Last month I was diagnosed with PCOS -- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
It didn't exactly come as a shock, but having the official diagnoses was still an emotional roller coaster. A few months ago I basically knew nothing about PCOS -- and now after endless hours researching I'm less in the dark -- though I know I have much more to learn. For those of you who do not know, PCOS is a hormonal imbalance disorder that can cause insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, ovarian cysts, and infertility - among other less threatening side effects (source).
And while that whole list is overwhelming, it's the infertility part that felt unbearable. I want to start a family more than anything. Being diagnosed with PCOS doesn't necessarily mean I won't be able to have a baby, but it does mean it's going to be much harder if I am at all able. Harder to not only get pregnant, but keep a pregnancy.
After my diagnosis I debated back and forth about telling anyone -- maybe if I didn't talk about it I could pretend it wasn't true. Putting it online for the world to read was the farthest from my mind at that point. But once I did start to open up about it a bit I realized the main reason I didn't want to talk about it is because I felt like I wasn't supposed to. Yes, I have parts of my life I hold close and don't share, but this didn't seem like it should be one of them.
Infertility is such a taboo topic, but it affects 1 in 8 couples. And while infertility is a taboo topic, apparently family planning is not. It hasn't stopped countless people asking me: "Well when are you having a baby?" "Why haven't you had kids yet?" "What are you two waiting for? Aren't you even trying?" If those questions are still being asked then I shouldn't feel like I need to hide this -- especially when it is clearly going to be a big part of my life moving forward.
I plan on posting about my initial diagnosis, what our first steps are moving forward and about my journey in general on my blog at myurbanfamily.com/category/life-advice/pcos/. Please stop by and follow along, especially if you are going through a similar journey. PCOS, infertility, and family planning are topics we should be able to discuss and obstacles to overcome together.
If you have PCOS, words of advice, or have any questions I would love to hear from you! And if you have friends or family also going through a similar journey, please pass my story along so our journeys can be shared.
Alexandra is a Chicago area blogger at www.myurbanfamily.com. Her writing includes life advice, random musings, and details about her family's journey into urban life in Chicago. Make sure to follow along HERE for helpful and witty post updates.