“I Was Scared I Would Have To Suffer From PCOS My Whole Life”
I remember lying on the hospital table, embarrassed by bearing what I thought at the time was my fat belly. I was 17 years old and I had had excruciating tummy pain. The ultrasound gel felt cold, and I worried the pressure on my full belly might make me wet myself. The radiologist must have been doing rounds at the hospital, and he came in to take a look at my scans.
He told me I had PolyCystic Ovary Syndrome, but that was that.
I didn’t know what that meant, and it wasn’t explained. I knew something wasn’t ‘normal’, but I didn’t know if I should even be worried, and he didn’t seem overly concerned.
The next year I moved out of home to go to a University almost 2 hours away. The move from the country to the city, and away from my family, was really stressful. I often cried myself to sleep and I really missed home. I’m sure stress was a big factor in the further development of my PCOS.
I put on almost 20kg and my self esteem plummeted!
I couldn’t look in the mirror without cringing and feeling terrible about myself. My skin started to develop more spots and became more hairy. At least I saved what little money I had by not having to buy pads, after all, I had no period.
I felt lost.
No matter what I tried, I didn’t seem to be able to lose weight or get my body back on track.
I went to see a gynaecologist praying for some answers. He was running 40 minutes late and I sat waiting awkwardly in his sterile office. After an impersonal 5 minute consultation, one I really couldn’t afford as a student, he sat back on his chair, stared at me, and told me just to eat less and move more.
For many years, I suffered from hot flushes, dizzy spells, acne, excessive hair growth, weight gain and low self-esteem.
I started to live in tracksuits as they were comfortable, and I thought they hid the fat. I couldn’t find anyone with any expertise in PCOS. I just needed to know how to become healthy again, and I desperately wanted to no longer suffer from all of these symptoms.
My studies at University were science and health focused. Eight years in intensive university study gave me a great understanding of the human body and health. I also started to read other research, books and anything I could get my hands on, and I attended seminars often. I think my husband may describe me as a nerd.
I worked out what PCOS really was, what it meant and what changes I needed to make to overcome it.
I vividly remember the first time I ovulated. For a second, I wondered what this sticky stuff in my knickers was. I was at the airport in Melbourne – sitting in the ladies with a smile so large I thought my face might crack! I was in my thirties. My skin has settled down, and I’m so grateful not to have a face full of spots.
Getting my period is exciting and empowering!
And I’m so happy I don’t have those nauseating hot flushes or dizzy spells any more. I knew many other women were suffering just as I had done and I also knew there was very limited accurate information available.
I realised I had a responsibility to get this powerful information into the hands, minds and hearts of other women with PCOS.
This life’s mission is dedicated to helping you regain your health, boost your fertility, restore your period, lose excessive weight, and live a PCOS free life.
I did it, and so can you!
Dr Rebecca Harwin
‘The PCOS Expert’
International Bestselling PCOS Author, PCOS Expert, Nutritionist and Chiropractor