How to explain PCOS to your partner

 

This post is for you, your partner and your family. It has been on my mind for so long – actually, it has been on my mind since I was 15 years old.
So here it is – “How to explain PCOS to you partner” – to the people you love and who love you.
A way to make PCOS relatable and easy to understand.
I have based this post on the many conversations I have had with my husband and family about PCOS – and I hope it can help you.

A little background information: 

Like I said, I was 15 when I started thinking about this – about how to tell people close to me, that my body is not “normal”

Back then I didn’t have a boyfriend – I didn’t even have a diagnosis.
What I had, was a body that was acting really weird and a doctor telling me that I would probably never have children of my own.

I felt broken and unlovable; and I had absolutely no clue how to talk to people about that!
So little that I actually chose to study for a certain career path, based on the fact that it would have to become my whole life because I would probably be alone forever.

Since then, my doctor (a different one from back then) retracted the statement and modified it to “you might have a hard time having kids” but that still didn’t make it easier to talk about.

I got diagnosed officially in 2014 – a year after I started dating my husband (then boyfriend).
However I was already sure that I had PCOS and I chose to tell him about it on one of our very first dates.
I knew he wanted kids and I felt it was important to be upfront about my condition, because this could very possibly factor into his dreams and hopes too.

So, how to explain PCOS to your partner in an easy way?
This post is based on the conversations I have had with my husband over the years (and with my family) about PCOS, with him (them) in mind.

What is hiding behind the letters PCOS?

Here is what I told him: 

“I need to tell you about something very personal. It is hard for me to talk about and it might be made harder by the fact that it is a very feminine issue. However it is going to have an impact on your life too if we are going to be together, and I know I will feel better if you know and understand what I am dealing with on a daily basis.

I have PCOS – behind those letters is the long name “Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome”. What that basically means is that I don’t have a regular ovulation once every month – and that in turn means that my periods are very irregular.
For some women with PCOS it means not getting their period very often – for me (and those like me), it means that my periods are very long and drain my body for energy.

It also means that, among other things, I am very sensitive to carbohydrates.

So when I eat carbs, my body produces too much insulin, causing my ovaries to release too much testosterone.
While all women have testosterone in lower levels, my body releases so much of it that it’s effecting my entire body, causing complications that can feel very embarrassing to me because they sometimes make me feel like less of a woman.

However, I am not alone in having PCOS. Actually every 1 in 10 women have it – a lot of them just don’t know it.”

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

This made him – I think – a mix of curious and nervous, so he wanted to know more: 

“There are so many symptoms of PCOS and they vary from person to person.

They can be really hard to deal with because they can feel really embarrassing and make me feel unattractive and manly or freakish.
Some days I feel fine – and others I am having a really hard time coming to terms with my own body.

First of all, I struggle with my weight. And I am not saying that to get pity “Nooooo, you don’t” comments.

Despite a healthy lifestyle I have to really be careful to not gain weight.
Because of the overproduction of insulin, my body quickly stores carbs as fat – making the struggle of loosing weight extra hard!

The high levels of testosterone in my body causes me to have hair in places I really don’t want to have hair – and to make it even worse, it also causes me to lose hair the few places where I really want it to stay.

Sometimes my skin breaks out and make me look like a teenager – all because of the hormonal imbalances in my body.

In my case PCOS also brings about very painful cramps in my uterus.
It also leaves me embarrassingly tired, even though, to others, it might not seem like I have been doing much.
Sometimes they think I am just being lazy – and emotionally that really hurts me, because I am actually trying my very hardest to be active and participate in a normal social life.

But worst of all – for me and maybe for us – , I might have a really hard time getting pregnant.
Now I know that it is not impossible – but it might take longer for me and I might feel really useless and broken as a woman at times.”

How I help myself: 

In later conversations we talked about what I do to help myself:

“PCOS is not the end of the world and as time goes by I am figuring out more and more ways to cope with it.

