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A magazine spread about polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Design inspired by RED Magazine.

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Published by aakashmb911, 2019-05-01 14:19:28

O-Vary Confusing Life

A magazine spread about polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Design inspired by RED Magazine.

Health and Wellness

O-Vary Image: Adobe Stock Three unique young women, three
unique stories. Their only connection
is a condition known as Polycystic
Written by Aakash Bhatia Life Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). These are
54 REDONLINE.CO.UK January 2019
their experiences.

Ruby is a twelve year old girl just
beginning her ascension into
woman-hood, she’s just hit puberty.
The first year seems to proceed as
planned, her body is adjusting, she’s
gradually learning about periods and she’s
just getting used to the idea that her body
bleeds for a week every month. Ruby joins a
new school immersing herself into that new
school life, she’s making friends and doing
her homework like any normal teenager. Ruby
finally turned fourteen! She noticed something
changed. She started getting these intense
mood swings, within the span of an hour she
would refuse to get out of bed, hysterically cry,
and then return to normalcy. I know what you’re
thinking; “this is just how teenage girls are”
which is incorrect because she wasn’t reacting
to anything, there were no triggers the mood
swings were just random.
Ruby explained “I still get them now. They
feel like the worst thing in the world and I feel
like I can’t get out of them. They don’t make
any sense to me when I feel fine”. The doctor
prescribes her with a mini-pill, which only
contains one hormone known as progestogen.
The mini-pill regulates her mood swings but
she still consistently has irregular periods
but thinks it’s because she’s overweight. A
couple years go by and she’s now sixteen
and sexually active. She follows the doctor’s
suggestion and gets the implant, a popular
contraceptive. The implant is a small plastic
rod that gets inserted into the woman’s arm
just beneath the skin periodically releasing
progestogen into the bloodstream, it’s said to
be effective in preventing pregnancy for upto
three years. However, she had to remove it
within two years because it drove Ruby “crazy”,
had a detrimental effect on her mental health,
and she had no periods. “My boyfriend at
the time was genuinely scared for my life, he
thought I was going to harm myself because
when I was down, I was really really down. I
January 2019 REDONLINE.CO.UK 55

