A Story About My Ovaries

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I thought this would be a really easy post to write. All weekend I was on the cusp of writing it and ‘getting ahead’ with work and then like, I’d get distracted by mulled cider or Granger napping on my face or drunk texts from Chris and I’d be like nah babes, save it for Monday.

And then this morning came and well, I’ve just been putting it off.

I’m on my third cup of tea. I’ve eaten three squares of Galaxy Cookie crumble for breakfast. I’ve freaked out about the fact I’ve possibly already Instagrammed every damn thing in this house and omg I need to upload something today but like I don’t actually want to leave the house and omg does this mean I have to put make up on and pray that today is a good selfie day?

I feel a bit sick. I feel anxious and jittery and on edge and not me. That’s it, I feel not me. I feel like a really shit version of myself. And so, as soon as this post is up and pushed out to the world, I am off for a swim and to buy mince pie baking ingredients, in a bid to add a bit of sparkle and shine to this somewhat dark and shadowy Monday.

So, err, where to begin?

Way back when in the slightly lighter and less SAD-doomed days of early November I found myself Googling a couple of symptoms. The way we all do, the way that makes us all assume that woah, I’ve probs got cancer, whilst still secretly knowing at the back of our heads that we’re fine.

Because I think that’s the thing, whenever you Google your symptoms and decide that you’re suffering from something that’s more than a one-off nothingy illness, you kind of do secretly know you’re fine. You don’t fear the worst, you fear the best, because statistically you should be a-ok. And so I guess that’s kind of what happened to me.

My skin got a bit icky and oily after I came off the pill in the summer of 2014 (which, not that I guess I really have to explain myself was because I was kinda just done with adding extra hormones into my body and not that I was like OMG LET’S HAVE A BABY. I’d come off my antidepressants, and I just wanted to be ‘clean’, does that make sense? And so we decided to use condoms instead).

Eventually my skin got a bit better with the help of a good skincare routine and eating maybe sorta kinda ok.

But then a few months ago it got bad again. It’s worse than it’s ever been. It makes me feel insecure and uncomfortable. My make-up can’t hide it. I hate it. It is always there every damn bloomin’ time i look at my reflection in the mirror.

And, simultaneously, I noticed that my periods had started coming at unpredictable times.

There was the month I had a 45 day cycle. The month I started spotting a week after my period had ended. And so on.

I’ve been like clockwork for 14 years and so I knew something was up. And so I Googled ‘irregular periods’ and ‘acne’ and landed upon Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

And it felt a bit like finding out that Earth is a reality TV show put on by another species and suddenly everything makes sense.

And then I ran and did a little cry on the sofa and Chris took me to Byron for macaroni cheese.

I don’t suffer from every symptom. But the more I read up on PCOS I became aware that ever sufferer has a very different experience of it – everyone suffers varying degrees of each symptom, heck, some people have no symptoms.

For me it’s been the slightly irregular periods and the acne. It’s been the hair loss from my head for no reason, that the doctors had put down to stress. It’s the weight gain and the mood swings.

And so I booked a doctor’s appointment. Although naturally I had to wait two weeks.

And then they cancelled that appointment BY POST the day before, and so I could either wait another week for a doctor or see the nurse practitioner a few days later. I opted for the latter.

Anyway, she was quick to prescribe me something for my skin that I’d used as a teenager when it was much, much less aggressively spotty, and quick to suggest that going back on the pill might help regulate my periods.

And then I was all like ‘erm, I can deal with them being irregular, but I’m just worried that there’s some underlying condition that’s making them irregular’.

And then, her response to that can be best matched to that time in Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix when they realise that they won’t be learning defensive spells in Defense Against The Dark Arts and Harry goes but how will we protect ourselves and Umbridge basically chokes on her giggles at how naive and small and stupid she thinks he is and goes ‘there is nothing out there dear boy, who do you imagine would want to attack children like yourselves?’.

Long, boring conversation cut short where I basically stared at my lap and whispered that well maybe PCOS might be something we could possibly look into and she was then like ‘oh and look you do have problems with your sugar levels too’ and agreed to refer me for an ultrasound and get me booked in for some cervical swabs.

Admittedly, I was beyond amazed that I was being seen for an ultrasound a week later. So you score some efficiency points there, NHS. High five.

My sonographer didn’t particularly put me at ease. She made Chris sit on the other side of the curtain and wouldn’t let me see the screen or talk me through anything that she was doing.

I know I wouldn’t have been able to understand the screen and she wouldn’t have been able to have told me what she’d seen, but when you’ve got someone hovering at the same spots on your body over and over again and squinting at the screen and pressing buttons, it’s really unsettling.

It’s like being next to two people whispering and giggling and looking at you.

Her and that damn machine knowing everything about me and me knowing nothing.

Anyway, had my swabs two days later and the nurse who did those was basically the best person I’ve ever met (I wrote about her in my Friday Faves).

I was told to ring my GP surgery a few days after my ultrasound to get the results. So I waited til last Thursday at 4pm and rung and spoke to a nice enough sounding male receptionist.

He asked for my DOB and name and confirmed that my results were in. ‘Yep, the doctor’s left a note on them. Let me just check what he’s written for you. OK, all it says here is “looks like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome”‘.

My lip did a little quiver and I said ‘erm OK, any guidance on what I’m supposed to do now? Do I need another appointment?’

And he was like: ‘Very good question. I’m very confused as to why there’s no instruction on here about what to do next. Let me try and get hold of the doctor and find out what he wants to do and we’ll call you back next week.’

