A strange title for a blog, perhaps, but chances are that my ovaries are indeed bigger than yours. Bigger isn't always better, however, and in this case my enlarged estrogen and progesterone secreting organs are a sign that all is not entirely as it should be in Reproduction Land.
Now don't get your panties in a bunch, Warriors, I'm not seriously ill - I intend on being around for many more years to come! In fact, I'm not ill at all but rather I have a very common condition that you yourself (if you're of the female persuasion) may have and not even know.
I know because I had a transvaginal scan last week. "Transvaginal". Did reading that cause you to wince and cross your legs? Ever had one of those bad boys before? Not even remotely as terrifying as it sounds. I lay there, spread eagled, holding my breath in dreaded anticipation of the alien like probe covered in what appeared to be a giant condom.
ONE, TWO, THREE....
Is that it? Really? Tampons go further up than that! I exhaled in relief, stopped clenching my stomach muscles and allowed the nurse to do her job. Vanessa was her name and sticking instruments up lady gardens is her game!
Oh! I have failed to mention what I was doing there in the first place, like going for a transvaginal scan is something the GW does on a regular basis.
So ever since I came back from the US I've had stomach pains and ended up in A + E (ER to you my American compadres) last week after projectile vomiting and generally feeling like absolute poo. Once again, do no fret! All is now well (just a random virus it would appear) but the scan was part of the investigative process to find out why I was feeling so sick. So now you know why I was there we can get back to what the probe revealed.
I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS for short which basically means that my ovaries don't function to the best of their ability. The three main features of this condition are:
1) harmless cysts that develop in the ovaries
2) ovaries that don't regularly release eggs
3) high levels of androgens (male hormones) in the body
If you have two out of the three then chances are you'll be diagnosed with PCOS.
I've had irregular periods since day one and while I won't be employed as a Bearded Lady anytime soon I do have a little cluster of dark, stubbly hairs that grow on my chin. Sexy. I know. But as irksome as they are I find nothing more therapeutic than to tweeze them out. It's my activity of choice when I'm driving. I cruise along, listening to the radio and try and pull out my stubbly little friends with my nails. It gives me an enormous sense of satisfaction when, one by one, they succumb to my now perfected plucking technique. What can I say? Simple minds, simple pleasures.
As for the cysts I've always had my suspicions and they were confirmed by Vanessa who also pointed out that it was the size of my ovaries that gave the game away. The average ovary is 3-5cm in length. Mine are 10cm and 14cm long respectively. So not only are they outsized but they're lopsided too. I wonder if they can see that when you go through those airport scanners at security? Maybe that explains why those two security dudes were laughing when I was scanned coming back from the US. They were probably like: "Man! She's ginger AND she has freaky ovaries!".
Is there any hope for me??
While you ponder that question here's a picture of one of my larger than average ovaries. X marks the spot:
It's estimated that about 1 in every 5 women in the UK has polycystic ovaries, but more than half of these have no symptoms. Other symptoms you can experience include:
- weight gain
- thinning hair/hair loss
- oily skin and acne
- difficulty getting pregnant
I haven't been affected by the first three and have yet to put number four to the test. I do, however, have friends with PCOS who have had difficulties in falling pregnant and needed a little bit of help. They now have their much anticipated bundles of joy which I find reassuring if I do one day decide to try and make Aunts and Uncles of you all. ;)
If you do think you might have PCOS then click HERE for more information and advice from the professionals rather than listen to a rambling lunatic with extra long ova.
Ginger Warrior, over and out.