started having fewer good days and everything no question about that. She’ll have ovulation was passed around to three different doctors protein based diet is the best combatant to
just merged into sadness” said Ruby. Ruby problems, have recurrent miscarriages before she was diagnosed. PCOS, because the cysts present on ovaries
still wasn’t diagnosed “I don’t know how the because it’s a hormone imbalance”. To add salt feed on carbohydrates, starchy foods, and
GP couldn’t piece together that I had PCOS. I to the deep wound Norah continues to list out Lily’s diagnoses mirrored Ruby’s but not fats. Cutting off the carbohydrates and fats
was overweight, had so much acne, had mood a perpetual list of symptoms “she’ll be prone to the same extent. Lily’s diagnoses took supply to the cysts can result in tremendous
swings, no periods, I was also growing thick, to diabetes, very sluggish metabolism, put place in Dubai. “The gynecologist told me improvement as the cysts begin to shrink
black facial hair”. One can only imagine the huge amounts of weight on. She’ll crave and that I have PCOS and then bluntly told me in size. “In the span of those two years we
emotional turmoil Ruby must have been going binge foods, she’ll have extreme fatigue and that I may not be able to get pregnant in realized that women who followed the diet
through when she started to develop mannish aching joints. She’ll have depression and mood the future” said Lily. Lily was only sixteen at began to gradually lose weight, increase their
features like facial hair at a young age. Ruby swings”. the time of the diagnoses yet the thought of metabolic rates, their skin began to clear
continued to have no periods for two years Mallika, a former Badminton champion with potentially being infertile troubled her “I’m not up, and because they starved the cysts by
after she got off the implant, which is when she PCOS explained “My first symptoms came thinking about it now, nor was I back then cutting out fat the cysts were shrinking!” Norah
went back to the GP and finally got diagnosed around during my final year of high school but it is a tremendously scary thought. If you excitedly explained. The bigger the cysts, the
with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). when I started gaining weight and noticed want children you may not be able to have more the blockage “As the cysts reduced in
PCOS is a hormone disorder that affects my periods became increasingly painful and any because of this condition”. The doctor size all the blockage in the ovaries and the
one in five women completely irregular”. didn’t provide Lily with any level of comfort or fallopian tubes cleared up, obviously, they
worldwide, which is Mallika has always suggestions for possible treatments, she point became pregnant!” Norah exclaimed with a big
why it’s surprising struggled with acne blank told Lily “You may not be able to get smile on her face. 97 out of the 100 women
this common yet breakouts, the inability pregnant” and Lily in a confused state said “I who took part in Norah’s study successfully
painful condition has to sleep well, and just had to accept that as the truth”. became pregnant and delivered healthy
consistently flown under aggressive mood swings babies. A few years before the experiment
the radar. Some women she explained “I feel like The next important stage is coping and these same women were told that they would
never get diagnosed I’m way more aggressive reform. PCOS is not only a hormonal never be able to conceive naturally because of
because they don’t than my other girl imbalance condition, but also a lifestyle PCOS. Mallika successfully shrunk her cysts
realize the severity of friends, it doesn’t feel condition. Everything you put into your body by following an organic vegetarian diet.
their symptoms. It’s a normal”. However, the should come under intense scrutiny. A strict
hormone imbalance that tipping point for Mallika regimen of healthy and organic diets coupled Many cases of PCOS go undiagnosed
occurs when women was when instead of with regular activity can have a substantially primarily due to stigma. Women’s and Mental
produce an excessive having regular red colour positive effect on women who have the Health campaigner Nikki Mattocks states
amount of a male hormones Image: Adobe Stock very slug- period flows, she noticed a condition. “education and conversation are the only ways
known as testosterone brownish colour discharge to lift stigma, you have to challenge stigma
“She’ll be prone to diabetes, Norah suggests a stripped down metabolic every time you see it”. Nikki continues to
amongst others. There is gish metabolism, put huge amounts that she described as “dry rate diet. “PCOS is a hormonal imbalance, so explain “if someone says ‘you’re just on your
a hereditary component to of weight on. She’ll crave and binge blood”. The “dry blood” is we need to keep chemicals out of our body. period’ challenge it. Even if it seems scary
PCOS. foods, she’ll have extreme fatigue and what prompted Mallika to This includes small things like drinking water and it often is when you challenge people
Norah Cozens, a aching joints. She’ll have depression get herself checked out from a plastic bottle or eating microwaved food. you’re close to, it’s necessary”. Education is a
and mood swings” and she was diagnosed We’re going to start by drinking water out of catalyst for change, Nikki stresses “conditions
veteran nutritionist, PCOS with PCOS. a glass!” explained Norah. Foreign chemicals like this need to be on the national curriculum,
researcher, and author of Apart from physical symptoms like acne and further aggravate the cysts on the ovaries, 13-year-old girls need to learn about it. Doctors
The Answer to PCOS expressed “A young the best way to combat the condition and also need to look out for it more and take it
PCOS sufferer will have horrendous periods, oily skin, another major symptom is weight its attached symptoms is to go organic. “We seriously”.
not have any periods for a few months and gain. Women who suffer from PCOS have know protein works well, boil some eggs have
then get another horrendously painful period, critically lethargic metabolic rates. Ruby chicken, meat, and fish. Vegetables grown If any of the symptoms above resonate
so painful that she’s in agony and it affects emotionally expressed “I have always been organically and not sprayed on” Norah lists with you, please go get yourself examined
her school life”. Norah elucidates the kind of overweight. Even when I used to freaking the various options available for women who by your doctor. Every woman is unique, as
symptoms a fourteen year old girl will exhibit starve myself I was never able to get rid of the want to better themselves. Norah spent two are the symptoms they show for conditions
“she will have facial hair that she will need to excess weight”. years researching a group of 100 women who such as PCOS. If you do have PCOS, you
shave in some cases, her hair will start thinning A recurring problem all interviewers all had PCOS, struggled to get pregnant, and should take solace in knowing that none of the
and sometimes fall out. She’ll get acne and stated was their diagnoses. Women who were just having a difficult time. Many of these symptoms or pain is your fault. Because it’s a
oily skin”. Perhaps the most heartbreaking get diagnosed often feel uninformed and 100 women had sluggish metabolic rates of 4 testosterone imbalance, Norah said it’s carried
symptom of all is what Norah states next “she overwhelmed with the diagnoses. However, points, when a healthy metabolic rate is around through the male chromosome. Ladies feel
doesn’t know at this stage because she’s very the problem lies with the doctors who diagnose 20 points. Norah also discovered a 3 pound free to unapologetically blame the men for this
young but she will become infertile, there’s them and the general lack of support. Ruby loss in body weight resulted in the metabolic condition.
rate increasing by 1 point. A high organic
January 2019 REDONLINE.CO.UK 57
56 REDONLINE.CO.UK January 2019

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