I have chosen to go about treating my PCOS with natural remedies. It’s what fits me and my body.
I tried the artificial hormones (birth control pills and an IUD) as a treatment but they made me more sick, so going the natural way is my choice!

Leading a healthy lifestyle, keeping active and eating the right things are keys to my treatment.
I also take a range of supplements to help my body get back into balance.
Sticking to it all will make my symptoms fade and become more manageable.

It can be really hard for me sometimes, but it works for me to keep in mind that everything I put into my body can either make me feel better or make me more sick.

Some might think I eat like I do only in order to lose weight – but that is not the case.
I eat what I eat, and do what I do to get healthy – if that also helps me lose weight, that is a great bonus but I am not “dieting”.

I get ultrasound scans regularly to make sure any potential cysts in my uterus are found and can be removed.
I have had one which wasn’t found for a long time, so this is very important to me.

I won’t take any hormone-filled birth control, but until we are ready to think about having children I will use a Caya diaphragm which is made from medical silicone and won’t disrupt my natural hormone balance.

Should we want to have kids, my work on getting my hormones into balance will hopefully pay off.
If not, there are places we can go and get help.

I am working accepting my PCOS – accepting that it is part of me, and that there are things every now and again that I have to do differently than others.

For a really long time I was so angry at my body and at the doctors who couldn’t figure out what was wrong.
Now I am working on accepting myself and my body for what it is.
The accept of myself is a really big step towards healing.

All in all I help myself by sticking to a certain lifestyle.
I know my choices are hard to understand for some, but I can feel it helping and that’s great encouragement.”

The help I would love to get from you: 

After that, my husband wanted to know how he could help: 

“I can say it really short: Love me!

Living with PCOS, there will be days where I feel really angry, sad or unattractive – your love and support are the most valuable help you can give me.
In your love and support lies an accept of me and my differences.

I can imagine and understand that it will be hard sometimes to be with me, because there are things I cannot/will not do.

Hearing you say that I am beautiful means the world to me.
I soak it up every time you say it.
On those days when I feel unattractive and freakish, it is your love and kind words that keeps me going.

It would be a huge and wonderful help if you would help me stick to my diet by eating healthy with me.
Even better if you also want to stay active with me. If we can make it our lifestyle that would be a great help.

You can eat treats, for sure! We can make some that I can eat too and then we can eat them together every now and then.
I don’t need you to hide part of you or your life from me in order to make my diet easier – but please don’t eat treats every day!

There will be days when you are going to wonder what is happening, or be times when you don’t understand something PCOS-related.
You can always ask me! I will always try to give you as straight an answer as I can. The more we both understand about this, the better!

Talk to me about the things you find hard – maybe my way of dealing with a particular issue is not the best way – maybe we can come up with a better way together?!”

 

Thank you so much for reading along! 

Maybe you are one of the people in my life, who are trying to understand me better. Maybe you are someone struggling to find a way to talk about all of this with your special someone. Maybe you are someone who loves a woman with PCOS and works hard to understand and support her.

Who ever you are – thank you for caring enough to read all this.
It really does mean a lot and it tells me something about the wonderful person that you are.

As always – feel free to comment down below if you have any thought or questions on the matter.
I would love hearing from you!

Love <3
AK 

 



40 thoughts on “How to explain PCOS to your partner”

  • Thank YOU for this…. it left me in tears!! I lead a low-carb weight loss group on Facebook and I have PCOS. Weight is a huge struggle for me. May God bless you!

    • Thank you! for that very sweet comment. Weight is a huge struggle for myself too. Bless you for making a difference for others too. With these struggles we need to stand together us PCOS women. 🙂
      Love
      AK

      • Thank you so much for this article. Would you mind sharing the natural remedies that you use? My doctor has recommended metformin, but I’m hesitant to take it because of the side effects.

        • Did your doctor recommend metformin bc of blood work or to help with PCOS? I’m curious. This is all new to me. As far as natural supplements go, chromium picolinate is supposed to help with insulin resistance.

