Monday, December 11th, 2017

Are You Suffering From PolyCystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?


# A guest post by Dr Rebecca Harwin as a part of the How Real People Bust Out a series of guest contributors sharing their journey’s.

I remember lying on the hospital table, embarrassed by bearing what I thought at the time was my fat belly. I was 17 years old. I had had excruciating tummy pain. The ultrasound gel was cold, and the pressure on my full belly made me feel like I might wet myself. The radiologist must have been doing rounds at the hospital, and came in to take a look at my scans. He had been to my high school biology class to give a talk about his profession, so at least I knew his happy face. He told me I had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. That was that. I didn’t know what that meant, and it wasn’t explained. I knew something wasn’t ‘normal’, but I didn’t know if I should even be worried. He didn’t seem overly concerned.

Fast forward one year. I moved out of home to go to a University almost 2 hours away. The move from the country to the city, and away from my family, was really stressful. I cried myself to sleep. I really missed home. When my loved ones left after a visit, I would stand at the front of my house watching, until their car completely disappeared into the distance. I’m sure stress was a big factor in the further development of my PCOS. I put on almost 20kg. My self-esteem plummeted. I couldn’t look in the mirror without cringing. My skin started to develop more spots. At least I saved what little money I had by not having to buy pads, after all, I had no period. I felt lost. No matter what I tried, I didn’t seem to be able to lose weight or get my body back.

I went to see a gynaecologist praying for some answers. I sat waiting awkwardly in his sterile office. He was running 40 minutes late. After an impersonal 5 minute consultation that I really couldn’t afford, he sat back on his chair, stared at me, and told me just to eat less and move more.

I started to live in tracksuits. They were comfortable and I thought they hid the fat.

For many years, I suffered hot flushes, dizzy spells, acne, excessive hair growth, weight gain and low self-esteem. I couldn’t find anyone with expertise in PCOS. I just wanted to know how to become healthy again, and I wanted desperately to not suffer all of these symptoms any more.

My studies at University were science and health focused. Eight years in intensive university study gave me a great understanding of the human body and health. I also started to read other research, books and anything I could get my hands on. This continues to this day. I think my husband may describe me as a nerd. I attended seminars, often. I worked out what this PCOS thing was, what it meant and what changes I needed to make to overcome it.

I remember the first time I ovulated, vividly. For a second, I wondered what this sticky stuff in my knickers was. I was at the airport in Melbourne – sitting in the ladies with a smile so large I thought my face might crack! I was in my thirties. My skin has settled down. I’m so grateful to not have a face full of spots. Getting my period is exciting and empowering. And I’m so happy I don’t have those nauseating hot flushes, or dizzy spells any more.

I knew many other women were suffering just as I had done. I also knew there was very limited accurate information available. I realised I had a responsibility to get this incredible information into the hands and minds of other women with PCOS. My book ‘Conquer Your PCOS Naturally’ is dedicated to helping other women regain their health, restore their period, and live a PCOS free life.

I’ve put together a special FREE report to help women to Conquer Your PCOS. Just head to  our Facebook page and hit ‘like’.

Yours In Wellness,

Dr Rebecca Harwin

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