So here I am.

It’s next week and I’m in limbo.

I know, I know Polycystic Ovary Syndrome isn’t a sentence for anything, and bloomin’ heck, I know it’s not even been confirmed, but I feel horrible.

I feel like my body has been secretly plotting against me. I feel so uncertain for the future. And most of all, I feel absolutely fucking terrified.

Fertility is such a tricky thing. It’s something you feel like you’re not allowed a right to know about until you’ve been actively trying for a baby for a good length of time. It’s not something you get the heads up about in advance, so you can lay down a life plan.

And I want a heads up. I really want a heads up. I want to know right now in this little minute as I’m listening to Ed Sheeran and my Neom candle is flickering and my hands are shaking and Granger’s snoozing on my lap, what my fertility game is up to.

I want to know if I’m broken and in with an exhausting hideous ride, or if, actually, I’m pretty average.

It’s times like this when I find it hard to admit that I’m at this point in my life already. The years since strawpedoing VKs and falling over in the street don’t feel long enough ago for me to be in a place where I’m lying on the sofa crying into my duvet about what could be wrong with my fertility.

So yeah, that’s where I’m at right now.


Ovary limbo.

It’s a hoot.

And I know so many of you suffer with PCOS, I know it’s so common and so OK and so normal and it’ll all work out fine, but it doesn’t mean I’m not freaking and fragile and emotional.

I want answers and I want to know all the details so I can feel in-control and on-top of my life again.

Anyway, we’re on 1575 words right now, so I’m going to go bake some mince pies.

Thanks for listening you babes. I feel better already ?

  • This is an amazing post and something that so many of us feel but don’t have the words for! I found out I had PCOS 4 years ago alongside a tilted womb and pretty shitty situation with Endometriosis, I was pretty convinced this was my body telling me, that becoming a Mum was never on the cards for me. It’s a pretty shitty time and you mourn for something that you didn’t even want at that time. But I promise it’s not a death sentence for your ovaries and there are things you can do to help it.

    This August we welcomed my daughter Nora into our lives.

  • Oh babes I’d been keeping my fingers crossed for you ever since we had that little chat, so I’m sorry it’s not what you wanted to hear. I don’t want to try and give you reasons to be positive cause some days you just want to wallow and feel sorry for yourself and if I were you right now that’s exactly that I would want to do, rather than hear me say HEY LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE. So eat ten mince pies and watch so much Teen Mom xxxxxxxx
    p.s. It will all be ok though

  • Hi Hannah,
    I am too in ovary limbo – I just got told to “see what happens in the next 3 months and then we will see where we are.” Three months later, still no period, still having hair loss, still having lower abdomen pain…tried to book an appointment with my doctor, got told there are no appointments and I have to keep phoning back until there is one.
    Yay for ovary limbo!

  • I got diagnosed with PCOS when I was 16 and it freaked the fucking life out of me. You hear all these rumours about never being able to have kids, or the pain, and omg what if one bursts. But the truth is. If it’s gonna happen it will happen. 6 years later and after having 3 burst and one operation it still scares me as much as the first time of being told. But then some days I’m like totally okay with it. It’s controlled. 90% of people have it and you can have kids just as much as the next lass. It’s life. Yes it doesn’t get easier knowing the majority of women have it but it does get easier knowing their is a diagnosis for what you were feeling and experiencing- and its normal. Life is a funny old bitch. You just need to out bitch her. Keep your head up Han. ?

  • Niamh

    What an amazing post for you to write and share. I can’t imagine what you must be going through but when you describe that feeling of needing information and wanting to be in control I understand. I love reading your posts, I think you are an inspiration the way you bravely put things out in the world. I hope the mince pies help today πŸ™‚

  • I, like you, went through exactly the same panic followed by a diagnosis of PCOS a couple of years ago. Again I’d just come off the pill, acne started playing up and periods went a bit haywire. I think for me I was more relieved because I had visions of a much worse diagnosis, however that’s not to say I was a bit panicked by the whole fertility shebang!

    I had extremely limited support from the NHS, I literally was handed a leaflet and told to get on with it, they’re only really interested if you struggle to conceive down the line. So there’s that which is fun.

    I did a lot of my own research instead and I found this book particularly helpful:
    ‘Natural Solutions to PCOS’ by Marilyn Glenville.

    It offered far more insight into ways I could manage symptoms and also to improve chances of conception when I get to that point in my life. (no where near ready yet! ha!) I recommend for you to check it out, the dietary changes have really helped me out no end, with weight management and helping regulate periods and acne etc.

    I’ve also been working on a blog post for a while on ‘living with PCOS’ which I’ve kind of put off publishing because it feels very personal, but I think you’ve inspired me to finally finish it off, so hopefully will have the courage to do that before the end of the year!

    Anyway as you say it’s not a terrible sentence, so keep your chin up and try not to worry too much!

    Much Love

    H x

    • I am newly diagnosed so would love to see this !

      • I’ll try and remember to link back on here so you can find it πŸ™‚

        Defo sending lots of love to my fellow sufferers!

        H x

  • Jess Wild

    Dear lovely Hannah,

    Everything is going to be ok.

    I’m 20 and I got diagnosed with it about a month ago after one of the many cysts on my ovaries burst. It burst in the middle of the friggin night and although it hella hurt, it is so so common in women our age (18-26). You may not even have it which would be smashing, but I just wanted to say that you’re stronger than you think and it really doesn’t mean you can’t have babies. Victoria Beckham has it! Loads of people I know have it – it hasn’t stopped them having kids πŸ™‚ They’ll monitor your pregnancy REALLY closely when it happens if you have PCOS, so you won’t get palmed off by the NHS again!

