I’ve gotten this question many times now, so I thought I’d write up a response.
What about PCOS?
First, let me say, I’m so sorry you suffer with PCOS. I’ve never experienced it, but from what I’ve heard it’s a tough cross to bear in many ways. Not only are your cycles crazy, but many times it comes with weight gain, pain, mood swings, unusual hair growth, acne, insulin resistance, and it is one of the leading causes of sub or infertility.
For those who don’t know, PCOS is polycystic ovary syndrome. It is a reproductive dysfunction in which a woman ovulates infrequently or not at all. It is a hormonal disorder. And most doctors will prescribe birth control to “cure” it, and they probably truly believe it’s your only option.
I’m so sorry that the medical world feels it is ok to fix one area of your health while potentially destroying other parts. This is unfair.
I’m also sorry that our society is a quick-fix one. I’m sorry that we’ve taught ourselves that the easy way is the right way. This is setting us up for immediate happiness, but potentially future pain and long-term unhappiness.
I say these things because the pill is the easy fix by the medical world that seemingly works. You take a “magic pill” that seems to make everything better. But why are we ok with curing our acne, our weight gain, our mood swings at the expense of possibly getting blood clots, increased risks of certain cancers, and still not fixing the true problem?
Here’s a scenario; one I’ve actually seen happen. A woman dealing with PCOS is prescribed the pill at age 16. She doesn’t think about her disorder again until she’s ready to start a family later in life. She stops taking the pill and suddenly her PCOS resurfaces. She isn’t ovulating and she’s given the new cross of sub or infertility. Instead of managing her PCOS at 16, she now has to learn how when she desperately wants a baby.
Instead, why doesn’t the medical community work with women to manage their PCOS in ways that aren’t detrimental to other aspects of their health and future? There are other ways to manage PCOS. No, they might not be cures, but there are ways to help the malfunctioning parts of the body function closer to how they should. The pill may seem like it regulates your hormones and causes your body to have a “period”, but it does not. Instead it makes your body think it is pregnant and then causes it to have “withdrawal” bleeding. This just further masks the malfunction. Why has their been a shift from treating the underlying causes of women’s fertility to just “skipping over” the causes?
For many the pill is the easiest way to get back to life. I guess it is, but the easy way is not always the right way. Instead I would encourage women with PCOS to steal themselves in strength and determination. Find a doctor who is willing to work with you on managing PCOS instead of covering it up. Work with a nutritionist to loose weight (a huge factor in managing PCOS!!!). Too much weight (or too little) can have a huge effect on cycle regularity. PCOS is a hormonal disorder and the food we eat can have a great impact on those hormones. Find which ones you are missing or eating too much of. Read Fertility,Cycles, and Nutrition or TheFertility Diet; both are books with great information about how to manage areas of a woman’s cycle naturally. Not only do they cover diet, but also have great information on supplements that can further help.
But what about women who try those things and have no relief? Yes, there are further options. Search out a NaPro Technology doctor or at least a doctor that is willing to do hormonal profiling. Through NaPro Technology, doctors are able to find the underlying causes and determine treatment. Sometimes the treatments are minor, but for more severe cases it could include surgery.
Normal, Healthy Chart
I was asked, “If you have a daughter [that] grows up to have a condition like [PCOS], will you have her use 'NFP, vitamins, diet, and exercise'? Will you have her track her ovulation instead of taking the Pill and actually fixing her legitimate health problem, even if she is not sexually active?”
Yes! Yes, my daughter will learn NFP, and if problems arise with her cycle we will manage them with vitamins, diet, exercise, and more if the situation calls for it. She deserves total health care. She deserves more than a band-aid. I will not have her pick and choose what aspects of her health are important.
The pill is easy, but it’s not healthy. I just pray that more medical practitioners realize this and more women get the help they deserve as a result.