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For Me, Living With PCOS Is All About Defeating It Every Month!

Today, after 2 healthy kids I continue to battle PCOS each month. I read a lot of material on every possible way to manage PCOS without drugs. Lifestyle management and regular exercise are the only two methods.

PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a condition of imbalance of hormones. PCOS affects a woman’s ovaries, the reproductive organs that produce estrogen and progesterone — hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle. In PCOS, many small, fluid-filled sacs grow inside the ovaries. The word ‘polycystic’ means ‘many cysts.’

The condition affects a woman mostly in her reproductive years -18-44 years. The symptoms of PCOS are-

  • Infertility
  • Weight Gain
  • Excessive Hair on the face and body
  • Irregular Periods
  • Excessive Bleeding
  • Depression

This condition affects millions of Indian women yet is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. So many girls face irregular periods or excessive bleeding but fail to seek medical attention for it. In India, especially, PCOD is widespread. Yet, there is very little awareness regarding it. September is PCOS awareness month and I’d like to contribute my story on how I learned to overcome PCOS and defeat it each month!

I came to know of my PCOS only when I couldn’t conceive

I didn’t know I had PCOS until I was unable to conceive after a few years of trying. Infertility is one of the major by-products of PCOS.

I had always had regular menstrual cycles and had led a healthy active lifestyle. After marriage, I gained weight, especially around my hips and belly. This is a common occurrence in India wherein it’s considered a sign of ‘happiness’ when a girl gains pounds after her wedding. Same for me – I was happy – my career was at its peak. Work hard and party hard had became our life mantra. We had an active social life that ensured our weekends would be filled with parties and eating out! Long hours at the office hardly left me time for exercise. I didn’t even prioritize it, honestly.

As time passed, friend after a friend got pregnant, and the depression and anxiety started settling in. I refused to go out and meet anybody. As we decided to pursue infertility treatments my career also suffered. The hormonal injections and bed rest after every IUI/IVF cycle ensured an even higher body mass. I became a complete wreck. My self-confidence was at point zero.

Tired and dejected we decided to take a break from aggressive, invasive treatments.

That was when I found alternative therapy- Homeopathy and Yoga

I don’t think it was ‘miraculous’. It took years for any noticeable difference, Yet, I lost weight and started feeling better about myself.

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Yoga not just helped me physically but also helped me relax mentally. Homeopathy helped bring about a balance in my hormonal system. My severe stomach cramps during the periods reduced, and almost vanished. Eventually, I found I was able to do more rigorous exercise and floor workouts in the gym. This helped tremendously.

After 7 long years of marriage, I was finally pregnant! Natural conception- strange but true- a miraculous conception! However, during the third trimester, I developed gestational diabetes. This too I discovered later is a symptom of PCOS.

Today, after 2 healthy kids I continue to battle PCOS each month. I read a lot of material on every possible way to manage PCOS without drugs. Lifestyle management and regular exercise are the only two methods.

Trust me, PCOS can be managed if you lead a balanced life

Focus on your weight. Regular and vigorous exercise is the mantra. At least a half hour of brisk walking every day. Combine this with 3 days of a high-intensity workout regime. Choose a routine you enjoy. Aerobics, Zumba, Crossfit, Yoga, anything… It’s important to enjoy it so that it will be sustainable.

Be careful about your diet. Take help from a qualified dietician who will guide you on the correct foods to eat. This condition causes inflammation and a lot of foods like ginger, sprouts, and leafy vegetables can help you counter that.

Take care of yourself and prioritize your body. It’s very important. For me sugar, cakes, pastries, and, white bread trigger PCOS symptoms immediately.

Accept your condition. Even with all that effort weight loss will be minimal. That’s PCOS. Body shaming is common as people will taunt you that you are working out so much but not losing any weight. Don’t bother. They don’t know how much it helps you when you have regular, pain-free periods and are Happy.

Find your Ikigai- a reason to be. Work on it. Have a goal in mind and work towards it. Anything that keeps you occupied and happy, is what I mean by a balanced life. The most crippling effect of PCOS is depression. You can defeat it; Yes, you can!

Take up the challenge every day!

Nobody will understand your suffering. You look healthy and normal. Don’t expect anyone to support you until you support yourself.

Personally speaking, I feel very low around my cycle days. All I want to do is sit and watch Netflix, and Bridgeton episodes back to back. My family and kids find it strange. They’ve come to accept it, however. They know that it’s a phase and I’ll be back to my normal self within a day or two.

PCOS has crippling effects on a woman’s body, self-esteem, and mind. We must spread awareness regarding this condition.

I’m not a doctor my views are only from my experience with PCOS and my consistent efforts to live with it. To manage my hair fall, unexplained weight gain, suicidal depression… the list is unending. It’s like a disease… yet few know about it. We must help more women understand its effects and fight it to lead healthy and pain-free lives.

Come on girls, we’re worth it!

Image source: a still from the Marathi film 15 August

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About the Author

Meeta Chablani

Hi! I'm Meeta Chablanii- an animator, illustrator a freelance fashion designer and a full time mom to two little brats. My journey of bringing them up forms the backdrop of most of my posts. read more...

15 Posts | 10,115 Views

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