    Btw if you don’t want kids just ignore this comment. I know I’m rambling

    Of course you’ll feel fragile and a bit shattered, but I honestly believe this is just another hurdle you will overcome. I’m sure you’ve already overcome much worse. Stay strong and have courage little one.
    Jess x

  • Jenny Rowley

    Babes. Can I just say, as a GP receptionist…he should NEVER have said that to you and then offered a call back. At least if you’re going to give someone that kind of info- book them in! What. A. Tit. You’ll be fine baby cakes, you can conquer the world- PCOS or not. Big love xxxx

  • Hugs xx

  • Amy

    I hope everything goes OK Hannah – it must be horrible being in limbo but your doctors sounds pretty bad! I’ve had it so many times where the doctor tries to brush symptoms under the carpet and I’m always too scared to stand up for myself so I’m so glad you actually did stand up to the nurse and hopefully once you’ve found out what’s wrong you’ll feel like something is being done! Hugs xxx

  • Harriet


    You might feel horrid on the inside, but if it’s any small consolation, every instagram post you have put up in like the last month, i’ve been like daaaaaaaaaaaaaym that girl looks fine! Like seriously. Your hair, your make-up, your figure. ON POINT. So don’t feel bad when you look in the mirror and see acne. That’s not what we see. We see you, which is pretty damn fly. You really helped me last week with some of your posts when i was feeling anxious and insecure, so i hope you can rely on us to help you today!

    Hope you get answers soon.

  • Courts

    You’re a brave lady writing a post about something so personal! I can promise you it gets better though! A few years ago my ‘appendix’ burst whilst at work, only for them to open me up and see it was in fact my ovary that had. Both appendix and ovary removed and with a new diagnosis of PCOS, I can safely say I was left feeling a little deflated. I always wanted to be a mum, and I guess I went into a bit of a slump. As a nurse, I knew that the chances of this happening were slim. So when my partner asked to start trying for a baby, I wasn’t exactly overwhelmed at the idea of waiting forever for it not to happen… But heybloody presto, after 2 months we got the positive we’d been wishing for! I’m currently 27 weeks preggo! With one ovary and PCOS we managed it. I’m not saying that it’s easy, because PCOS is a complete ball ache but everyone is so very different, and as a nurse I hear of so many various experiences from PCOS patients. Please stay positive lovely lady! Xx
    P.s. Zinc tablets are meant to be ace for PCOS!

  • Kate

    This made me nearly cry as I have been through such a similar thing and it feels like a life sentence. I got diagnosed with Adenomyosis, a version of Endometriosis and basically don’t know if I can have children or not. Reading your post resonated with me so much because it is that unknown that is so scary, even just knowing the worst would in some ways be easier to deal with because at least you know and can deal with it rather than wondering what if. Everyone you talk to just tells you not to worry and it happens to loads of women which I know comes from a good place but I personally find a bit annoying – it’s very easy to say that when your womb isn’t betraying you!! Just let me have a moan and agree that it is very hard for me.

    Anyway, my boyfriend was the one in the end who got me out of my depressive slump! He made a fair point that if you don’t know, what’s the point in worrying about it? Why make yourself upset about something you don’t even know is going to happen? Your boyfriend sounds absolutely lovely and brilliantly supportive and by the time we are ready to have children I bet the treatment is SO advanced that there will be a million options available to us.

    Anyway I just wanted to let you now that it is ok to feel a bit shit about it all – sometimes you just need to feel sorry for yourself, eat lots of food and have a big hug!

    Also number one bit of advice – stop Googling now!! I went in floods of tears to my GP after reading so much stuff, the majority of which she dismissed in an instant as just being completely untrue!

  • This post made me feel a little extra fragile, emotional and terrified, but also a little bit happier and not alone. Thank you.
    I’m waiting for my scan which will be next month now, could have been on Wednesday but I wanted to my boyf to come with and he’s working that day. I’m having a scan under my arm for a tender… lumpy bit… I guess, that day too. WHAT FUN. Pretty sure I have pcos, lovely stuff, been holding off the symptoms with supplements and crying over my purple acne scars for over a year, just want to know for sure now, ya know.

    Have you got some spearmint tea? I’m trying that at the mo, tastes great like a liquid polo mint and helps pcos apparently! x

  • Sending lots of live, Hannah! It’s things like this that I do worry about every so often even though I’ve no symptoms. I think we should know before we try for kids we should know if we can have them. Otherwise it feels like a given being taken away.

    Good luck with the results! I really hope everything is okay



  • Just found out I also have PCOS, completely sympathize whit how broken it makes you feel but the NHS have been so good referring me to specialists etc (we are trying for a baby) – it will be okay and we will deal with it πŸ™‚

    George xxx

  • Hiya,

    I have read your blog for almost a year now and it’s never boring. I think you are actually inspiring. Just on this post though, I’m sorry to hear this however it was more what you say about your skin. I suffered for a good 11 years with severe acne. I went on every kind of pill and cream there was and nothing. My face was a mess and I would do anything to change it. I can’t recommend anything to prevent acne, but I can definitely recommend Silver Skin Serum, from The Skin Shop online. Literally changed my life. You just have spots, no redness and no markings. I suggest you try it, no girl wants to feel horrible about acne.


