What is PCOS?
PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and only affects women who have an elevated level of male hormones.
- irregular periods
- excess hair growth
- weight gain / hard to lose weight
- pelvic pain
Currently it’s thought to be genetic and until there is a cure for it there needs to be a lot more research into it.
About 13 years ago I was diagnosed after a lot of trips to the doctor trying to figure out what was going on with my body. I felt uncomfortable, insecure, embarrassed, confused and suffered from a real lack of self-confidence. Nothing was explained to me, so I had to research it and deal with it myself.
PCOS has a huge effect on us, not only physically but emotionally as well. It is caused by a hormone imbalance which is why we suffer with these symptoms. It affects our insulin, androgen’s and progesterone.
There is a website I highly recommend: www.pcosaa.org. This is the PCOS awareness association. They have a lot more information on what PCOS is and are working hard into researching it more. If you have or think you have it I would visit this site as it is incredibly informative.
PCOS is the main reason why I got into beauty. I wanted to find ways to help my skin and overcome my anxiety. 13 years later, I now feel that I am really in control of my symptoms that once used to cause me so much stress and pain. I’m so happy that I have my own beauty business now and am in a position to pass my knowledge on and help my clients with their skin, body, mind, self-belief and confidence.
These bits of advice I have learnt through my own journey and I want to share them to help anyone else who may be suffering. I have come out the other side with reduced symptoms and I have now learnt to love my body.
1. You are not alone
1 in 10 women suffer with PCOS. That’s globally! There are lots of online communities you can reach out to if you’re feeling confused or want to find others who can relate to how you feel. There will be people in your life who are affected by PCOS too, be open and honest and get a network around yourself.
Some online Facebook communities for you to look at are
If you feel low or this is affecting your mindset visit your GP and let them know as you may be able to get extra support from them.
2. Sugar – ditch it
Having PCOS means we don’t process insulin properly. The thing that made the biggest difference to my acne and weight was cutting it out. It’s a big adjustment at first as sugar is EVERYWHERE but it will really make a change for the best.
My skin is clearer than it has been in years! Yes, I still get hormonal breakouts etc. but I don’t have painful acne anymore so for me that’s a massive win!
3. Stay away from harsh skincare
If you’re skin really bad, seek medical advice.
Over the years I have tried many medical treatments, the pill and strong off-the-shelf products. My skin only got worse and more uncomfortable. Again, cutting out sugar was the biggest help but using the right products will help keep your skin nourished, comfortable and heal the skin too.
Acne treatments can be too drying and irritate the skin. They can also take off the protective layer and strip your skin. Try using gentle products for a normal skin type.
I use a good soap free gentle cleanser, rose water toner, scrub every 3 days and a frankincense moisturiser to help heal my skin and nourish it. A previous blog that I wrote called ‘Top tips for beautiful skin this summer‘ has great info on a simple routine.
4. Hair removal
Having excess hair for a woman is tough… we can deal with it though. There are lots of options: waxing, creams, laser. However, DO NOT SHAVE – it will create stubble and irritation.
I have had laser treatment and sadly it didn’t work for me, so I now wax. As a therapist I wax myself in my salon using hot wax. Hot wax is amazing for sensitive areas as it doesn’t remove any skin and is far less painful. You can buy home waxing kits but for facial waxing I would recommend going to see a professional.
The symptoms that come with PCOS can be overwhelming and can get you down. Talk to your doctor and get some information, join some online communities and be open with people for support. We can do something about the symptoms and take some control over our bodies! Remember, we are all beautiful. We should love ourselves and be strong. ‘You’ve got this!’
I hope this advice and information can offer help and support if you’re struggling to deal or manage your PCOS. Perhaps you don’t have it, but you know someone who does, maybe this could help them. I am 1 in 10 and proud of who I am, I hope you are too!