The acronym, PCOS, has to be my least favorite acronym in the entire world. PCOS stands for polycystic ovarian syndrome. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a hormonal disorder which causes enlarged ovaries and cysts on the ovaries as well. I knew my two older sisters have PCOS, and I always thought I would never get it.
I started suffering from PCOS right after I graduated high school. After high school, I made some major changes in my life. I started taking skin care much more seriously, and I went vegan. I had flawless skin, the kind you would see on Neutrogena commercials. My confidence was at an all-time high, whereas my stress was at an all-time low. Everything was going great.
Out of nowhere, I noticed these humongous, mountain-like pimples on my face. They literally appeared overnight. I never developed that much acne so quickly in my life. However, I decided I could easily get rid of them with my daily skin care routine.
I would wash my face several times a day, I applied every home-made remedy I could on the acne. But it only got worse. When one pimple finally healed, another three would pop up. They left scars, which I have never had before. My face was red and purple with acne scars and pimples. I thought “This can’t get any worse.”
The other symptoms of PCOS started popping up in succession. I went on a low-fat vegan diet, thinking I would lose weight. I did intense cardio every day. However, I noticed my weight was rapidly climbing on the scale. I gained ten pounds in two weeks! But of course, again, I thought, “This can’t get any worse.”
Facial hair started growing. At first, I thought I was seeing things. I am always harsh on my body, and I tend to see things that literally no one else does. However, I started growing these thick sideburns, as well as some fuzz on my cheeks, and a unibrow. I started plucking and shaving, and even put hair removal cream on my face (which was a HORRIBLE idea by the way). However, I did not go to a doctor until several months of me not getting my period. I finally scheduled an appointment with my doctor. After several more blood tests, doctor appointments, and a costly ultrasound, I was officially diagnosed with PCOS. I was immediately placed on birth control after almost a year of dealing with the symptoms.
Although the birth control controlled my acne and my weight and bring my period back, the damage has been done. I became obese, and worst of all, my skin was ruined. My face was a scarred, hairy mess.
However, I learned one great thing about PCOS: it is not permanent. For anyone suffering from this demon, understand it can be undone. It may be hard, but you can do it. I’m on this journey with you.