  • Emma Dunipace

    Ah this sucks , but it’s not completely hopeless. I have a couple of Friends with the same thing and they have had babies. I pushed my docs and nurses a couple of years ago after being told constantly that my body was just adjusting to the pill and finally an external and internal ultrasound later and a smear test they told me I had an ectropian cervix (like who the hells knows what that is) … when I ask them if it will affect fertility they look at me like I’m an alien , just because I’m in my 20’s doesn’t mean that I wont want babies some day! Well done you for taking the initiative and looking at what it could be, it’s so easy for doctors to fob you off and not look at what’s really going on. Think positive and I hope you start feeling cheery soon! Xxx

  • I think it’s really bad that the receptionist just kind of told you that without any real evidence, I think that is definitely something the should be booked in for an appointment and for the doctor to tell you so that you are not left feeling like this!!! Sending virtual hugs and hope you find out soon!

    Also, I had to have an ultrasound on my ankle and went through the same thing of the woman being dead silent, going over the same bit over and over and taking pictures… she literally gave nothing away. I thought it would be like when you have a baby and you look over it together and be like aw look you tore your tendon, isn’t it sweet – go home, drink champagne and celebrate with your family!


  • Emma

    What an inspiring post to read. More women should feel that they can talk about what is going on with their bodies….. especially in situations like this when hormones highten every single emotion and make you feel completely helpless.

    Although I do not suffer PCOS I have suffered a series of Unexplained miscarraiges and ectopic pregnancies over the last 15 months. The crazy thing is that you can not be investigated until you have had it happen three times. So there I was being sent home after number 2 (This one landed me in hospital as it was an ectopic that ruptured) and was told that until it happens again there is nothing that could be done.

    Being in Limbo is shit, there is no other word for it. Whoever said Patience is a virtue is not friggin kidding but time does eventually pass and you will get the answers you need.

    In the meantime just enjoy your baking and swimming and know that this grotty Monday will soon be over πŸ™‚

  • Aw Hannah, I’m so sorry to read this is going on with you… it’s the same for me at the moment, plus they’re going to operate on me because they think I have endometriosis as well – woo! I really empathise with the thought that oh, my body is abnormal and it’s not doing what it should do and why can’t it just be the same as everyone else – but I have to say, I see so many women online talking about PCOS and similar things, that maybe it isn’t abnormal at all, if so many people are suffering from it! Just wish the GPs would be a bit more clued up, I had quite a few dismissive experiences before finding a doctor willing to help πŸ™ xx

  • Anon

    I have it, I’m 28 – I have been excessively hairy since puberty, with irregular periods. I have only had 3 periods in 2015, one of the three periods was induced by some medication to try and help me conceive.
    There’s loads of people in the same boa, the main concern with us women is future baby making, I always had a niggly feeling I would have issues when I was a teen and I have but so many women I know with PCOS have gone onto have children. I seek reassurance in the fact that I’m still overall healthy and happy and it seems cliched but so many people are much MUCH worse off.
    I love your blog, this is the first time I have commented πŸ™‚
    The practice nurse you saw for your swabs should be able to book you in for a chat, patient.co.uk is really helpful and also if you don’t hear back it is best to chase them up. I work in the NHS, woe is me πŸ™‚
    Take care xx

  • Nearly cried at this post. PCOS is so scarily common and it’s not something they cover enough. At school they make it sound like Mean Girls ‘YOU WILL GET PREGNANT AND DIE’ if you have sex one time but in reality it’s a massive struggle for thousands of women. When I first came off the pill it took a year for my periods to come back. I literally had nothing for a whole year. The doctor wouldn’t see me about infertility until we’d been trying for a year but that year wouldn’t start until my periods came back. I was literally sat wasting my life waiting for my periods to return. After a year I was so pissed off that I forced the hospital to give me menopause medicine to kick start my periods again. We ended up paying a fortune to see Mr Dooley who is a fertility specialist. I had tons of scans, millions of blood tests and had my tubes flushed and then all of a sudden, out of the blue, I fell pregnant. God knows how or why but it had taken 2.5 years to get to that point. Huxley is now 2 years old and we’ve been trying a year for baby #2 with no success yet. (Saying that, my best friend had problems with her uterus too and has gotten pregnant twice within a couple of months of trying so everyone is totally different!)
    I’ve avoided writing about it on my blog so far as I don’t want to seem ungrateful for the massive blessing that Huxley is. I know I’m super lucky to have one perfect little boy but I really want him to have a brother or sister to cause trouble with and get excited about Christmas with. I’m not at a point yet where I’m ready to see the specialist again but once I feel ready emotionally, I wouldn’t think twice about spending the money because it’s totally worth it. Even just for peace of mind.
    I really really wish you all the best in your journey with PCOS. It’s a tough one. But rest assured that you’re DEFINITELY not alone.

  • Fiona

    I have never been one to comment on your posts before Hannah, but I just had to after reading this!
    Thank you for sharing you experience and for being so honest and open. I was told I had this last year and it made me go into a panic, questioning my fertility and whether I would ever have my own children one day. At 21, I’m not planning to have a baby anytime soon – but it still made me question my chances! It totally came out of the blue – no significant symptoms that would make me think of pcos.

    It’s so comforting reading this, and the comments below that show we definitely aren’t the only ones going through it; even though it sometimes feels like it!

    A million thankyous xxx

  • Kerry

    Hello lovely.

