According to the Mayo Clinic, Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs.
However, unfortunately, according to a research dissertation done by Dr. Odera Frida Opiyo; MBChB, there are no Kenyan studies on the prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome in any population, hence no data on the same.
While the PCOS symptoms include irregular periods, an increase of hair on the back or face, oily skin and weight gain, it is not getting pregnant that is a heartbreaker. According to the NHS, it’s difficult to know exactly how many women have PCOS, but it’s thought to be very common, affecting about 1 in every 10 women in the UK.
According to a research titled “Psychiatric disorders in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis“, PCOS is associated with an increased risk of a diagnosis of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is associated with worse symptoms of depression, anxiety, OCD, and somatization. Screening for these disorders to allow early intervention may be warranted. If a lady is always concerned about irregular periods just basically she is limited in having a healthy routine whether it is related to work, family or social life. This will subsequently bring down her confidence and self-esteem. When she is constantly worried about the growth of hair, change in skin colour or general appearance, how is she going to give herself that boost to go out there and conquer the world?
If she can’t control the hormonal imbalance she is likely to obsess and control the other things in her life, thus the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can kick in and continuous anxiety leading to depression. Also, as Andrea M. Braverman, PhD, Associate Director of the Educational Core, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University writes, depression is often experienced as persistent low mood (feeling blue and down) that doesn’t go away. Symptoms include feelings of hopelessness/helplessness, poor concentration, poor appetite, oversleeping, isolating oneself, and loss of interest in general are just some. Anxiety is often experienced as excessive or unrelenting worry. Symptoms include having persistent negative thoughts.
If you are a PCOS warrior then below are tips to help you feel rebooted as you navigate through the challenges you experience in your body:
1. Start By Helping Yourself!
Do some inner engineering and I can surely tell you the course itself by Sadhguru is an excellent start. Time to centre what is going inside, increase the meditation, quiet down the imbalance by simply being.
Keep a self-love journal and stay determined to achieve what you want. You can only control so much of your body from the inside, you can keep your mind focused, encouraged and positive. Sign up for Louise Hay’s Love Your Body Affirmations and read her book You Can Heal Your Life and trust me, you will be on a way better path than ever before.
Educate Your Loved Ones & Seek Professional Help!
Life can beat you down and if your family or spouse don’t understand your anxiety or crankiness then make them understand. Go for Counselling and remember when you are empowered you can be useful not only to yourself but to your family or spouse.
Create A Support System Around You!
Have girlfriends and sisters who will encourage you and pick you up on low days. Before you fall into the trap of antidepressants, try and experience life with your girls. It can be as simple as enjoying a chocolate cake. But of course, if you can’t manage, then there is no shame in getting further help with psychiatric treatment
Give yourself small projects like learning how to make a new recipe and build your appetite and improve your eating habits.
Be Honest With A Potential Partner
However, we can't ignore the fact that the one thing that can bring you down the most is not been able to conceive or having a miscarriage. If you're dating, be honest with the person you're dating about the challenges of fertility you are likely to face and as hard as the conversation may be to have you will now know where your relationship stands and how best to move forward.
Accept, Embrace & Love Thyself!
Lastly, be kind to your body and soul, life is a rollercoaster and it will move at your pace of love and acceptance.
This article was written by Guest Writer, Harleen Jabbal, Psychologist and Writer.
In her blog, Harleen writes about different Mental Health topics, shares her passion for poetry and social issues.
You can learn more about her via the links below: