One very important fact that I purposely left out of my PCOS Is Life Changing post was the issue of infertility. Women with PCOS have an extremely hard time becoming pregnant and staying pregnant. We tend to have more miscarriages and need other methods to assist in fertilization such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to help conceive. It’s probably one of the most heartbreaking realizations for most women when they find out they have PCOS and they want to start a family.
When I was first diagnosed with PCOS I found multiple forums and websites that spoke mainly about infertility, and methods to help a women conceive. This wasn’t was I was looking for at the time, but it definitely opened my eyes to what other women were dealing with and how they were changing their daily routines. I’m glad there are so many avenues of support for women that need a helping hand when it comes to keeping their chin up after the third or fifth miscarriage, but this wasn’t what I was looking for.
I don’t want to children and I never will want children. When I tell people this they’re usually shocked and confused because I have a maternal personality when it comes to my loved ones. I know it’s not in me to be a mother and have responsibility for someone else’s life.
When I was looking for PCOS support I couldn’t find anything that was going to suit my needs. I was looking for someone to tell me it’s going to be okay and it’ll be difficult at first, but you’ll manage. The only thing I had to go on were a few pamphlets the nurse practitioner gave me right after she laid out the bad news. In a way I was really relieved to know what the heck was going on inside my body, but now I needed to figure out how to battle it.
When I went to Planned Parenthood to get birth control I would have to explain the type of hormones I needed in order to avoid weight gain or increased emotional distress. If I had too little progesterone I would feel incredibly depressed and would have suicidal tendencies (not to mention the most horrific cramps). However, if I had a progesterone based birth control I would feel so anxious that I would feel faint and pass out during the first part of the day, but I wouldn’t want to kill myself every three weeks. I haven’t found a middle ground yet, but I also have to take a cocktail of vitamins to help balance everything out.
When I mention that I have PCOS to people, the few that know what it is give me a look of pity and their first question is usually about how it affects my chances of getting pregnant. At the same time, when I ask doctors about getting a hysterectomy I typically get the response, but you’re so young… you might change your mind. I don’t see how they can say this to someone who has what I have? I don’t want to put my mental well-being, nor my body through any of the methods to assist in a pregnancy. I don’t want to be a mother! It’s a new world, and yet people still hold on to this idea that becoming a mother is the ultimate goal for every woman.
I still have yet to find a real community of women that don’t want children and are struggling with PCOS, but maybe this can become a space for that one day. The life I envision for myself would never suite a child, and in some ways marriage, but who knows.
If you do have PCOS and are looking for support through trying to get pregnant I would suggest Soul Cysters. They’ve helped me out in the past and their website is full of amazing information to help guide you through this stupid disease.