I was diagnosed with PCOS, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome when I was 13. I remember because I got the blood work done right after my 9th grade orientation. It was kind of scary, but it put me at ease. I thought that I finally knew what was wrong with me. I got my medicine and I thought I would feel better but, I didn’t. I was still miserable every time my period came around and I didn’t know why. I took my medicine regularly but I just wasn’t improving. I felt discouraged, maybe I was going to miserable forever. One day, I went to the doctor and he handed my mom a pamphlet on Endometriosis. This time I wasn’t relieved I was actually terrified because they started discussing surgery. I avoided it for about two years before my mother decided that my pain was just too severe to ignore anymore. I got the surgery a few weeks before my 16th birthday and I haven’t looked back. Yes, I’m still slightly embarrassed about my scars, it has been over three years and they still haven’t gone away. Yes, I still have to take my medicine and sometimes I feel so awful that I want to cry in my room instead of going to work or class but it’s better. But, each day it gets better. I know I’ll probably never be completely free of these issues but just this week I was presented with a possible non-surgical solution at least for the time being.
I write this because I know some people on the internet like to pretend that period cramps are because you didn’t eat enough lettuce or it’s some easy discomfort to ignore, or that “cramps aren’t even that bad.” I also write this because as women we’re taught our periods are something too taboo to discuss publicly. But periods are a part of life and if you feel as if you can’t get through the day you should talk to an OBGYN and don’t feel embarrassed about your cycle.