The TMI Series: PCOS

The acne on my face, the hair in unwanted places. Is it just me or is this normal? I mean how hairy could one girl / woman be? I’d wondered this for years until the diagnosis came in—PCOS.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, also known as PCOS, sounds ominous doesn’t it? Don’t worry, it is not but it is pretty serious. It is not a disease but it is a nuisance. PCOS has varying symptoms such as hormonal imbalance which lead to mood swings- and yes, that means that what we have known all of these years as “PMS” is either caused by or highly affected by the hormonal change brought on by PCOS. The hormonal changes don’t stop at mood swings, depression or anxiety; it also adds physical changes to a female’s body. In my case, the physical change package came complete with unassisted weight gain, noticeably large dark spots on my face and neck and you guessed it… excess hair in the most “unladylike” places like my face, back, stomach and chest. Sexy, I know.

There, it’s out there, I’ve said it. Now, I ask you, how am I supposed to feel attractive when my body is visually plotting against me? The host of effects on the female psyche is mind-blowing, as if we don’t have enough to think about. In addition to trying to master the perfect cat eye wing liner and cupid dart lips with matte lipstick women with PCOS have to be concerned that the fresh shave from yesterday does not bring stubble through her foundation. She hopes and prays her hardest that ‘Mr. Right’ or ‘Mr. Right Here’ does not notice she is cleverly trying to hide a stubborn five o’clock shadow.  You’ve seen the memes.

Someone reading this might be saying “gross” but on behalf of all PCOS sufferers, “you can’t tell us anything we have not already thought about our selves at one point.”

When India.Arie sang  ‘…sometimes I shave my legs, sometimes I don’t…’ I thought to myself, ahh there goes my homie, she gets it! Women in general do A LOT to maintain some level of what is conceived to be beauty but those of us with PCOS have to go that extra mile then hop out and walk the rest on foot to where other modes of “transport” cannot go. Truth be told, we get tired, like really really tired.

Do you have PCOS? Comment below on how you deal  … you can be anonymous or make up a name we won’t tell ;)