When I was 19 and studying Journalism at University, I went through a year of sudden, inexplicable and miserable weight gain, spotty skin, and no periods. Finally, I was diagnosed with this 'thing' called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). I was shocked and confused initially when I saw the harmless cysts on the ultrasound, which looked to me like weird bubble shapes around my ovaries. The ultrasound was carried out in a maternity unit which felt cruel when I'd just been told that I may never be able to get pregnant. How did I 'get' it? Does this really mean I can never have children? Is this it - spotty, fat and miserable forever?!
How did I 'get' it? Does this really mean I can never have children? Is this it - spotty, fat and miserable forever?!
Then came....relief. Relief that I could finally give a name to all these changes. I made a decision very quickly that I was going to work hard to feel like me again, to get well, and take back control of my life. I read everything and anything that would help me piece myself back together. I made a personal decision to treat my symptoms under the guidance of a medical herbalist accredited by the National Institute of Medical Herbalists in the UK and by revising my lifestyle. My priority was to treat the cause of my symptoms.
By eating the right foods for my body (no mean feat for a junk food lover I can assure you), discovering exercise for pretty much the first time in my life and with the help of my medical herbalist, positive health changes slowly started to happen. It has now been 15 years since I was diagnosed. My PCOS symptoms are under control, which I have maintained consistently for about the last 12 years through a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise. I am very grateful to have conceived naturally and easily with my son, and enjoyed a healthy pregnancy without complications. My lifestyle now is completely different to the one I had before being diagnosed - I'm very conscious of maintaining it on a daily basis in order to maximise my health and continue managing my symptoms.
My newfound interest in health led to me qualifying and practising as an occupational therapist. For over 10 years, I have specialised in rehabilitating people with neurological conditions to increase their own health and wellbeing. I completed my Masters speaking with a group of women with PCOS kind enough to share their experiences of what it's like living with the condition. Doing this piece of research made me realise just how important it is for women to have easy access to accurate information and a sense of social support.
I've created this website to provide a comprehensive information resource on PCOS supported by available research, literature, relevant professional opinion and my own personal experience. I am personally an advocate of adopting a holistic and integrated approach to health which means looking at a person as a whole, considering their physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, and respecting the benefits of a range of treatment options to meet individual needs.
I hope you find it as empowering as I have to learn about the many things that can be done to get your symptoms under control and to feel armed with sufficient knowledge to make decisions about your own health. I'm not saying it has always been easy to make lifestyle changes but I am honestly grateful to have been diagnosed with PCOS. It has changed my life for the better and taught me a lot along the way about how to live more healthily and happily.
I hope the information you choose to take from this website proves to be positive in your own life.
With best wishes,