Wrapping up #PCOSawarenessmonth

pcosSeptember was a month that gave women the perfect excuse to wear teal nail polish, all while embracing Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and raising awareness to it. With over 198 tweets this year, #PCOSawarenessmonth was able to reach people from all corners of the globe – from the United States to South Africa to China and to our homeland, Australia!
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And what was most exciting is that 24% of contributors were male.
Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 11.24.23 pmIt’s great to see men getting involved in women’s health, as PCOS could affect their partners, mothers or even daughters. You shouldn’t be surprised if someone you love is affected by PCOS since 1 in 10 women between the ages of 18 to 44 have the hormone disorder.

So what exactly is PCOS?
In scientific terms, PCOS is when your body does not produce high enough levels of estrogen. This causes you to have ‘hyperandrogenism’ aka abnormally high testosterone levels (male sex hormone), which may cause ovulation to stop making it more difficult to have children. And for women that are able to fall pregnant, with PCOS they have an increased risk of miscarriage.

Or in short, PCOS is when you have imbalanced female sex hormones.

What are the consequences of PCOS?
– irregular or absence of menstrual periods
– acne, hormonal break outs
– weight gain/obesity/ difficulty losing weight
– excess hair growth
– depression
– cysts in ovaries
– difficulty getting pregnant
– miscarriages
– infertility

The Oral contraceptive pill and PCOS
Unfortunately, many women are frequently prescribed the pill as the first line of defence for their PCOS. The pill lowers testosterone levels in women with PCOS. This is pivotal for those with PCOS as testosterone at abnormally high levels is what triggers excess hair growth and acne as well as prevents ovulation. The intake of the pill will allow the user to temporarily regulate these symptoms and the symptoms listed above. Emphasis on the ‘temporarily’, as the truth is OCPs do NOT cure PCOS. Sadly, there is yet to be a PCOS. The disorder remains incurable and once the user gets off the pill, their PCOS symptoms will continue to affect them.

Women and their personal PCOS journeys
This is Liz Marie, who was diagnosed with PCOS at 25. Her raw and honest blog post will be of comfort and inspiration for those with PCOS and have had difficulty getting pregnant. You can find her post here:

And here is Amber Benge who managed to treat her PCOS by restoring hormonal balance in her body without prescription pills. Amber is a remarkable testament of treating PCOS symptoms naturally and holistically. You can find her here:

Don’t forget to share your PCOS journey with us on our Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/tbhthepill
Or Tweet us @tbhthepill

The Pill – What are you swallowing?

WHATISINTHEPILLThe saying you are what you eat should not just apply to food, but also to the medication you consume. Women take oral hormonal contraceptives like Tic Tacs, with no questions, no worries. I mean why wouldn’t you? Doctors give them away like candy.

When it comes to food, you watch the sugar and fat content, likewise you should also be checking the amount of artificial hormones contained in the pill you take daily. Finding out what exactly is in your meds and their effect on your body should be as habitual as checking how many calories are in your muesli bar.

These are the questions you should ask and the answers you need to know:

Q. So what is in the oral contraceptive pill (OCP)?
– The synthetic hormones: estrogen and progestin

Q. What are the two types of OCPs?
– The mini pill and the combined pill

Q. And the difference?
– The mini pill contains only 1 type of synthetic hormone progestin
– The combined pill contained 2 types of synthetic hormones estrogen + progestin
– The combined pill balances out the side effects of only-progestin mini pills

Q. What is progestin and what does it do to your body while on the pill?
– Progestin makes the fluid at the opening of the uterus (womb) thicker preventing sperm from coming in and fertilising the egg like a plug
– Progestin prevents ovulation (release of an egg from ovaries)
– Progestin thins out the lining of the womb making it less receptive to a fertilised egg

Q. What are the side effects of progestin?
– breakthrough bleeding
– nausea
– breast tenderness
– weight gain
– mood swings
– increases risk of blood clots
– vaginal dryness

Q. What is estrogen and what does it do to your body while on the pill?
– Estrogen thickens the lining of the uterus to prevent breakthrough bleeding
– Estrogen triggers the production of a thin, watery muscus that interferes the sperm from fertilising the egg
– Estrogen also prevents ovulation

Q. What are the side effects of estrogen dominance? (too much estrogen)
– low sex drive
– bloating
– increases risk of blood clots
– weight gain
– headaches
– mood swings
– irregular periods
– excessive menstrual bleeding

Pressing for answers to some unanswered questions? Comment below or ask us from our Twitter or Facebook @tbhthepill.