  • Thank you for putting this in the easiest possible way of explaining PCOS. It goes unheard of and misunderstood by so many….we need to make more women aware of PCOS. Loved to share, and hopefully my friends that have recently found out that have PCOS, will read it and it will help them to understand and explain to their loved ones also! 💟

    • Thank you so much for this comment.
      This blog post took me a very long time to write because I wanted it to be just right and inspired by my personal experience.
      The fact that you found it helpful and easy to understand makes me so happy!
      Thank you so much for sharing it – I hope it will help them too!
      Love
      AK

  • Wow.. I just read this and said this is me. Ive been finally told that I do have pcos and to read your blog gives me reassurance that I can beat this. I do have the irregular periods, the cramps, the cyst, the mood swings, the weight gain, the acne. And in my search of becoming a mom it’s taking a toll on me. I never knew how hard it would be. Thank you for reminding me to stay positive. There’s always another option. Thank you cause I’m need to stay positive in this

    • Thank you so much nellsy! Do stay positive, and know that even when you feel most alone and sad ( I know I get that feeling from time to time) – we are many so called cysters ? around the world. Reach out to others if you need it! Together we can stay positive for sure! ?
      Love
      AK

  • Thank you for this post!! I’m 19 and I’ve recently been diagnosed with PCOS, which was a hard pill to swallow since I’ve always wanted to be a mother one day, I don’t have a significant other in my life yet, but this issue has been weighing on my mind ever since I was diagnosed.

    • I know your comment was written a long time ago, but I just want to offer some hope. I have PCOS and my husband and I struggled to get pregnant. We did multiple rounds of Provera and Clomid, and then had to be referred to a reproductive medicine center. We did 4 IUIs with Provera, Femara and trigger shots and I supplement with Ovasitol as well. We got pregnant on our second IUI, but miscarried that baby. That was a huge blow, we didn’t want to stop trying. I am currently 28 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby girl. It is possible! We are excited and so thankful. I also know others who have beaten PCOS and the infertility that can go along with it.

  • Thank you so much for this! I was diagnosed at fourteen, and have had a really hard time explaining this to people who have just brushed it off, claiming that my being “fat” is why I’m sick. It’s nice to read about this from as positive of a perspective as one can have about such a life-changing thing.
    I was in tears reading this…….its wonderfully written and does a beautiful job of summing the whole thing up succinctly. I am so proud of you taking steps to make this something that this won’t taint your life experience. Thank you so much for you kind and thoughtful words!

    • Thank you so much for this comment Jessica!
      Dealing with people and their judgements regarding overweight and health is a hell of a job! I know just how you feel, trust me!
      PCOS is a life-changing thing and not enough people know about it, if you ask me. So many women struggle with PCOS – and with it comes the struggle with body image.
      Finding a way to talk to people – friends, loved ones and new acquaintances – really helped me move past all the negative emotions PCOS brought into my life, so I could focus on getting better and enjoying my life.
      I hope it can help you too! And thank you for taking the time to write such a kind comment.
      Love
      AK

  • Thank you!!!! For writing this and helping me to decipher how to talk about it. I am 31 and was just diagnosed this past year. I believe I have bad pcos since I was about 17, but no actual diagnosis. So thank you!

    • You are so very welcome, KariAnn. We have to stick together us “cysters” 😉
      Talking about pcos is one of the challenges we all face again and again.
      You are probably right about your pcos. I was first diagnosed officially at 23, but I showed symptoms at age 14 already. We know our own bodies the best.
      Now the time has come to love that body of yours – it will need your love more than ever. <3
      AK

  • I am so happy I read this. You explained it perfectly. I’ve gone through every emotion you just wrote about. Sometimes feeling manly because of the body hair. But not beautiful enough Cuz my head hair is so thin and falling off. Days when im.so emotional and idk why. Thankyou though cuz now I can really explain it to my bf. God bless

