just to spend time with them. Show them that you still care in different ways and it’ll bring some novelty into your relationship – something all relationships need to stay fresh. For example, we don’t do Valentine’s Day, it just isn’t our thing but we surprise each other with daft and funny things at random times. These make us laugh and create shared positive memories.

Deal With Intimacy Issues

Thankfully this isn’t something we’ve ever had a problem with, but in the spirit of producing a well-rounded blog post with tips for all, it’s worth including. Intimacy is another important key to any relationship and feeling close to your partner. Work on ways you can be more intimate with one another, whether that’s saying how you really feel, or working on ways you can become more intimate in the bedroom. If you’re having problems in that regard, you could look at some treatment options for impotence, or something more suited to your problem. 

Bond Over Common Hobbies And Interests

Couples find that they bond more effectively over common hobbies and interests. If you both love art, go to galleries together. If you love thrifting, head to markets. If you love food, just try out new places to eat! There are probably all kinds of things you can do to bring you together and feel closer than ever before. For Roy and I, it is Dungeons and Dragons, shared geekery and more. It’s the same with our friendships, we all have things in common such as hobbies and interests.

Practice Communicating for Positive Relationships

Poor communication is one of the most common reasons that a relationship breaks down. I have seen real-world examples of this time and time again. Be it a married or a friendship, it’s important to be able to communicate openly and honestly.

Live In The Moment

Rather than living in the past or worrying about the future, try to live in the moment. Have more fun together spontaneously, and really make the most of your time together. There’s nothing worse than spending time with somebody who’s mind just isn’t there! After completing a mindfulness diploma last year I’ve found living in the moment fun and getting the most out of my time with people I have positive relationships with also easier!

 

Positive relationships make for a happier life, they really do. Surrounding yourself with people who understand you, who you understand, who are on the same wavelength and have shared interests is what makes for fun times, great memories and support for each other when needed. Make sure that you take time to nurture the important relationships in your life.

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