How to treat PCOS part 1 (my experience)

I've suffered from PCOS and hormonal imbalances since I was 11 years old. Hirsutism, painful ovarian cysts, amenorrhea, and bloodwork kept coming back with stuff like elevated androgen levels and insulin resistance. On top of that, doctors told me I couldn't have children. When periods did show up (at some point it was only 1 period per year), I bled heavily for weeks on end.

I went to hundreds of doctors, gynaecologists, obstetricians and endocrinologists. Half of them at the time (this was over 20 years ago) acted like I was making stuff up. I was all like "do you or do you not see the beard???" 

Those who did acknowledge my concerns and got me diagnosed, put me on every single birth control pill there was on the market at the time, and at some point, metformin and spironolactone too. Spironolactone (diuretic) made me throw up blood. Metformin did nothing. Every single birth control pill made me put on weight (20+ kg), gave me hypertension, chest pains, depression, daily vomiting and I was miserable!

The first birth control pill they put me on was even banned a year or 2 later. A small research on the Internet with the name of said BCP gave results with deaths from blood clots (thrombosis), lawsuits from grieving husbands and mothers etc. 

All those side effects and risks and they did absolutely NOTHING in terms of treating my issues. And why?

Studies show that raising your estrogen levels through birth control does NOT suppress testosterone levels. So if your PCOS symptoms are due to an elevated androgen hormone, elevating estrogen is NOT gonna solve the issue. In fact, for some women (myself included) that "treatment" will instead just raise your estrogen levels in so much excess that you start having other serious issues.

Of course, going back to the doctors with my side effects at the time (and 20kg heavier from the last appointment!) I was again getting the same answer "you're just imagining things, there are no side effects in birth control pills".

It took me a lot of research, trial and error and my husband (I'll explain below) to figure out how to get out of this torturous way of living. I've tried things (expensive things at the time and country I was living in), like evening primrose oil (made me more depressed), agnus castus (nothing much there), wild yam (raised estrogen, so I got similar side effects like with the birth control pills but not to that severity) etc.

Check the next post for the actual treatment that worked for me, which was simply reducing the excess hormones in the blood, without disrupting the other hormones.