PCOS, Purity, & Pregnancy

In my senior year of high school, I started noticing that I had an absence of menstruation for 3 months. I began to feel distressed, there was no possible way I was pregnant because I’m a virgin. When I did have my period, it either lasted 12 days and with heavy bleeding or it would come 1 day and disappear the next or I missed for 2 months or more. I began to think the worst, that I might have Ovarian Cancer or that some supernatural thing has made me pregnant. I went to the local doctor’s office to see what it could be and what is it that can be done about it. The doctor instructed that I get an ultrasound, which seemed weird to me since the only setting in which I’ve heard about ultrasounds is by my female family members when they were pregnant. When the results from the ultrasound came back, it was revealed that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome otherwise known as PCOS.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome affects about 10 million women in the world. The exact cause is unknown and there is no cure. The symptoms are abnormal, absence of, heavy, irregular, short and light, menstruation and spotting. Other symptoms are weight gain, acne, infertility, depression, male features, and unwanted hair. There is a medicine called Metformin which is used as an anti-diabetic medication because PCOS often elevates Insulin levels which lead to developing diabetes. I went on Metformin but soon went off because of the horrible side effects.

When I told my two close friends about my irregular periods they responded by telling me how lucky I was to not have to go through “that time of the month” every month because in their eyes it was a burden, but they didn’t know the severity of it so I don’t blame them. In my eyes, I didn’t feel lucky. I want to be a wife and a mother and fulfill Hashem’s commandment of being fruitful but I have a high chance of infertility. I want to participate in the mitzvah of Taharas Hamishpacha but I don’t know if I will have the strength to persevere after having a 12 day period. Times like those, is when I would need the comfort of my husband the most. I want to have structure. I want to not have to wait 19+ days to have sex with my husband and I don’t want that for him either. I want to feel beautiful. I want to be happy.

I am now 20 years old and will be going in the shidduch process soon. Family members have advised me to keep silent about it since there is chance it will spread and in that case it will be detrimental to finding a shidduch. My only wish is to find someone understanding about it but I don’t know how to address it. I have not yet met any Orthodox Jewish women that suffer from PCOS, which is a challenge for me because I do not know what to expect in my near future.

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  1. PCOS February 2, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    I have PCOS and so do a lot of other women. There is a Facebook group called FrumCysters where you can get support. Just friend the admin – Rivki Rivka Raizel Leventhal-Kornwasser and she will add you to the group. There are 100 frum members in it

    1. Anonymous February 4, 2017 at 10:16 pm

      Please call me . Im very open to disgussing i have pcos since im 17 and im 27 and bh am married to an amazing husband who knew the situation before hand. 9176407286 would love to speak to you.

  2. K February 2, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    I’m sorry you feel so alone in this. You should know that many women with PCOS are able to get pregnant. I was diagnosed in college and now I have 4 children from 4 totally normal, natural pregnancies. I know this is difficult, but there are so many possibilities for you to have the family you want. Please talk to your doctor so you understand those possibilities.

  3. HC February 2, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    I also have pcos! I am also ‘frum’ and I also have healed myself of most of my pcos symptoms through diet and lifestyle changes. I was able to conceive my son naturally 🙂 you are not alone, and you’re future is bright!
    seek out a health coach specializing in pcos

  4. Rachel Elise February 2, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    I’m not frum, I grew up in a reform shul, but now life a much more observant life and my bf is totally frum. I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 14. I got my period for the first time at 13, and one day I got it and it was heavy, very painful, and didn’t end until six months later – only because my mom asked why all the menstrual products were missing. Because of the PCOS, they put me on birth control pills to help my body learn to cycle itself. Eventually, it worked! Now I’m 30, but when I was about 26 I got very scared that I’d not be able to have kids. I went to a fertility specialist and had a bunch of tests done. I can, my doctor assured me that while it might take a little longer than my other friends, I will be able to conceive when I’m ready. It was very reassuring. I’m on a slow path to becoming a Baal Teshuva, and am not sure that you, your family, and your Rav would be okay with you going on the pill for this specific medical reason. Or, maybe you can see a reproductive endocrinologist (as I did) and they will be able to reassure you. My mom has PCOS and she had three kids easily. I know it all sounds so scary, but you will have children, and many of them if that is what you wish!

    (PS: When you’re ready to have kids, Metformin will make your road to conception easier! But, until then, there’s no reason for you to take it.)

  5. Anonymous February 7, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    There is a woman in my community who has PCOS and has 3 young children k’ah, please don’t give up hope on your having children and finding a good shidduch!


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