I was recently diagnosed with PCOS: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. What is PCOS? I found out I have PCOS because I kept gaining weight, became prediabetic, and finally with an ultrasound it became clear that my ovaries are surrounded by cysts. Along with that joyous news, it was determined I have a 3 mm tumor in my head. Seriously. Not to fear, it’s not cancerous, thankfully. It’s a pituitary gland tumor aka pituitary adenoma. The pituitary gland is a master gland below the brain that controls many things in the body, but mostly hormone related. This was diagnosed after discovering I had elevated Prolactin levels in my blood. I’m currently on medication of Metformin and Cabergoline. I was originally on Bromocriptine, but I had such adverse side effects from it I stopped taking it. My endocrinologist has since prescribed me Cabergoline. So far so good.
How do I feel? Physically, fine. Emotionally, depends on the day you ask. Right now, I’m okay. Plus, I think I’ve had enough time to process the news.
What does this mean for children in our future? A number of things, mostly, we don’t know if we’ll be able to conceive a child naturally. I hope and pray that we do. If not, adoption is definitely and has always been an option for us. Which reminds me, I stress the importance of talking about infertility before marriage. I’m grateful that it’s something we had discussed pre-marriage in great detail. Especially since we are in a place now in our lives where it hasn’t been easy trying to conceive due to my health issues.
The only reason I’m sharing this news is because I know we’re not alone. However, many friends and family members are ashamed or scared to share their stories. It is what it is. I can’t sugar coat it. It sucks. It sucks because I finally got to a place in my life and heart where I’m ready and want to become a mother. Then to hit this roadblock this huge is hurtful and frustrating more than anything. I’m thankful we found out what is going on with my body. It feels unnatural to not be in control of my own body. To know that my issue is greater than what I can control on my own is at times overwhelming. It’s manageable, but not curable. It’s something I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life. I don’t know how I would’ve handled this news without the unwavering love and emotional support of my husband and our families. It’s not easy and there are lots of times I questioned myself as a woman and wife. Why is this happening to me? Why isn’t my body normal? Why can’t I get pregnant right away? When will I get pregnant? When will I have control over my body again? When do we start looking into a fertility specialist? There are so many questions and yet still uncertain answers. The only thing I can do is continue to take my medications.
The biggest lesson I’m taking away from this is to be kinder to myself. I need to accept this is what’s happening right now. I will be okay. Life will be okay. My marriage will always be okay. If anything, it has brought my husband and me closer. He has seen and heard me cry. He shares in my prayers. He has experienced first hand my frustrations and side effects from medicine. It has forced me to share with him and others how I’m feeling. Sometimes, I don’t feel emotionally strong. As someone who has always been an optimistic and happy person, these feelings of sadness or frustration are new to me. I’m learning that it’s normal.
I wasn’t able to predict what’s going on with my body, but family genetics has a lot to do with it. I have family members with PCOS and Pituitary Gland Tumors, that I’ve only recently found out about. This is why it’s important to know our family history. I know I’m not alone in this. While my husband insists we are going through this together, which we are, I still feel this is very much my own journey. That’s because it is happening in my body. Even that feeling of alone is normal. It’s most important to remember none of us are alone. The difference between me and most is I’m willing to share what’s going on. That’s because I believe we can all learn from one another and help each other when we are in a place of the unknown in our lives.
If I can be of help and support to someone else and have another woman become more familiar with her body, then it’s all worth it. I want to let other couples know that fertility issues are extremely common. It wasn’t something we expected or could have predicted. Even though we’re currently experiencing this new challenge in our lives, we’re not going to let it stop us from enjoying our lives or marriage. We’re going to continue to travel. We’re going to continue to pray. We’re going to continue to enjoy the full lives we have created with our friends and family. We’re going to continue to show other couples that our love is enough to get us through anything together. If you think you have PCOS contact your doctor asap, especially if you are trying to conceive. The struggle is real, but it doesn’t have to be the end all and be all of our happiness and life together.