Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Sticking your nose in

Last weekend me and a group of girl friends from college got together to visit. On this occasion, we visited one of my friends second baby. I'm out of the closet with this group, it went well.

Since becoming aware of my IF and then obsessively reading up on the subject, I've learned a lot of things. I've been looking at lists of symptoms and seeing if they fit me. Endo, no. PCOS, not convinced. ...

It has also changed the way I look at other people. Of this group of friends, only three of us are in a relationship. One has two kids, one is now PG after IF and then there is me. The others are single, and I can only wonder what they think about my problems. I could imagine that some think I don't have it that bad. And in a way, I don't.

One of my friends, lets call her Melanie, is a portly woman. She's somewhat overweight. (I should talk). But either it was the light playing tricks on me, but I thought she had some facial hair that was, how to put this delicately, out of place. I hadn't really noticed this before. My first thought was, "oh dear, that's a symptom of PCOS". And the thought stuck with me.

A recurrent theme in IF blogs is fair warning. Ornery was just telling the story of how she consulted a doctor in her teens about problems with her cycle. She was given BCP and sent on her merry way, without a hint of trouble to come.

I'm not prepared to use my Google M.D. on my unsuspecting friend Melanie. There are so many other explanations, perfectly innocent ones. Most likely being that I'm IF and am seeing IF everywhere, even where there is none.

What is the point in worrying her on shaky grounds at best?
But maybe I'm passing up an opportunity to give her fair warning. What do you think?

11 Comments:

At 25 January, 2006 02:25, Anonymous Manuela said...

Man... that's TOUGH! Do you know if she wants children... or has tried? If so, maybe you could find a way to talk about pcos symptoms without addressing them to her specifically? Maybe?? I don't know... that sounds a bit lame, I know...

 
At 25 January, 2006 02:49, Blogger projgen said...

Ooh, toughie. Chances are very, very, VERY good that she knows she has this facial hair. It's possibly even tied in to her weight. Pointing it out to her could be really embarrassing for her.

If you all are good friends, then you'll know when she gets into a relationship, or decides to have a child on her own. Maybe then, you can alert her to pcos symptoms - in general? - but in the meantime, if she's not actively TTC, I would keep it to yourself.

 
At 25 January, 2006 03:14, Anonymous Lori said...

If Melanie is a really, really good friend then I would consider saying something. Or trying to casually find out if she has any menstrual cycle irregularities. Maybe try to be as casual as you can. I wouldn't exactly recommend blurting out "I think you have PCOS" but something a bit more subtle. Keep us posted on what you decide to do.

 
At 25 January, 2006 03:25, Blogger fisher queen said...

I would leave it alone. I think the only time I would bring it up is if she mentioned to you that she was trying. And then only in the most casual, off handed way. Many of us are all IF all the time, but most of the world isn't, and you may really hurt her feelings. My two cents regarding people I don't know anyway!

 
At 25 January, 2006 04:45, Blogger PI Jill said...

If she is your friend, what about talking to her about your concerns about your infertility and PCOS - maybe detail in some symptoms that you thought you might have, and let her hear the list symptoms from you, about you, and then make the connection in her own head that maybe she has these symptoms and let her go from there.

Because there is no way you can tell a woman you love she has an overt amount of facial hair! And she may never have heard of PCOS so this might be how she first hears of it.

I started pursuing a thyroid consult after hearing another woman tell me about her thyroid issues - it was like a big checklist and I had every symptom, but had never heard it all together before. good luck - this is a tough one.

 
At 25 January, 2006 18:20, Blogger Just another Jenny said...

I would keep it to myself. If she is single, you never know if she will even try to have children.
I have a bit of a upper lip hair thing and I wax. I am pretty sensitive about it so it is a touchy subject.

 
At 25 January, 2006 19:00, Blogger Ornery said...

That is a tough one. I think I'm in agreement with PI Jill. If you are comfortable discussing your IF with her, then perhaps you could bring up PCOS and other IF-related disorders in the context of problems you might have. I don't think you even have to mention all the physical characteristics -like the facial hair thing- but perhaps discuss some other features, the most common culprit being menstrual irregularity. Even if she has no desire to have kids right now and a discussion triggers no reaction from her, at least she will have heard the term PCOS from you and maybe this will help her identify the root of any possible IF or other PCOS-related health problems she may encounter in the future.

 
At 25 January, 2006 22:05, Blogger ninaB said...

Don't know about this. When you buy a blue car, it starts to look like everyone is driving a blue car. If she is trying to get pregnant, wouldn't she be alerted to PCOS by her physician, or her friend Google? I'm not terribly thrilled with my own facial hair situation, yet I have a completely underactive ovary- opposite end of the PCOS spectrum.

 
At 26 January, 2006 00:07, Blogger Sparkle said...

This is tough. One thing I've heard women say who have found out they had high FSH, is that they wish they'd known sooner and that it should be something all women are aware of - say you get tested when you get a pap smear. I think a general conversation about IF couldn't hurt - with some of your own experiences on this journey. Let her know some of the things you've learnt on the way you took for granted before. BTW a friend of mine who has PCOS is not overweight at all, and I never even noticed if she had facial hair!

 
At 26 January, 2006 22:49, Blogger Beth said...

This one is tough. I would mention in the context of talking about yourself and how you have been doing research on the various cause of IF. You could casually mentione PCOS and its symptoms this way, then at least she is educated without being embarassed.

 
At 27 January, 2006 17:30, Anonymous akeeyu said...

For what it's worth, NO, she would not necessarily be diagnosed with PCOS by a doctor if she was trying to get pregnant.

Sometimes doctors are kind of dumb. I've had plenty of doctors tell me that no, no, I don't have Endometriosis OR PCOS, despite my handfuls of confirmed biopsy and test results.

The only problem with the "only bring it up if she's TTC" theory is that apparently, PCOS can be a precursor to all sorts of metabolic disorders and other serious problems, and that sometimes those problems should be dealt with as early as possible, regardless of whether a woman is TTC or not.

Overall, I would second what Sparkle said.

 

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