"That's when the fear sets in:" Stylist Justine King on PCOS and pregnancy
"I thought for me it was aways going to be a very long road."
In the latest episode of Blended Beauty, stylist Justine King discusses her PCOS diagnosis, and her experience of pregnancy during a pandemic.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS as it is also referred to, is a hormonal condition that can cause cysts to form at the edge of the ovaries. Women with PCOS either don't ovulate at all, or they ovulate infrequently. It is thought that around one in five women have polycystic ovaries.
"With PCOS you don't always ovulate, you often produce a cyst instead of an egg at that time of the month," Justine explains. "So this is why getting pregnant when you have PCOS could take years."
If you get an early diagnosis, says Justine, it could help your chances of getting pregnant. "The way they diagnose you with PCOS, you have to have two of three things," she says. "Blood tests, an ultrasound to see if there's cysts on your ovaries, and symptoms being the third."
These symptoms can differ from person to person, but can often include irregular periods, prolonged menstrual cycles, weight gain, acne, or excessive hair growth.
Justine first noticed an issue when she hadn't had a period for a year. "I also found that I was holding onto weight that I just knew didn't belong there," she says. "I was eating really healthy, I was working out loads. It was particularly around my face."
She went to see a doctor who investigated further. "She sent me for an ultrasound and at that point they were able to see there were cysts on my ovaries that were compliant with PCOS."
"I was in my late twenties and people are starting to have kids or thinking about having kids, and that's when the fear set in."
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"I thought for me it was always going to be a very long road," she says. "But the one thing the doctor said to me was: 'You have youth on your side and the younger you try the easier it will be'."
After the first month of trying, Justine and her boyfriend Conor were surprised to find out that she was pregnant. "I had that real fear that it wouldn't have happened that easily for me," she says.
This is her Justine's first pregnancy, and she's experiencing it during the pandemic, she doesn't know what it's like to have her partner by her side during scans and checkups. She is confident though, that she can get through it.
"I've never done it with someone so I think I'll get through it, many women have and many women will," she says. "So many people have said what a lovely time it is your get to spend with the baby.
"I'm just feeling so blessed that this is happening."
You can check out the rest of Her's Blended Beauty series over on IGTV.