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PCOS = Painful Cramps On Steroids

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome - The symptoms, the fight, and some advice

By Hope MartinPublished 4 months ago 5 min read

S.A Crawford wrote a vulnerable and revealing piece on her recent diagnosis of PCOS (otherwise known as, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). And the outreach of women who were all echoing the same sentiment that I did had me sitting with my eyes wide, and heart hurting. But also really proud of all the brave women who are willing to share their stories and the pains they endured to comfort Crawford and let her know she wasn't alone.

Her story is so similar to SO many women who suffer from this damned endocrine imbalance and it's heartbreaking.

One person commented and said to the effect something along the lines of him being just a dude, so he had no business even reading this article but he was sorry she had been through so much. And had expressed the fact that he felt it was important for men to maybe understand more about women's bodies.

After talking with a few of the girls back and forth in comments and giving advice (because I am one of the lucky ones who have managed to tame my symptoms and was able to have children) I realized that I have a lot to say and I should probably write an educational article on the subject.

I hope this helps women who have PCOS progress their timeline - whether that is getting a diagnosis, or helping people understand what someone else is going through, it's so important that PCOS gets talked about more so that people can start having an awareness. Awareness and knowledge are power. And that is what I hope I achieve with this article.

First, let me tell everyone what polycystic ovarian syndrome is in detail.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which the ovaries produce an abnormal amount of androgens, male sex hormones that are usually present in women in small amounts. The name polycystic ovary syndrome describes the numerous small cysts (fluid-filled sacs) that form in the ovaries. However, some women with this disorder do not have cysts, while some women without the disorder do develop cysts. - Hopkins Medical Website

The Johns Hopkins Medical does a good job of dumbing it down, and making it sound much simpler than it is.

So to break it down further.

Step 1. A woman's body is supposed to ovulate. Women with PCOS don't generally ovulate every month.

Step 2. The egg that was supposed to be sent out into the uterus for fertilization festers and turns into a cyst.

Step 3. That cyst lets out androgens. Androgens are male hormones. So the male hormones being released into our female bodies fucks up our WHOLE body. Literally. Our entire body. Including our baby-making tools.

Step 4. Our hormonal imbalance due to confused baby-making female organs getting dosed with male hormones continues to not menstruate, and thus, we spiral into a deep dark vortex of a vicious cycle.

I wrote an article on some things that helped me begin my period when I was struggling to start. And I still use these tips to this day. While bleeding isn't fun, getting your period to properly start is crucial to preventing an accumulation of cysts, which may or may not eventually burst and cause pain - but will most certainly release hormones that will continue or worsen or develop the symptoms of PCOS.

So what are the symptoms of PCOS?

Lovely things from A to Z.

Acne, bloatedness, cramps from literal satan, cysts on your ovaries, dark patches on the skin, depression, excess skin (skin tags), feelings - a lot of them that are mostly negative, funky body odors because your pH balance is out of whack, gassy from both ends, hirsutism - which is a fancy word for we grow hair like a sasquatch on our face, legs, armpits, back, arms and legs. Infertility is often a symptom and the one that causes the most emotional for those of us with this awful problem. There is also jaw-dropping agony when a cyst bursts.

Okay, breaking the pattern here, the rest of the symptoms are weight gain (which is also a cause), and difficulty losing weight. Women with PCOS cannot just diet and lose weight. We have to sell our soul to the devil and donate a kidney to lose weight it feels like. Our bodies simply do not metabolize the way others do. In fact, many, many women with PCOS are overweight, and even obese. I was (and still am to this day) no exception. As explained by a very good doctor, we have to work 80% harder than a woman with a good endocrine system to be able to lose weight.

Pain during sex, cervical pain, uterine pain, abnormal cramping, vaginal discharge, internal scar tissue, false pregnancies, spontaneous natural termination of pregnancy during very early stages (miscarriage), mood swings, mental illness, increased chance of insulin resistance and diabetes, increased chance of having thyroid issues, chronic fatigue, nightmares, sweats, chills, night sweats. You are constantly tired, but guess what? You also probably have insomnia too.

Not to mention the cysts can eventually become so bad that they have to be surgically removed - which can lead to loss of ovaries or fallopian tubes - or both. The cysts can twist the ovary cut off blood circulation and actually cause death.

Oh yeah, you read that right. PCOS CAN, in fact, kill you. It's very, very, VERY rare, but it absolutely can.

This just reinforces my reasons why this needs to be talked about more.

I just realized how long this article is. And how much more I have to say.

Life is pretty miserable when you have Polycystic Ovarian syndrome - especially when it's been undiagnosed. There is not a lot of ways to diagnose PCOS. But that will be in my next article... because that is a WHOLE can of worms.

I will come back and link the articles.

In the meantime ladies (Sorry boys, I'm not excluding you but this is a lady problem... but please keep reading this series as it unfolds, it may help you understand a family member!), if any or all of that sounds like what you have been feeling, and your doctor hasn't presented the option - next time ask them about polycystic ovarian syndrome and see if you can get started on the path to a diagnosis.

Time is precious, thank you so much for taking some to read my article. I hope you enjoyed it and it proved useful in some way!

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About the Creator

Hope Martin

I am a published author of a book called Memoirs of the In-Between. Currently, I am doing a rewrite of it, as it needed some polishing to be better. I am a mom, a cook, a homesteader, and a second-generation shaman.

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Comments (6)

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  • S. A. Crawford4 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge, and for the mention its so kind. I was also touched by how many men read and commented on my post, and I'm so happy that you're going on to share your experiences and what you know!

  • Heather Hubler4 months ago

    I'm so glad you took the time to share your thoughts and knowledge as women's issues need addressed out in the open. I've thankfully not suffered from PCOS but I have had a cyst rupture and my goodness that one time was enough for a lifetime :( I feel for women on this difficult path and appreciate women using this platform to give us a voice.

  • I thankfully don't have PCOS (reading this was so scaryyyy) but I do have endometriosis. I was having very bad pain during my period for years and I only went to get it checked when I couldn't work no more with that pain. They kept giving me painkillers and claimed my ovaries and uterus was normal. As time went by, my pain kept increasing so they kept giving me stonger painkillers. I was on them for 2 years before deciding to get checked at a private hospital. Lo and behold, I had 2 huge cysts, one in each ovary and I was diagnosed with endometriosis. So I had to go for an open surgery to have the cysts removed because they were too large for laparoscopy. Now I'm on birth control to help manage the endometriosis.

  • Mother Combs4 months ago


  • Which is why we need to be rectifying our lifestyle and diet to balance our hormones as a priority. The suffering from unconscious living is immeasurable.

  • Shirley Belk4 months ago

    Thank you for writing this article. Many suffer from PCOS. I know it will help others understand.

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