PCOS or not PCOS? That's a good question!
(Bologna, Italy )
Hi there everyone, my name is Annalisa, I'm from Italy and I'm 30 years old.
I spent many years in the UK studying and got a degree there in 2006, which is, I believe, the reason of some hormonal imbalance.
While I was living there, as normal in student life, I started snacking a lot and eating lots of sweets, biscuits and crisps and junk in general, so I put on quite some weight in a few years time.
Then I got back to my country and had irregular period, but not painful at all.
My mother convinced me to go to a doctor and I went to a gynaecologist, which was recommended to me by my mum's doctor to get a check-up.
That's when they did all possible exams to me, hormonal blood test, insulin-resistance test, blood pressure and several ultrasounds and they told me I had PCOS so they put me on Metformin and Yasmin pill.
This was 2007 and I took both medicaments for about a couple of years, let's say until the summer of 2009.
I was not happy about taking those medicines, I had more pain when I got my period (despite it being regular because of the pill) and lots of problems with digestion and often I had stomachaches and tummyaches as I felt my body wasn't accepting Metformin at all, as I am not diabetic or anything like that.
So I then decided to go to another doctor as I felt not sure about being diagnosed PCOS.
By the way, the previous doctor told me that it was a genetic disease (when no one in the family has it) and that it would have been almost impossible for me to get pregnant, which put me off a lot as I've always wanted to have kids and I was only a young girl at the time in her fertile period.
Then in September 2009 I went to another famous endocrinologist, who has been dealing with PCOS for many years as I wanted to talk to him of my interest of building up a self-help group for women living in my town with PCOS.
The first question he asked me was: are you sure you have PCOS? Never trust gynaecologists, they tend to be pretty extreme... So he told me to go and have a full check-up with them, so I stopped all the pills and waited 2-3 months to get my body back into track.
I then had hormonal blood tests done again and a couple of ultrasounds and they told me: "You don't have anything, you are perfectly healthy".
So I was happy on one hand but also very angry on the other: I thought, how can it be that I first was diagnosed with a terrible PCOS and then suddenly nothing?
That's why I never know whom to trust.
So I decided to go for the natural way and get my period back into track with no medicines whatsoever.
I only took an homeopathic supplement made out of heather which is meant to relieve hormonal problems. So I had my period kind of regular until the end of July 2011.
Then I haven't had my period and at the beginning of November I got some blood coming out and then a huge bleeding, so I went to hospital and here it was: I had a miscarriage.
My fiance and I started thinking of a baby this summer so we made love a couple of times with no hurry and there I was: immediately pregnant!
Fair enough, it didn't go through as I had a natural miscarriage, but I was told it happens very often in a woman's life, at least once and especially it tends to be very frequent for the first pregnancy, but at least I know I can conceive and quite easily.
That is now my doubt: do I have PCOS then or not?
I might consult another gynaecologist now for a checkup after the miscarriage, but I think I will try to listen to my body's signals more and take good care of myself.
Stress and worries do certainly not help in having a regular period, so I'll try to be positive and worry less about things I can't change and eat healthily and walk regularly.
Here is my story and hope for all of you, wherever you live.
Good luck everyone and keep the faith!
Editor's comments: Whether or not you have polycystic ovary syndrome or not depends on which doctor you talk to. This condition is a "syndrome", meaning it is a collection of various symptoms. A lot of these symptoms don't at first appear to be related to each other. Most doctors do not take the time to do a careful review of your health history, nor do they do an extensive amount of lab work to really find out what is going on.
Some women may not have PCOS but something similar, such as metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance. Any of these conditions can lead to increased rates of miscarriage.
In the final analysis, it doesn't matter what you call it. The thing to do is improve your basic health practices: healthier diet, more exercise, reduced stress, adequate sleep.