In 2008 I started having some mild abdominal pain. It wasn’t often, once a month or less, but it would take me out for the afternoon when it did happen. Slowly, over time, the frequency and severity of the pain increased until it was severely affecting me for two weeks or more per month, every single month. Since the pain cycle seemed to be linked to my monthly cycle and was located primarily in my pelvic region we headed in the obvious gynecological direction. An ultrasound revealed that I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
So what does a diagnoses of PCOS mean? For many, and for me, it means a struggle with weight. The medical field isn’t clear on whether the PCOS contributes to weight issues or if the weight issues contribute to PCOS, though they generally find that weight management helps with pain management. It also means that I would have a lot of problems with fertility. The first specialist that I saw basically summed up his results with, I can’t help you, unless you want to get pregnant, because if you want to get pregnant you’re going to need help medically.
When I met Neil he was very clear at the beginning that he did not want to have any more children. He had four daughters, who at the time were in their late teenage years. I chose to continue the relationship knowing that it would mean no biological children for me. It would be logical to think that since I wasn’t planning on having children anyway, a diagnoses of PCOS and learning that fertility would be either difficult or impossible wouldn’t be a big deal. I myself was surprised to learn I was wrong about that assumption. I was devastated. There was just something so incredibly difficult about knowing that part of what makes me a woman, part of what makes me, me, is broken. I’m crying as I write this. I still find it weird that it’s so emotional, but it is. Something in me is missing. I cannot imagine how women who plan to have children feel when they receive news that fertility would be difficult or impossible for them.
Through this journey I learned a little more about hormones than I had known before. Although I like to research my choices, I’m not necessarily real “sciency” and so I don’t always pay attention to something until it actually matters to me. I had never really realized before what a critical role hormones play in our lives and our health. As is common as well, since receiving my own diagnoses, I’ve met so many other people who have received their own diagnoses related to issues around their hormones. I don’t know if the concerns with hormones are on the rise, or if my awareness is on the rise. Perhaps it’s both. One thing I do know is that it is sad! This interruption to hormones causes a lot of challenges for people in their lives. People who want to have babies cannot, boys with too much estrogen are being severely bullied because they have breasts, women are experiencing challenges to their self confidence because they are dealing with facial hair and mood and behavior is affecting by waves of hormones that are off kilter.
Something I hadn’t even known would be an issue is the ingredients in the products in my home. So many of the ingredients in our soaps, kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms have chemicals in them that affect our hormones. When I started looking at the ingredients in some of the things in my home and saw how many of them carry consequences to our hormones I felt absolutely set up! I felt like instead of me getting to choose whether or not I had children, Proctor and Gamble or Johnson & Johnson was choosing whether or not I’d get to have children! I have difficulty even describing how many ways this makes me mad. We have a whole planet of people that are good people, who want the best for their children, who want to be good moms, dads and caretakers of their homes and we’re being sold a crafty bill of goods that is ruining our future! Absolutely ruining it!!!
As I said, I’m not sciency. Dr. Haggerton does a much better job of describing the science than I do. I’ve attached a video that he did recently that gives us hope. Hope of being able to take back our choices and make them our own again, instead of some company out for a buck making our choices for us.
If you would like more information about how to switch out your products for safer alternatives you can contact me here. I cannot describe how empowered I feel by be able to make these choices for my family! I feel like I’ve slayed the monster of deceit that we’re being faced with (I know, that sounded corny, but I truly do feel a little self satisfied HA each time I spray my cleaner on something lol).
Ya’ll take care and God Bless!