When I was thinking of a header photo I almost decided to use a diagram of some ovaries, and while searching google I found some really gory photos.. it crossed my mind to use them as a header, but then decided that creeping out readers wasn’t actually my aim. So you get a picture of some painkillers instead.

Why ovaries? Because mine are broken.

I have polycystic ovaries (but not polycystic ovarian syndrome), which means that my ovaries produce multiple cysts every month. My initial reaction was, I admit, one of horror. As far as I was concerned, cysts = bad, but it turns out that when you produce eggs they are contained in cysts. These cysts then burst, which releases the egg. This is why some women get pain during ovulation (I’m one of them).

In my case I produce too many cysts, most of which (or possibly all) do not contain eggs. However, they still burst.

Some months I’m barely aware of it, other months it’s like being constantly stabbed, and can go on for days at a time.

It is possible to have polycystic ovaries (PCO) without having polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), as PCOS also involves a hormonal imbalance. According to tests I do not have this, however I do show symptoms of PCOS – and these are, in their own way, worse than the pain. At least the pain goes away eventually.

I have to deal with hirsutism. This means I grow hair where women don’t normally – this is humiliating. If I don’t stay on top of it I get chin hair and whiskers, with my pale skin and dark hair this is a curse.

PCOS is also linked to rapid weight gain (anyone who has seen me recently will have noticed this – though it isn’t helped by my other health issues), chronic depression, anovulation and amenorrhea. The last two are, in order, irregular/missing ovulation, and irregular/missing menstruation. Of which I have both.

So my body runs to a beat which is highly changeable.

Luckily there are PCOS symptoms which I don’t get, such as diabetes and acne. I’m grateful that I miss out on those.

Why am I posting this? Because I thought I was weird, I thought I was a freak – especially with the facial hair. I’m 26 years old, I didn’t think anyone this young ever got facial hair. It’s good to know I’m not all that unusual, and I hope that someone else in the same situation will see this and also feel reassured. PCOS affects between 5-10% of women between the ages of 12-45, and I imagine PCO affects even more. There’s a lot of us out there.