    I just wanted to leave this comment to perhaps ease you a little bit..
    2 Years ago when I was 21 I was plagued with horrible symptoms and pretty much begged/ordered my GP to refer me to a gynae. Months of waiting and being chopped and changed contraception, I got on the waiting list to have a laparoscopy after an ultrasound suggested endometriosis. I had the op, the surgeon opened me up and to my and his surprise found nothing.. Just normal looking lady parts!

    At first I was strangely disappointed, as I went through the operation for nothing and wanted them to find endo to remove it. In hindsight, I know i’m incredibly lucky that they didn’t find anything and strangely enough, after having the mirena coil my symptoms have virtually disappeared.

    Have you tried the coil?
    I guess the moral to the story is that sometimes thing are not as they seem and even if they are, if you pester them enough you will eventually find a gynae who understands and desperately wants to help you.

    Fingers and toes crossed for you xxx

    Kerry x

  • Leanne

    I can so relate to you rn!! I was diagnosed about 6 months ago and was handed a few sheets of paper from web md and sent on my way. I have been fine up until last month when my period lasted the whole month, last Monday I booked an apt and saw a nurse practitioner who booked me in with a dr sat morning as he would be able to help me better. Until I turned up Saturday 9am for the Dr to shrug and tell me he didn’t know about these “women’s problems” and to book in with the woman dr who I saw originally. Isn’t ovary limbo a dream. Hope you have better success xx

  • Beth

    Everything you said I completely relate to and I had the same thoughts when I was diagnosed just over a month ago. I researched PCOS until I couldn’t deal with it anymore and everything I read said changing your diet completely is the way to sort out all your symptoms. I did not believe this in the slightest… until I tried it and in a month i’ve lost a stone. Something that I’d seriously struggled with before (All i did was put on weight and couldn’t loose it no matter what i did!). I’ve equally had no support from my doctors or the NHS but talking to other people who have PCOS has really helped me understand and come to terms with it.

    Even now, I’m not in the position to have a baby and not knowing how that will be for me when the time is right still makes me want to cry but it gets better and easier and by surrounding yourself with a support system is the most important thing. It’ll get better… I promise!

    I also think your incredibly brave writing this post. When I was diagnosed, I wanted to curl into a ball and hide from the world. The fact that your talking about it and sharing it is very very admirable.


  • Chloe

    Hi Hannah,

    I’ve been reading your blog since like forever and I just wanted to reach out to you and tell you that I’ve also got PCOS and I just don’t want you to worry yourself as there are things they can do to help you!
    I was diagnosed at 16, and like you I was just sent away and told to come back when I was older. By the time I was 18 my symptoms were terrible, I was overweight, had zero self confidence and awful skin too. I went back to my doctor and they were much more proactive this time. I was prescribed 500mg Metformin to take three times a day and it’s sorted me out, I lost weight and my periods are regular now. So what I’m trying to say is keep pushing, there are treatments out there, and mention Metformin to your doctors. It’s insulin medication and helps to control your body’s sugar levels which then controls your PCOS symptoms. I also use DUAC gel for my skin and thats worked a treat too.

    Another tip is I’ve got an app on my iPhone called PinkPad which I use to track my periods and to note down an irregular symptoms I’m having. It’s great because if you go to the doctors with it then you’ve got an accurate record of when things don’t seem quite rightand they can use the information much more effectively than if you just go and say ‘oh my periods are irregular’.

    Please gimme a bell if you want a chat or any other help with it, I know exactly how you feel, at 24 I’m worrying about fertility amongst other things but I’ve always been assured that there will be help available to me when the time comes to start a family.

    Chin up love and hope I can help you feel better about your diagnosis-your blog cheers me up every single day so hopefully I can give you something back!



  • I completely understand where you’re at. I got tested for this years ago and all I got told was that I might have it and to just go on the pill to sort my periods out. Nothing for any of my other symptoms at all. It was so frustrating.

    Much love for this post and hopefully you’ll be out of this limbo soon.

    Becki x

  • Naomi

    It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and feel like it’ll be fine too! We’ve all been there. I’ve got polycystic ovaries but not the syndrome – I’ve had two miscarriages and I’m waiting to find out if there is something wrong that can be fixed. PCO and PCOS doesn’t necessarily preclude having a perfectly healthy pregnancy/baby. I’m paying privately to have these tests done and yes, it’s costing a small fortune, but the peace of mind is priceless. Is that something you could consider doing? I’ve been helped out by various people loaning or giving me the money in lieu of presents. The NHS is great (particularly when you’re in an emergency) but falls a little flat when the situation isn’t so dire… Big hug x

  • Can I just say what a wonderful post this is! I completely understand how you must feel but I’m sure everything will work out fine in the end.
    -Morgan x

  • Pip

    I have very similar symptoms and this has both sort of terrified me/made me realise i should maybe delve deeper into understanding them.. so sorry to hear the diagnosis Hannah πŸ™

  • Leanne

    Thank you for writing this and being so honest. I too am in ovary limbo. 6 months ago I started getting horrible sharp stabbing pains in the ovary area, I had an ultrasound in August. The Dr that did it was totally useless and had absolutely no bedside manner whatsoever. I tried asking what in particular he might be looking for and his answer was “I’m looking at your pelvis and ovaries”…really? No shit Sherlock. Anyways those results showed I have a cyst on one of my ovaries but I was just told it could be Endo or PCOS or something else and to wait 3 months, then come back to get booked in for another scan to see if anything has changed. After getting referred again and waiting over a month for an appointment time I’m finally getting my 2nd scan next week, 4 days before Christmas. I’ve always had irregular periods, ever since they first began, but no one has ever looked into it.

