Many women suffer from PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome. PCOS is a reproductive disease that affects almost 10% of women from ages 20 to 40. It involves high levels of testosterone that prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs and, instead, turns those unfertilized eggs into small cysts.
Skin problems, sudden weight gain, and unusual hair growth are just some of the few symptoms of the disease. But the most obvious and most common one is having irregular periods.
When it comes to PCOS, preparedness is key. Unlike women with normal cycles, we don’t have a calendar to look at to expect the next time the red tide comes. If you have PCOS, be sure to have these essentials on hand:
A LARGE STOCK OF NAPKINS
Most girls just buy their napkin packs during grocery trips or a few days before they get their period. If you have PCOS, however, your next flow is as unpredictable as the weather (or even more so). It’s better to stock up on napkins for unplanned periods.
Girls with PCOS often experience heavier flows. Whisper’s Cottony Clean line has both a day and night option that both offer 12-hour leakage protection. The Cottony Clean Regular pads contain a small amount of Dermacare lotion that is excellent for those who have sensitive skin. The Cottony Clean X-Long ones, on the other hand, have Blue Anti Leak Channels that keep you protected while you sleep.
Also, be sure to purchase high-quality napkins that don’t expire quickly. Whisper pads have a shelf life of three years – keeping them in your cabinet for a while won’t be a problem.
Since you aren’t sure about your next cycle, it’s important to have a pack of sanitary wipes with you at all times. This way, you can clean your intimate area even when you’re not at home.
Be sure to choose gentle wipes that won’t irritate. Take a look at the pack’s ingredient list – the fewer, the better.
LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL
Lavender oil is one of the most popular essential oils on the market. It is known to alleviate stress and anxiety while promoting overall relaxation.
Research shows that lavender essential oil is also useful during your red days. Adding lavender oil to your humidifier or rubbing it onto your lower stomach can help relieve menstrual cramps. If you have difficulties sleeping from the pain, feel free to put a few drops on your pillow.
EMERGENCY PREGNANCY TESTS
Sex and PCOS can be a horrible mix. Not knowing when your next period will be can make you anxious, especially if you regularly engage in sexual activities.
When you visit a drugstore, purchase a few boxes of pregnancy tests that you can keep in your drawer for emergencies. It’s better to have one by your side all the time to avoid awkward, frantic runs to the drugstore the next time around.
When I visited a gynecologist back in 2014, she told me to jot down on a journal all the dates I had my periods, symptoms I experienced, and even the things I ate on a daily basis. These things are all important when it comes to assessing your condition, especially when you’re thinking about consulting with a doctor.
If you like the more digital approach, log all these onto your phone. Mobile apps like Clue and Flo help you keep track of all things period-related, from the type of flow you have down to your daily water intake. Both apps are available for Apple and Android devices.
I used to think PCOS was the worst thing to have happened to my reproductive system. But I eventually learned to live with it.