I Was Told My PCOS Meant I'd Never Have Kids. Here's What I Did

I once weighed 200 pounds. My skin, from my face down onto my back, was covered in painful cystic acne. My period would only arrive twice a year, and I was depressed, sleepless, and exhausted. From the age of 15, I became progressively worse, and despite seeking medical attention, no one could tell me what was happening to my body.

After seven years of miserable symptoms and much personal research, I discovered that I had a hormonal imbalance called polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS.

At 22, when I finally sat down with a gynecologist who confirmed my self-diagnosis, the news was heavy to hear. I had a very severe version of PCOS, and the picture my doctor painted of my future wasn’t pretty. There was no real cure, and the treatments weren’t particularly effective. She told me that I’d never be able to conceive on my own, and maybe not even with IVF. My prognosis included the risk of a number of health issues, from obesity and diabetes to heart disease and cancer.

I felt like I was at a fork in the road. I could either accept this fate, or I could go down a different path. I chose the different path.

I often think back to that moment, and to why I made that choice to trust my body, despite what the authority figure was saying. Why didn’t I just immediately follow the prescribed treatment plan of birth control pills, metformin and spironolactone, and prepare myself for the fate laid out for me by my doctor?

It all comes down to my three beliefs about medication, food, and the body. And I’d like to share them here so that you, too, might find your way back to your body sooner.

1. I believe medication is optional.

I don’t think one should take medication if it doesn’t fix the cause of the illness permanently. For example, if you have a bacterial infection, taking antibiotics can make a lot of sense. But if you have hormonal imbalances, taking hormones doesn’t enable your endocrine glands to make the right amount of those hormones. It just further enables the dysfunctional glandular behavior.

Like so many other women, I saw that medication could not cure the root cause of my hormonal problems, and what I wanted was to truly heal — not to simply mask the symptoms temporarily and have to deal with them at a later time when they were worse.

2. I believe it’s my job to eat for my health.

I know that my body is brilliant by design and that it functions on a daily basis to stay balanced and vibrant. But I also know that it’s my job to ensure my diet promotes natural hormonal function.

If I eat properly, I trust my body will do its self-healing procedures best. Since I grew up eating garden to table and freshly made foods all my life, using food as medicine really felt like coming home.

3. I believe a prognosis is only a suggestion.

Like a prediction about the weather, I believe your health prognosis can change. After all, it’s only a suggestion on how things will likely go if things remain as is. But if the wind changes direction — as in you make real diet and lifestyle changes — your future can change as quickly as the weather.

So, after my diagnosis I switched careers, studied functional nutrition and endocrinology and developed a protocol that rebalanced the function of my entire hormonal system.

My skin cleared, the weight fell away and my periods starting coming every month. I also became very invested in making sure I could get pregnant when I wanted to. Though I wasn’t ready to start a family until recently, I just gave birth 8 months ago — and I truly believe that I was able to become a mother thanks to my diet and what I’ve learned over the past 20 years.

I changed my own hormonal destiny, and these days, it makes me so happy to help women all over the world do the same.

Feel “Hormonal”? 3 Things You Need to Do For Your Health

It’s not easy for anyone’s ovaries in the world right now. Chemical exposure is at an unprecedented high in our foods, products and environment. Not surprisingly, hormone and fertility issues are growing exponentially.

Even without a PCOS diagnosis, every woman needs to learn how to navigate this hormone-damaging landscape and how to protect herself, her fertility and her long-term health.

  1. Trust your instincts. If you feel like something is off, you are likely right. That’s because even if a lab test shows you fall within the “normal” range, you could still fall outside of your own personal range.
  2. Get a hormonal education. It’s important to start by learning the facts about how your body works, how to feed your hormones so they get balanced and stay balanced, and how to use your shifting brain patterns based on these hormones for your optimal life. It’s not rocket science, but it’s science every woman needs to have access to in order to feel her best.
  3. Eat for your FLO. Your health care should be tailored to your body! It’s the difference between trying to fit yourself into a pair of jeans at the store, versus having a pair custom made for you. And it’s the only way to make sure you don’t run into an issue later on.

It’s fundamentally about more than just eliminating the symptoms of period issues, infertility and low libido. It’s about owning the cyclical nature of your neurohormonal chemistry — and leveraging that to create an extraordinary life.

Ready to get to the root of your issues, and get back into hormonal FLO? Sign up here for a free download of my 4-Day Hormone Detox from my book WomanCode.

And are you ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Kelly LeVeque.

Alisa Vitti

Alisa Vitti is a women's hormone and functional nutrition expert and pioneer in female biohacking. Alisa is dedicated to helping women understand how to get their hormones to work without medication and break free from the menstrual mythology that prevents them from optimizing their health and lives. She is the best selling author of the much loved purple period book, WomanCode, and creator of the Cycle-Syncing® Method—a female centric diet and lifestyle program that leverages hormonal patterns for optimal health, fitness and productivity.As the founder of The FLO Living Hormone Center, she has built the world's first menstrual healthcare platform that has helped hundreds of thousands of women around the world put their period issues like PCOS, Fibroids, Endometriosis, and PMS into remission naturally using her highly effective FLO Protocol and the FLO Balance Period Supplements.Finally, Alisa is also the creator the MyFLO period app—the first and only functional medicine period tracker and cycle syncing tool that teaches the user why they have each symptom, and what to do get rid of it naturally, while encouraging diet, exercise, and a lifestyle that are in sync with their cycle.A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Alisa has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, Lifetime, and has been a regular contributor for Cosmo, Harper’s Bazaar, and Women’s Health. She has served on the wellness council for Yahoo Health, MindBodyGreen and Well & Good. She is also an advisor to several health and health tech startups. She has presented at SXSW, TEDx, Talks@Google, Summit Series Outside, Cycles&Sex, WIE Symposium, and SHE Summit and regularly trains women in the workplace on how to use her Cycle Syncing Method for greater creativity, productivity, and wellbeing at work. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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