A Letter to the Friends and Family of the Ladies with PCOS

To the friends and family of ladies with PCOS – we’re happy you’re listening. 

What is PCOS?

Poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is nothing to joke about. It, also, is a condition that changes your whole body – in every way. Long story short, “Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs.” (source) It’s not the best thing to hear as a woman that your ovaries are failing to regularly release eggs, especially when you’re starting to plan your future. Whether their future plan involves children or not, there is a higher chance that she will not be able to conceive or carry the pregnancy to term.  There is also the issue of irregular menstruation, heavy or absent menstruation, weight gain, an imbalance or excess of androgen levels, thinning of hair, and more. 

We need you there. 

The tricky part about it is that every woman who has PCOS has different symptoms. This can be hard for doctors to help and remedy the condition – and it can be a very lonely place. If her doctors have a hard time understanding what you can do to help yourself, how are her friends & family going to understand, right? The best thing you can do right now is be there for vent sessions or be an active listener. Try to comprehend what she is going through, and please, for the love of everything, do not tell her that all she has to do is start eating healthier. Just be there for the support of her decisions that she makes. 

She is trying to make sense of this herself. When you start to add in your own opinions on her body and the way she looks or is carrying herself these days, that can be the worst thing to hear. She’d already heard it may be harder for her to lose weight, have kids, and/or have a regular period. She is constantly worried if she is pregnant or not when she’s not looking to conceive. The worst thing to hear about is how she can just remedy it by acting like everything is fine. It’s not always that simple. 

We thank you for listening. 

This is an invisible condition. You can not tangibly see what’s going on, but you can be there to hold her when she feels heavier than she is. You can be there when her moods are all over the place. Hold her when she is scared because she hasn’t gotten her period for three full months or if her period has lasted over a week. You can be there when she starts a better diet and vigorous exercise routine. Also, when she is put on medication that makes her stomach flip. 

All we ask is that you are there and supportive of everything that is going on. She may not be okay right now, mentally, with what is going on. She may be very sensitive and she may not feel as confident as usual. It is all part of the process of dealing with this condition. You can make a difference in her life by being her light in the darkness.