    Anywho good luck, and in the meantime keep on baking! I love it, always cheers me up.


  • Charlotte

    Oh babes, I won’t try to make you feel better about PCO as right now you feel as I felt when I first found out, like it is the end of the world. That and all these lovely ladies have said it better than I could! I do want to say that it shocks me they didn’t test your hormone levels first. Without knowing that, It can be hard to decide how to treat it. Holisitically or traditionally. Maybe I have just been lucky with my docs, although one incredibly patronising man explained my menstrual cycle to me like I was five years old. Like excuse me, i’ve been bleeding from this part of my body for over a decade. I know all about my womb lining (although i cant remember its technical term pah)

    Much lovee xxxx

  • It sounds like you’ve had such a rough ride recently, and I hate the way you’ve been back-and-forth with the doctors and professionals. I suppose at times like this you just have to be glad that, while it’s hard and awful and you hate it, at least you’re not alone in it- you have heaps of readers, and a partner and two kitties who depend on you, and care for you. I know that whenever anyone says something like that to me I just interpret it as ‘oh just shut up, look at how much you already have,’ but it’s not that. Take whatever reassurance and solace you can from the people around you and use it to help you deal with the fact that, yeah, this is shit and you’ve not been given the help you need and deserve, and maybe things will get better or maybe they’ll get worse. Fingers crossed for you!

  • Caz

    I’ve had PCOS for around 10 years although i’ve never been officially diagnosed as I have a bit of a phobia of doctors! The main things that have helped my symptoms have been giving up drinking cows milk (this helped my acne), drinking spearmint tea (this is good if you have excess body hair) and trying not to eat as much sugar (I’m terrible at this but found that eating dark chocolate instead of milk is a good place to start). I also tried a supplement called inositol which helped to start my periods again although it isn’t the easiest thing to get hold of or take regularly.
    The worst thing about PCOS is that there isn’t really a cure but there are lots of really helpful websites that are great for advice and I promise that it will get easier once you start to understand how it affects your body. I often feel really alone and like I’m the only one suffering but this post has really reassured me after seeing all the comments above so thank you for having the confidence to write it Hannah! x

  • Emz

    After being diagnosed at 14 with pcos and a horrid doctor telling me I’d probably never have kids I spent years worrying. At 26, after 2 years of trying and one missed miscarriage I’m currently 12 weeks pregnant with my little peanut.
    There’s so many things that help with pcos – little diet changes and exercise help. If you are trying for children the nhs can give you medication to help fertility plus you don’t have to wait 6 months like they suggest to most couples as you have a known condition. The best thing I found was acupuncture… It stabilised my non exsistent ‘could go for a year without one’ periods and it’s given me my little jellybean.
    Don’t let your diagnosis rule your life xx

  • Megan

    Thank you for writing this!
    I was diagnosed with pcos and endometriosis three years ago (oh joy!)
    I hope you find a way to manage your symptoms, it’s all a lot to take in at first with everyone telling your horror stories about someone they knew with pcos but just keep chasing those doctors – there are shitty ones who don’t seem much help but at the same time there are some amazing ones out there too!
    Fingers crossed for you! X

  • Claudia

    Hi Hannah,

    I felt so compelled to reply to this after seeing it pop up on my Facebook.

    I went through the same several years ago. Nurse to GP to scans to diagnosis. Again, no real support and lots of tears and panic and convincing myself death was imminent (so rational).

    However, I got it under control with a pill. But sadly this lasted only two years or so before the stupidly long periods came back and they finally referred me to a specialist.

    I totally recommend you do the same and here is why.

    Like you, I was diagnosed by a gp off the back of a scan and my symptoms. However, what my fabulous specialist explained to me is ovaries covered in things that look like cysts on a scan can be caused by SO many things and also be like 20304730 different things. To confirm PCOS you need blood tests which confirm something to do with your hormones. Funnily enough, when I went for my blood test, there was no evidence of PCOS. Another set of scans revealed these supposed millions of cysts had also disappeared.

    Said specialist said this is common, and it sucks.

    I am now having investigative surgery next month to get to the root of my problems. Terrifying, but I am so pleased someone is ticking all the boxes to try and find out properly what is wrong with me.

    Basically, if you can’t be bothered to read my stupidly long message, don’t panic, and request a referral to a Gyno. You may just get the bigger, more accurate, and more supportive picture.


  • Pamela

    Firstly, well done on writing this post. You are incredibly brave and inspiring to share this story on your blog. I have been reading your blog for about a year and really enjoy it, but never commented before. This post has obviously touched a lot of people, judging by the other comments. I don’t have experience of PCOS myself but my best friend has. I think every women out there experiences fertility issues in some shape or form. I truly hope that things work out ok for you and that you get any help, support, love, mince pies or make up that you need to help you feel better.

  • I know exactly how you’re feeling.
    I have had problems with my ovaries for years. I was always so irregular, then birth control made me know down to the minute when my period was coming.

    Three years ago it became irregular again, and now two years ago it stopped altogether.
    I still have major PMS and mood swings, weight gain and a lot of stomach pain.

    Doctors seem to mock me whenever I go in for these problems and repeatedly tell me I’m 24, I shouldn’t be too worried.

    But I am..

    I now know I had PCOS, but other than that nothing has been solved or worked on. It’s very frustrating and scary.


