PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is one of the most frustrating conditions a woman can have. While it's not anything like a terminal illness, it does mess with your hormones and can affect your ability to conceive. It's also taxing on a woman's mental, physical and emotional state. Thankfully, there are few things every grown-ass man understands about PCOS and the experiences his partner will go through if she has it, experiences like; messed-up menstrual cycles, hormonal flare-ups, painful ovarian cysts and things like acne and weight gain. None of it is fun and all of it interferes with life at the absolute worst times.
When I was diagnosed with PCOS, I lived with the pain of irregular menstrual cycles and cysts for many years. Part of me was afraid to go to the doctor, the other part knew something just wasn't right and I needed to be seen. I put off scheduling an appointment with my gynecologist until my cycles became too unpredictable and painful. My doctor scheduled an ultrasound and found not one but many benign cysts that needed to be removed. It was explained to me at that moment in time that, no matter how many times those cysts would or could be removed, they'd eventually grow back. Unfortunately, this is just one part of having PCOS. It's emotionally draining and physically frustrating, all at the same time. I was put on birth control to somewhat help (though not entirely) regulate things and until I had my first child a couple years later, I simply learned to live with the symptoms.
A couple years after the birth of my youngest, I developed a fairly large cyst on my right ovary. Walking was painful, sitting was painful — basically everything I did was painful. I had surgery to remove my ovary, though it came at the price of fluctuating hormones and at a rate and intensity I had never experienced before. Even now, as I often have pain in my remaining ovary, I've gotten used to life with the dull nagging sting (because losing my second ovary may mean being on hormone replacement the rest of my life). I'm 34 years old so naturally, I'd like to keep those parts if at all possible.
In going through this all these years, my partner has been educated many times over on my body and how it works and what it means to have PCOS. With that said, here are a few things every grown-ass man (like my partner) understands when his partner is going through something he will never experience for himself.