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Article: Caitlin's PCOS Story (Our Founder)

Caitlin's PCOS Story (Our Founder)

Caitlin's PCOS Story (Our Founder)

*Please note, this blog includes discussion around disordered eating. If you think this may be a potential trigger, please re-consider if this is the right resource for you, or visit the Butterfly Foundation for support. You are not alone ❤️

Having PCOS was something that never really concerned me (when I was younger). I was diagnosed with PCOS in my early 20's and was told to just ‘go on the pill.’ At the time I thought the pill was a brilliant solution and was told that it would help ‘regulate my cycle.’ I wasn’t considering children at this stage of life, and to be honest, I had little, to no idea what PCOS actually meant. 

The concept of the pill sounded a lot better than what it was. The pill for me, lasted 3 months, I was emotional, gained weight rapidly and for someone who is generally a pretty happy and bubbly person, I became like the Grinch on Christmas (I personally love the Grinch but no one needs that constant pessimism in their life). With this, I decided the best thing to do was come off the pill. I took some time off from contraception (and felt amazing) but then decided to make my way back to my gynaecologist who recommended trying the copper IUD instead. I thought brilliant! Why didn’t we try this in the first place!? No hormones sounded incredible to me.

A year went by without many issues, apart from the odd cramping and spotting at the beginning which is pretty routine. BUT, Suddenly out of nowhere, my period came and it was HEAVY! (Excuse the details but we can most likely all relate to heavy periods at one point or another). The problem was that the bleeding didn’t stop. 1 month, 2 months, 3 months went by without reprieve.

Now before I go on, some of you may be wondering why I didn’t seek medical attention earlier. Hindsight is truly a wonderful thing. I was a registered nurse/midwife by then and we are notorious for playing it by ear and taking our time with things. In combination with this, I am also a pretty laid-back person. However, I thought enough was enough, I found myself with fatigue setting in and feeling weak, the poor iron stores copped a beating! With this, I made my way back to the gynaecologist, had my IUD removed, and never went back. 

The gynaecologist wanted to try another form of contraception and me, being a pretty non-confrontational person said, ‘I’ll think about it.’ It was more like, ‘I will think about never coming back!’. Following the IUD removal, I immediately felt so much better. My bleeding was no more (I just had the odd spotting for a couple of days as well as cramping). 

Following this turn of events, contraception was not an avenue I was willing to explore possibly ever again. My body, hormones, and mental health had honestly had enough! Don’t get me wrong, for some women, contraception is truly wonderful and pretty smooth sailing, but for myself, it was like exploring the rough seas, on a stormy night, in nothing but an inflatable boat!

Unfortunately following this, my periods were all over the place... I would go for months without getting my period and then would get it every 24, 44, 32, 12 days, and so on, you get the gist. It had a mind of its own and I don’t blame it. My body at the time was in a state of imbalance and so too were my hormones. I was depriving myself of a variety of key nutrients and didn’t have enough fat on my body to physically fall pregnant or sustain a regular period. Typing this makes me so sad because if only I could be that voice for my younger self saying, 'Everything will be okay and that your weight doesn’t define you'. It was a constant battle…

It wasn’t until I was about 25 (I am 32 now as I write this) that I started trying to get to the root cause of my PCOS. I was so sick of neglecting my body and punishing it. I had just met my husband and started thinking about what PCOS meant for my health, fertility and hopefully future family.

My husband was an absolute godsend for me. His presence made me feel as if it was okay to enjoy certain foods, he helped me relax as I am someone who is always on the move and provided me with a sense of reassurance and calmness. He helped me work through a lot of things unknowingly. 

Moving forward...

  • I dived into research, analysing study after study, which led me to become qualified as a nutrition consultant. I wanted to understand the why and get to the root cause.
  • I shifted my mindset with the way I ate- choosing food as nourishment and enjoyment, not as calories.
  • I started to use exercise as stress relief and 'fresh air', not as a form of punishment.
  • I cut all ‘diet foods’ - this is where my unhealthy obsession with food first started.
  • I started to understand ingredient lists
  • I started to audit my everyday products- personal care items, skincare, cleaning products etc. Minimising toxins where possible.
  • I addressed my stress levels and sleeping patterns and lastly,
  • I implemented supplements that would help support my diet/lifestyle.

Myo-Inositol was one of these and it was a complete game changer. It really helped regulate my cycle, minimise cravings and those pesky PMS symptoms.

Fast forward to me writing this now, I have a regular cycle, am a healthy body weight, and am a much happier human. 

Your PCOS doesn't have to define you.

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