    • Hi Lidia.
      I am so pleased to hear that you enjoyed reading this. I think we (women with pcos) go through many of the same emotions and it is so wonderful for us to share so we never feel alone. ☺
      I wish you and your bf all the best.
      Love
      AK

  • EVERY SINGLE WORD of this explains how I feel!!! I can’t wait to finally have the words for my loved ones to read so they can FINALLY understand how I feel!!! Thank you so much!!!
    Xoxo

  • This article explains it so perfectly:) my husband and I have been trying to conceive for 2 years, while every single one of my friends have gotten pregnant right away and had their beautiful babies. I felt like a failure. I was just diagnosed with PCOS 2 weeks ago. It has been an emotional roller coaster reading about everything that goes along with PCOS. Although I am glad that there is an explanation for why some days I just cry all day for no reason. Or why I am 25 with acne on my face and back and the countless other symptoms I have. Although I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, I am glad I’m not alone.

    • Hi Rachel.

      Those emotions. Oh how I feel with you. <3 You are not alone, that is for sure. There are days when I just cry and cry because I feel so broken as a woman. But we are not alone, and we are not broken women. <3 We are just different. And you can get children. It just takes a lot more effort and time than it does for others.
      I wish you all the luck in the world. And please write to my email or here if you ever want to talk about it all.

      All the best and love
      AK

  • I used to be extremely embarrassed about my PCOS and really used to get angry when my mom would offer ways to help me because I always felt like she was being hypercritical of my weight. I was fortunate enough to find a guy who was interested in me but felt really uncomfortable when he told me he wanted to kiss me because I didn’t want anyone close enough to see my imperfections that I tried so hard to keep hidden. He kept asking me what was wrong, and I kept telling him I would tell him when I was ready. When I finally told him, and shared how ugly I felt because I had hair on my stomach, he just laughed and said, “You don’t feel pretty because you have hair on your stomach? I have hair on my stomach too.” His words weren’t exactly reassuring but his reaction was perfect. He didn’t care that my body wasn’t perfect. He wanted to be with me because of who I am. That was almost 3 years ago. We are still together.

  • Thank you so much for posting this! Just like you said I knew something was different about my body at the age of 14. However, I wasnt officially diagnosed with PCOS until my early 20s. I love what you said about acceptance. After fighting and being angry with my body, weight and doctors I finally feel like I am willing to accept PCOS for what it is. I have tried to do everything the natural route and I still struggle with accepting help via medication in order to conceive.

  • Awesome article. Straight forward and right to the point. I was diagnosed September 13, 2016. For several years I had been having problems, long periods, and mood swings mainly. The doctor done a ultrasound and blood work and finally found out what was wrong. Since then I was put on metformin and birth control. Went a couple weeks ago for a check up and both my ovaries are swollen. It is a struggle some days I am fine and some days I feel like staying in my bed and not talking to anyone.
    Thanks for the article!!

  • To all of you, who have recently commented on this article – thank you all so much for kind words and for telling parts of your stories.

    PCOS can sometimes feel very lonely and I find that connecting with others – such as you <3 - through this blog, facebook pages or other communities, really makes a difference! At least it does for me. 🙂

    I am so glad that part of my experience with PCOS and all that comes with it can help and inspire you and others. So thank you all so much for taking the time to read and comment. <3

    I wish you all the very best.

  • Thank you so much for this article. I have been struggling with all of this since I was 19. Over 20 years now. It’s difficult, but it’s very comforting having others who can identify. Best of luck to all of you ladies. 😊

    • Thank you for commenting. 🙂
      It is a difficult – but finding support in others makes it easier. <3
      Best of luck to you too.
      Love
      AK

  • I’m so glad I came across this! I have a PCOS page on FB that is meant to spread awareness about the disease and support women who have it. If you don’t mind I want to translate your post to Arabic and post it on my page as I think lots of women will benefit from it.
    Regards

    • Hi Ola

      Thank you so much for commenting. Good on you for helping others! <3 🙂
      That would be interesting. Would you mind sending me an email about it? You can find my email under "contact information".

