My PCOS and the limits of modern medicine

It should be in my bio, and so I’ll make no secret of it here: I’m trying to get pregnant. 

Unfortunately I also carry around with me one of modern-medicines garbage-fire diagnosis’s of PCOS. As intimate as I am with PCOS it’s shocking to me that many people don’t know “what it is”, but I’ll try to do a quick summary for the uninitiated. 

Here is a representation of the processes and systems that need to happen in order for a woman to ovulate naturally and create a receptive environment for her embryo: 

Here is what PCOS looks like every month:

My point is that PCOS isn’t any one thing. It’s just the point in a person where we’ve noticed the collection of 100 things has collapsed into a pile on the ground. Most people will describe PCOS to you in terms of symptoms or as I prefer to think of it: the healthy-endocrine-system’s absence. But this is misleading. PCOS isn’t just your endocrine system deciding to produce thick facial hair one day… it’s rather more like a whole bunch of people (hormones) missed their ride because their train (thyroid adrenal pancreas axis) derailed. 

So Why?! What is this train and how do we go about picking it up? Well if you read any basic “ABCs of PCOS” or similar-titled article (which I wont link to save you a headache) you would probably get the idea that weight or body fat percentage is the derailed train. It’s true. Weight gain makes PCOS worse. Sometimes. 

Except many not-ever-fat persons develop PCOS too.

But diet! Surely it’s diet! 

Except many persons with excellent diet continue to have PCOS. In addition, many persons with deplorable diets remain blissfully PCOS free.

So we’re left with what in my opinion, is the clearest, and least talked about, “cause” of PCOS.

Your grandmother. 

More specifically the amount of pollution your grandmother was exposed to while your mother was in utero. That’s right folks, you wanted time travel, and you got it. My grandmother drinking water from the Cayuhoga River and breathing air from Mega Corp coal plants next door to her house in NINETEEN FIFTY FOUR mehtylized genes in mommy that would go on to create yours truly with the same instructions. (Remember, women are born with all their eggs. No hot tub avoidance for us!)


Cayuhoga River 1968. My grandmother wasn’t big on the view.

In addition, my own mother still lived in Cleveland once I decided to take up Utero-dence. By the time 1986 rolled around air and water were much better in Cleveland, but there was so much more new curios to deal with:

So, in summary, PCOS describes damaged adrenal-thyroid-ovarian systems. 

From pollution. 

From quite some time ago.

PCOS affects up to 20% of reproductive age women (That’s enormous!). Incidence Rates The first medical record of the syndrome dates from the 1930s. This is a very very new development for humans which some serious underlying malfunctioning so you can imagine my frustration when you go to the doctor and they be like: 

“My primary purpose is to prescribe birth control and ask about STDs. Also, you have a blood pressure. Good job.”

So hopefully I can now just send this post as a footnote whenever I reference PCOS. I’m currently taking a hilarious concoction of herbs to see if it does anything interesting. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Epigenetics Easy to Read


About the name and other rituals…

Did you know one of the ways cellphones, ipads, and “screens” in general has changed our communication is that it has made us more selective in making new friends? The easy access to communication with good friendships vs the state of affairs 50 years ago has caused us to “hold on” to friendships even after they move far far away. Apparently it was somewhat more common up until fairly recently to be all “Well they be gone: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯” when a friend moved away. 

Famous Russian reaction to the question “oh what happened to your friend?”

So with that little rejoinder, I hope, if nothing else, this blog is a somewhat entertaining way for me to keep in touch with all my contacts and friends that I like to call “legacy friends”. Legacy friends generally fall into two categories 1. You’ve known each other for a long long long time. 2. You went through “something” together. (Most people have an unusually high amount of legacy friends from college for example.)

If they stuck through this then they get a title damnit. 

The name Two Entps refers to my husband and me. We test as ENTP on something called the MBTI personality metric, and I am a newlywed so titling my blog after my new life in monogamy seemed a nice descriptive start for this chapter of events. The test/metric/whatchamacallit is basically a test people take to describe their personality. (No. It’s not a Facebook quiz.) Hopefully I can describe the theories behind the test in a non-boring and descriptive way so that it makes sense to people here. I have a lot of moments where I reference these concepts in judgey ways towards people so you seriously don’t want to miss out on that fun.

Ok. I’m glad I got that out. I’m recovering from strep throat today so I barely eked out a 3.3 loop for my run-walk. I have a half marathon coming up in two weeks soooo that’s going to get Real real soon.


The Lost Art of Conversation
Screen Time TED NPR