  • Jaz

    Ahh Hannah I feel ya. I have been in Ovary Limbo for around 6 years now. Last time I went to a specialist she actually said to me ‘everyone has different periods, I will suffer differently to you, and you will suffer differently to Geraldine [the random chaperone nurse in the corner] and that’s just the way life is.’
    So I am having a break from doctors and will cope with my symptoms for a few months before launching a new attack in 2017.
    All I can say is, trust your body. I may not have a diagnosis and I may not be a doctor but I know what is happening to me, I have Endometriosis and I think I even know where. I just need someone to fix it.
    Don’t give up.

  • Lianne

    Beautifully written, as always. You are such an inspiration and a good role model for teenage girls. Good luck with the new diagnoses it must be scary going into the unknown. Life sure does throw some things are way X

  • A

    I have PCOS and reading your posts makes me feel as though I have cancer! Honestly, there are worse diseases (like cancer) and while I agree it’s hard to take after some time when you stop focusing on it you forget you have it. Honestly, stop freaking out. Though I admit NHS is the worst when dealing with it.

  • There are parts of your post that I could have recited by heart because my experience was so similar. I was having incredibly painful periods and was given painkillers to deal with the pain without anyone even looking at me. Went back and was lucky that there was a medical student who saw me first, asked lots of questions, listened and the GP took it seriously and referred me for a scan. Turned out I had two fibroids, weighing…. wait for it, 4 lbs! After a very long wait I had surgery at the beginning of September.
    During this process I’ve realised that women hardly ever talk about women’s health so I’ve made it my mission to tell everyone and to try and get to the bottom of how to balance my hormones (no help from the NHS there, even as far as advice goes). It made me very happy to see this post because women suffer so much in silence and cope with pain and horrible stuff without the need to!
    Wishing you the best – from what I have learned about PCOS it is very manageable so good luck with it all.
    Loads of love

    Inma x

  • Lynn

    I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2000. Unfortunately, there was very little knowledge of the condition at the time, so I had to do all my own research, including scouting the medical library for information. I also aggressively posted on soulcysters and even set up my own PCOS website. Anyway, all my research kept coming back to the fact that PCOS was a condition caused by insulin resistance and underpinned by oestrogen dominance. A low thyroid or low cortisol levels also often occur alongside PCOS. Doctors in the UK only seem to offer the pill to women who aren’t trying to conceive, but the pill does not treat the root cause at all. Metformin is a very effective treatment, but the NHS only licenses its use in those who are trying to conceive. In fact, metformin is so good that patients never want to go off it: http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org.elib.tcd.ie/content/19/12/2718/

    You mention that you were tested for adrenal insufficiency a while back, but that all came back “normal”. Again, the NHS’s yardstick for what is normal is often not up-to-date with the latest research. Sadly, chronic conditions cost the NHS monthly prescriptions for the rest of one’s natural life, so the thresholds for diagnosis of both adrenal insufficiency and hypothyroidism are set much higher than in other countries and what best practice would dictate. The sad truth is that low blood sugar levels are massively tied to low cortisol levels. Weight gain, depression and hair loss are also tied to hypothyroidism. I’d suggest checking out stopthethyroidmadness.com and addisonssupport.com for further info on this stuff. Your issues might not even be PCOS, but hypothyroidism and adrenal insufficiency. I know my own PCOS has been under control for years, especially since I was treated for hypothyroidism and adrenal insufficiency.

  • Such a great & brave post for raising awareness for PCOS. I’m sure there are many girls/women out there who could be experiencing these symptoms but would never have thought anything of it.

    I hope going forward the NHS is better to you – there’s nothing I hate more than when doctors/nurses aren’t interested in helping you further!

    I also hope everything turns out well for you πŸ™‚


  • Lara

    Hi Hannah – I’ve recently started reading your blog and just finished reading this post. I was diagnosed with PCOS about 18 months ago after going through almost identical symptoms to you. I had taken myself off the pill and after a few months my skin was worse than it’s ever been, and I was lucky to get a period at all! This carried on for almost a year (and I only had 3 periods) So I thought I should get this seen to – and after several referrals – a few ‘inspections’ down below and an ultrasound later, I too was told I had PCOS.

    I didn’t really know what to think to begin with – and my first thought was ‘I’m not going to be able to have kids am I?’.

    I’ve been told (and have friends that have proved otherwise) that a lot of women can still conceive! I also didn’t realise just how common it is amongst women, especially at our age (26).

    Think positive lovely – I know you’ll be ok ?

    If anyone has any advice or would just like someone to talk to about this – please get in touch. ☺️

    Lara xx

  • Frances


    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now but never commented before.

    Firstly, I want to applaud your bravery for posting this post. I know that it can’t have been easy. Sometimes when things aren’t all smiles on the health front it’s difficult enough to discuss it with friends and family so I can’t imagine having the balls to post something so publicly!
    Although I don’t have any direct experience of pcos so far in my life I can definitely empathise with the frustration at the attitudes of many healthcare professionals towards young women – sometimes just dismissing concerns as hormones or stress without bothering to actually investigate. And also with the frustration of trying to get referred to a specialist!

    Secondly, I just want to say how uplifted I’ve been just reading through the comments and seeing so many supportive people! It’s really brightened up a shitting day seeing people looking out for each other and genuinely caring.

    I hope that everything works out for you and I hope that (if it’s what you want) you’re back having a less hostile ultrasound under happier circumstances at some point down the line.


