As Black Women, we don't discuss PCOS enough. TMI Maybe but #Ourhealthmatterstoo
Having fertility issues, no mensural cycles, over-flowing/heavy cycles, painful cycles, and just overall discomfort is a reality for some black and brown women when it comes to monthly periods and sadly we end up being diagnosed with additional medical issues.Keke Palmer came out on Instagram sharing that she has suffered from acne for many years and the reason was because she suffers from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. She explained how doing the basics such as drinking water, changing her diet, exercising couldn't decipher what the actual problem was. Keke explained that she even went as far as to look at her family medical history in order to determine if something in her bloodline could of been the cause and she did in fact find that her family has a history of diabetes and obesity.
That isn't exactly surprising given statistically, black families do have a long line of diabetes, obesity and even cancer, my family included. If any medical issues pop up as you age, it is important to be aware of your family medical history because medical issues that deep can span for generations. Better to know now than later especially if you plan on having children or are trying for a baby and is having difficulties. And sadly besides acne, women can experience hair loss, excessive hair growth in uncomfortable places, weight gain or loss, depression, body aches, headaches, discharge, and swelling to name a few symptoms associated with PCOS. Speak up to your doctors, especially gynecologists' and be firm in what you think is wrong with your body. A change in diet, birth control or drinking water isn't a cure to PCOS and it's shameful that people still remain ignorant in telling a woman what they should be doing. Every woman's body is different, has different reactions and overall should be treated with respect and great care.
Of course, black and brown families are at an disadvantage when it comes to being believed by doctors when we voice our concerns about our health. Most of the time we are turned away because we as Keke Palmer exclaims "look healthy" even if we are suffering on the inside. That's unfortunately true, we could be getting tests done for years and because we look healthy and may feel healthy, doctors would dismiss it as a minor ache, poor diet, stress, etc. It took Keke to basically to do her own research through Web MD in order for doctors to do a proper diagnosis. Even in the medical world sadly we can only help ourselves.
I personally don't get my period every month and can go up to 6 months without my period. Even though I don't have PCOS, it is still nerve wracking that something deeper could be wrong with me. So many questions are raised and I too sometimes feel as though I am being dismissed by my doctor and gynecologist when explaining that I fear I may not be able to get pregnant because of my frequent absent period but because I am still young at 24 and look healthy, the concern isn't major in my doctors eyes. It's terrible that a lot of black and brown women suffer with these issues on a daily and I hope they receive the advice, diagnosis and or treatment that they need and deserve. Our bodies matter and most importantly, our health matters.