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While PCOS brings women many challenges, these stories serve to build us up and reassure us – that we will be okay.
“The ups and downs of the journey were excruciating…I had to convince myself to stick to my goals.”
Twelve years ago, Neha Bangia Gulati, a fitness coach, received news that she thought would devastate her life. An ultrasound revealed that she had multiple cysts in her ovaries and so, Neha was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). She was worried and overwhelmed.
PCOS is a hormonal disorder which brings with it myriad complications – acne, weight gain, abnormal periods, and excessive facial hair, to name a few. A deeper implication, however, is that PCOS serves a serious blow to one’s self esteem. While the disease is physically challenging enough, the societal expectations placed on women to meet beauty standards further burden us further.
Neha is one of the countless number of Indian women who has been diagnosed with PCOS. In fact, one in every four women is diagnosed with the disease and even then, it is incredibly under/misdiagnosed. PCOS is difficult to understand; as Author Richa Mukherjee points out, “For those with PCOS, the body functions on its own timeline.”
And so, we at Women’s Web, in collaboration with HealthKart Women, reached out to our community to share their stories of PCOS.
The diagnosis does not mark the end of one’s life. Devastating as it can be, women with PCOS across India have embarked on a journey to celebrate their bodies. The journey is difficult no doubt but it is important to not let the disease overwhelm the individual. Richa suggested, while sharing her story, to listen to your body and that “PCOS may ravage your body but the battle is fought with the mind.”
There is no right answer or singular path to take. Anantara, also diagnosed with PCOS, had her fair share of problems, from painful periods to great mental stress. Finding a way to live life with the disease further frustrated her. Allopathy aggravated symptoms and conception was accompanied by depression and unfortunately, a miscarriage. PCOS is not a predictable disease and so, post-delivery, she experiences abnormal weight loss and skin infections.
However, stories of PCOS are not only those of defeat. Countless women have shared how they found the strength within themselves to learn how to love their bodies. Some took up weight training, others took to Yoga and mindful nutrition. Many realised that their bodies are beautiful. Anju Jayaram, Co-Founder at Women’s Web, decided to stop trying to be thin and instead, chose to value her body. She says, “I have only one body and it does a lot for me”.
In these stories, one finds important advice to not feel ashamed of the problems one is experiencing and to not hold back from sharing. We must learn to trust ourselves and to see worth in us.
It is alright to feel weak but we must also know that we have immense strength and willpower. However, though PCOS is shared by many women, it is also unique to the individual.
What worked for someone else, may not work for you. This journey to share our stories was supported by HealthKart Women, which has guided plans and products tailor-made for you. Get your free consultation here and find out what works for you.
Top image credits Jonathan Borba from Pexels
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