  • Hannah, after reading through all of the lovely, supportive comments left too, I had to leave a little message for you too. Like several other ladies, I too have been diagnosed with PCOS, just over a year ago now when I was 20. I always had a little inkling as I had several symptoms, acne (especially on my chin which is linked to hormones), a bit of unwanted hair (woo hoo), irregular, heavy periods etc etc. I’d come off the pill and this was also following a dark time in my life where I had lots of eating and mental issues, and didn’t have a period for a year after coming off the pill… It took me FOREVER to get diagnosed but eventually we got there, I had this bizarre plastic thing that was supposedly a camera shoved up my fanny and my fears were confirmed.
    It’s absolutely DREADFUL that you get sent off, especially if you’re young and are told that you MAY struggle to conceive but they can give you medication to help with that when the time comes. No. I need to know NOW if I’m going to have my dream little family one day. I keep thinking maybe I need to just say, screw it, I’d better start trying now! You get fobbed off with a leaflet and are encouraged to go back on the pill, which only masks symptoms and most likely, when you come off it again, there may be some more difficulties you face (this isn’t definite but I’m not risking it for sure). But hey, it’s so true that there are SO many women who have PCOS and are absolutely fine. Look at Victoria Beckham, she couldn’t stop popping them out and she has PCOS! Also Jools Oliver (Jamie’s wife) has written a book all about her struggles which is meant to be very good.

    It’s easier said than done but just don’t worry. Whatever way your life is meant to turn out, will be the way it is for a reason. I so hope that there’s a time in your life when you have your own little family, and me too! I’ll 100% recommend adjusting your diet to help with your hormones so think low sugar, lots of good sources of fat, plenty of water and look into what supplements may help too.

    There’s no point getting worried over something that hasn’t happened yet! Well done for sharing this as I know it’ll help so many people. I shared my story on my blog and was so overwhelmed with the response I got, it’s even one of my most popular posts to date!

    We’re all here for you πŸ™‚
    She’s So Lucy xxx

  • I have no helpful tips to add about PCOS, but I offer virtual hugs. The not knowing is the worst. I hope you get some proper answers soon. I’d bet as soon as you have a way to deal with it, you’ll feel much better.

  • Abby

    Hey πŸ™‚ I just wanted to post to tell you my story to hopefully make you feel a bit better… I know everyone’s stories and experiences are different but here’s mine.
    I am 23 yrs old. I came off the pill in 2013 for the exact same reasons as you – I knew all those extra hormones in my body were not great and making me feel pretty damn crappy. I had been on the pill since I was 15 so I felt like it was time for a break!
    Towards the end of 2014, I still had not had a period, and my face was covered in acne! It was not fun! And I felt frankly pretty rubbish about myself. I went to the doctors and luckily the NHS were pretty quick with all my scans swabs and appointments and confirmed PCOS.
    I was obviously concerned but knew there was not all that much I could do about it! Especially about conceiving because I knew at some point In my future I wanted children but they told me not to worry about that until I tried.
    My periods did make a reappearance and started to become more regular. My mum actually recommended taking ‘Agnus castus’ which ironically is used for PMS relief but can also help regulate periods – which it seemed to work for me!! (Can buy in boots or health shops and Is herbal so doesn’t have any horrible side effects).
    Anyway – it’s now the end of 2015, and I can tell you that I am nearly 29 weeks pregnant with a baby boy and due in March πŸ™‚ I can also tell you that this was very much a surprise pregnancy, me and my partner did not try!
    So please, I know it is easier said than done, but do not worry because things have a funny way of working out πŸ™‚ xx

  • Amy

    Hope you’ve been to see your doctor since writing this, or at least are waiting for your appointment! The not knowing bit is definitely worse a lot of the time.

    I’m new to your blog and you never cease to make me laugh (never seen a chat about ovaries feature a Harry Potter quote before), you’re just SO relatable! Anyway I never comment on blogs but just had to when I read you did the exact same thing I am doing – coming off the pill after coming off tablets I’d been on for 11 years (chronic illness probs!) just to be pill free & clean. Sorry you had those issues though…

    Hope you get some answers soon!x

  • ari

    I can totally relate when you report being in a limbo… I have experienced it (not with PCOS, but with an autoimmune disease). The worst thing about it is not having deep, detailed, professional information about it. Once you will have them, everything will be better.
    Do not worry before the time!! In the future when planning a pregnancy you will have so much time to think about it (:-P we’ve been trying for almost a year know, without success… I try to be positive, at least until I know that there’s something to be worried about… don’t know if this is clear!)
    Anyway, I wish you the best πŸ™‚

  • I completely understand the experience as I have had the same – a few years ago my cycle stopped, I had awful acne which I treated with antibiotics and just as I was about to be diagnosed everything started as normal again. This year I started breaking out slowly until I had painful lumps and no periods. The doctor’s said my levels were fine but you know when it’s not okay. Since then I’ve been taking liver support and that’s both bought my cycle back into action and helped treat the majority of my acne – I know this may not be the same as what you have experience but it may be a branch, and as you said, it’s so common and I too was scared about future children and fertility.

    I wish you all the best and hope that you find a way to send PCOS off and out girl <3

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Beauty

  • Laura Ashley

    Oh Han!How I enjoy reading your blogs!It will all work out!Dont worry x Laura in Ireland ???

  • I can’t imagine what it must be like to be stuck in limbo, but you write about your emotions so beautifully, and whilst it may be discomforting please know that your words bring a great deal of comfort to those going through the same. Hope you get some guidance soon xx

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