My PCOS Story

My PCOS Story

I remember I was wearing a mask whenever I go out because of my acne. Because of that, I didn’t have high self-esteem. I tried almost every product that I thought would treat my pimples. But nothing worked. I didn’t realize that there was something more than my acne condition.

Everyone goes to puberty! Some people are lucky enough to have a blooming, smooth puberty process. Some just have the worst puberty stage. For me, my worse condition was my acne.

How It Started

I first had my pimples during my high school days. I remember as I go through my first year to fourth year, my pimples get worse and worse each year. Makeup can cover my pimples until it can’t anymore.

I used several products that I thought would treat my pimples. I tried one product for a month or two, but I noticed it only triggers my pimples more.

My pimples worsen when I was in my third year of high school. It was the year I first went to the dermatologist because beauty products can’t handle my pimple condition.

I remember I’d cry every after facial treatment because it was super painful. The derma pricked my pimples as part of her procedure, then she puts medicine and requires me to buy her maintenance products. My face turns red every after session; there was some blood too.

I endured that facial treatment for several weeks because I thought it would take my pimples away. But no. The doctor and I noticed that my condition isn’t improving even we’ve had several sessions already. It’s like every after sessions, a new batch of pimples showed and needed to be treated.

So my derma prescribed me a medicine known to cure acne condition. She explained to me what the medicine is about, what the effects and side effects are, and how it works. Basically, it will purge out my pimples for 1-3 months, it will eventually heal and I’ll “never have pimples again.”

Before I supposedly buy the medicine, I research about the medicine. I got scared of the side effects because it will make my skin SUPER dry. There were other side effects as well. So I didn’t buy the medicine and never went back to the derma again.

I just prayed for my acne condition and let them out because I though I was just going through puberty.

College Days

I graduated high school with pimples and entered college. Now, I felt insecure about my face during these years. Especially when I went to third year college where all our major subjects dumped to us that year.

Stressed. No sleep. Busy. That year, we made a 24-hr coffeeshop our home because of projects and deadlines. That year, I had my acne breakout again but much more worse than my high school days.

I went to a different dermatologist again. She used a different procedure to me. Instead of pricking them, she just injected medicine and applied her own products. My face was quite less redness after sessions. I tried doing that treatment again for a month.

But same with my first derma, she noticed the treatment isn’t effective. So she prescribed me a different medicine — an antibiotic.

I swear, that antibiotic worked for me. My acne healed; my old pimple marks slowly fades away. I was blooming when I was taking that medicine. I’ve never felt confident and blooming in my puberty life despite the stress in school.

I was so happy because my acne condition finally got healed. My skin on my face is finally flawless! But sadly that happiness didn’t last.

When I stopped taking the antibiotic, my pimples slowly showed again. And my face went back to being full of acne again.

Time For A Checkup at the OB/GYN

This is not normal. My friends I know who went to dermatologists have a clean and clear face. Their acne condition healed after several sessions. But mine isn’t just normal.

Majority of my friends are studying in the medical field — Nursing, Medtech, etc. They suggested I go to the OB/GYN because they suspected I have PCOS. Before I went to the OB/GYN, I researched what PCOS is, what the causes and solutions are.

PCOS means Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. According to Healthline, it’s a “syndrome,” or a group of symptoms that affects the ovaries and ovulation. Its three main features are:

  • cysts in the ovaries
  • high levels of male hormones
  • irregular or skipped periods

Reading all these on the internet made me paranoid. But I didn’t go to the doctor just yet. I was scared to know the results. What convinced me to go to the doctor and face this was when I experienced fainting because of extreme pain from dysmenorrhea.

When I was in second-year college, I remember I fainted three times because I was having dysmenorrhea. The taxi driver told me he’ll drop me off to the Emergency Room to the nearest hospital because my lips were pale and I was sweating already.

Remembering those painful moments, it convinced me that something’s definitely wrong and that I had to go to the OB/GYNE.

My Diagnosis

I went to the OB/Gyne doctor every after 6 months for a follow-up checkup and for monitoring of my condition. So far, I went back three.

First diagnosis:

I had PCOS on my left ovaries. The doctor prescribed me a pack of pills that would help treat my PCOS and specifically my acne concerns. She told me to take those pills for 6 months and go back for a follow-up checkup.

She didn’t quite explain why I have PCOS, how it developed, and what should I avoid. Just avoid high cholesterol food.

In the first two or three months of taking pills, my pimples purged out. I had the worst months of my life. My face is full of pimples! I was embarrassed to the point I wear masks every time I go out. But after that stage, my acne healed and I had a better skin.

Second diagnosis:

After 6 months, I went to a different doctor who would explain to me my condition and would advise what I should do.

My result: I was at the line of “my PCOS’s about to be gone” and “I still have them.” Basically, my PCOS was about to be healed. So the doctor recommended for me to continually and consistently take the pills.

This time she explained to me that I should exercise, avoid high cholesterol food, and less intake of sugar because sometimes, sugar triggers PCOS condition. At least, that’s what I understood.

She explained that there isn’t a cure nor medicine for PCOS. The pills only just help regulate my menstrual cycle and treat the symptoms (my acne).

As I continuously take pills, my skin face went better and better. I tried my best to have a healthy diet and lifestyle for 6 months! Note: I tried.

Third Diagnosis:

I don’t why but I developed PCOS on both ovaries even though I tried my best to be healthy. It’s discouraging, really.

I thought I’m doing okay and healing because my face is all clear and I have no acne breakouts anymore for a year and a half already. But I remembered that pills are only to cure the symptoms, not the PCOS.

The doctor explained it to me properly how PCOS works. Sometimes it would develop or be healed on its own (as what I understood). She encouraged me to continue taking pills and only come back when I decided to have a child. I didn’t have to come back every 6 months.

PCOS affects your chance of pregnancy. There will be a separate medicine to take, a different treatment to follow when my PCOS affects my pregnancy condition. Meaning if I’m having a hard time getting pregnant.

But if I just want to address my acne condition, then I just have to continue taking the pills until I decide to have a child.

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Why I’m having my pimple breakout again…

Well that’s because I stopped taking pills for 3 months already. I experience headaches whenever I’m having my menstrual cycle, and headache is one of the pills’ side effects.

I didn’t want to go through the headache, so I stopped with the doctor’s knowledge and advise of course. But then, my pimples resurfaced again so I went back taking pills again. It’s been a month.

So right now, I’m in the healing stage again because I retook pills. Tiis ganda nalang muna tayo nito!

Don’t lose hope!

To all the women out there who have PCOS, I encourage you to not lose hope. Keep praying for healing and cure! Continue to follow what you’re doctor prescribed and advised. Keep your hopes and confidence up because you’re not alone!

Noe Petel (@noepetel)
Hey Life, Cheers!
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