|Image Credit: Jessi from www.LifeAbundant-Blog.com|
In honor of the many women of size who suffer with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), we will be resuming our series of posts about PCOS this month.
In previous posts, we have discussed the definition and symptoms of PCOS, how it presents, its testing and diagnosis, and its possible causes.
Then we began discussing common treatment protocols for PCOS, and the pros and cons of each. We've already discussed insulin-sensitizing medications like metformin, the TZDs, and inositol. Then we discussed glucose-lowering medications for those who have developed overt diabetes. We also discussed the use of progesterone for menstrual irregularity. Now it's time to continue that discussion about other treatment options for various aspects of PCOS.
Next up is a discussion of Oral Contraceptives for menstrual regularity and control of androgenic symptoms. Then we will continue the series with a discussion of anti-androgen medications, and finish up with a discussion of cosmetic treatment options for some of the most distressing side effects of PCOS, like hirsutism, cystic acne, and alopecia.
One of the difficult things about PCOS is how differently it can present in different women. Very few women suffer all the possible symptoms. I'm fortunate that my case is fairly mild, but that makes it more challenging to write about things I haven't personally experienced. Although I can write about it from an intellectual point of view, it's really important to bring out the personal stories of women and how they've dealt with the challenges of this condition.
Therefore, I am particularly looking for more personal stories to share. Stories have already been submitted, but I would like to have many more. Please spread the word on PCOS forums and social media.
Your submission need not be long; just a quick summary of your experiences with an oral contraceptive, an anti-androgen medication, or how you have dealt with hirsutism, acne, or alopecia. Don't forget to give permission for me to share your story and how you want it attributed (anonymous or first name only). Send your submission to me at kmom AT plus-size-pregnancy DOT org. (But remember, we want to avoid weight loss talk.*)
As a springboard to the renewal of the PCOS series, I invite you to leave a comment (feel free to be anonymous) about the most challenging or distressing symptom/aspect of PCOS for you. It's a hard condition to have, and the symptoms can provide many social and emotional challenges. Sharing about those is important for healing and dealing with the condition more proactively. Please share about your particular challenges so other women will know that they are not alone.
More PCOS posts will be forthcoming in the future, but for now, this is the current focus. I welcome appropriate feedback on the posts and hope the information is helpful to you.
*Please note that we are discussing PCOS treatment options from a size-friendly point of view (meaning no promotion of/focus on weight loss; no diet talk/no hate talk allowed in comments). There are plenty of other PCOS resources out there that promote weight loss or dieting approaches as treatment. You are certainly welcome to pursue that if you wish, but if you are only interested in that, this is not the site for you. Please find the site that is right for your needs.
Remember, though, weight loss is not the only way to treat PCOS! Lifestyle management does not have to include trying to lose weight. The Health At Every Size® and HAES® approach to improve health and manage PCOS symptoms can also be useful. What we want here is a safe place to discuss PCOS treatment that does not center on weight loss, radical diets, or body hate talk; sadly, a safe place like that can be hard to find on many PCOS forums. Considering the tremendous failure and regain rate of diets (and the huge profits this brings the weight-loss industry), a weight-neutral approach to PCOS is long overdue.