      Love
      AK

  • Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve been married to the most amazing woman for the past 5 years and she has PCOS. Everything I read is exactly accurate as it’s everything she is experiencing. Our biggest dream is to have a child one day but I constantly remind her that I love her and I’m not going anywhere if we never have one. It breaks my heart to watch her struggle and shed tears over this. Thank you for helping me to understand my wife in a whole new way. God Bless you!!

    • David thank you so so much for this comment! Thank you for reading my post – and think you for being there for you amazing wife! <3 You rock!
      It is so hard feeling broken - and as a woman, it is so tough when the thing that is not functioning like it should, is part of what defines you as a woman. God bless you too - for supporting her and seeking knowledge to help you understand!
      I send you both all my best and cross my fingers that you are granted your wish for a family one day. <3

      Love
      AK

  • THANK YOU! I know this article isn’t brand new, but I’m so glad I stumbled upon it. I found out I have PCOS about 3 months ago, and I’ve been trying so SO SOOOO hard and nothing has gotten better. Dr. put me on birth control (after I had taken myself off of it 2 years prior). I may need to rethink that portion… we shall see!

    Anyways, thank you! I needed this article tonight! Much love and hope all is well!

    • You are so absolutely welcome!!! 😀
      I hope you find a way to deal with your PCOS in a way that makes you comfortable.
      Remember – not all doctors get this! You have the right to say no, seek a second oppinion and so on! It is your life, your health.
      I wish you all the best.
      Love
      AK

  • Thank you so much for summing up what PCOS is really is about. My boyfriend knows I have PCOS, but doesn’t really understand it and it ‘s hard for me to put into words on what is going on with me. You pretty much wrote it PERFECTLY! I greatly appreciate it. I found out I had PCOS at the age of 20, I am 28 now, and it’s a struggle everyday. It makes me feel better that I am not going through this alone. =)

  • I just want to say thank you for writing this. I am 19 years old and have recently been told that I have PCOS. Trying to explain it to my family and my boyfriend of 4 years is really really hard. The saddest part of having PCOS is the chance that I might not. E able to have kids. And that’s scary. Having children is the main reason God created women and I feel as though I’m failing my Father if I can’t. I’ve decided to really focus on losing weight and creating healthier lifestyle habits in order to minimize the symptoms of my disorder (as I am also prediabetic). Again, thank you so much for writing this and I look forward to reading more on your website!

  • Thank you for sharing! I’m simply at a loss for words! Your article is so inspiring!

    I was married six years ago and although we were trying to get pregnant we had no success. The doctor to us that I was simply never going to be able to get pregnant. I was beyond discouraged!

    Fast forward to four years ago, I decided to live a healthier life! I worked out more, ate only fresh foods and an extremely low carb diet. I finally got pregnant and I couldn’t have been more surprised!

    Again, fast forward another two years, I had begun to notice facial hair and belly button hair.. just insane amounts! My normal plucking and waxing was no longer maintainable! I felt like a man. I felt like I needed to shave my face on a daily basis just to go to work.

    However, today my army sister, sent me information about PCOS and I did some digging… Found this and decided to that when I go back to the doctors I will bring it up. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING! I’ve spent so many years thinking that something was wrong with me and that I was alone. Its really contributed to my depression.

  • Thank you so much for explaining this! I was diagnosed with PCOS a year ago after my husband and I miscarried. It was and still is very difficult to cope with and understand and even more difficult to explain to loved ones! Your words really hit the right spot for me and made me feel like we can all beat this together! I was definitely unaware of how hard it would be to become pregnant and some days it really takes a toll on me. To hear that you are pregnant with a healthy baby is absolutely wonderful and reassuring!! Congratulations and thank you so much! May God bless you and your family.

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