Tania Villalta is a US-based mum who raises awareness for PolyCystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) on her social media alongside sharing tips and tricks for natural PCOS management.
PCOS is a hormonal condition affecting people with ovaries during their reproductive years. It’s an invisible illness that is associated with immature follicles on the ovaries, high androgen levels, an irregular menstrual cycle, and/or high insulin levels. While there is no treatment designed to eliminate PCOS completely, there are a number of different ways to manage the symptoms. Learn more about PCOS here.
1. What type of PCOS do you have and what are your symptoms?
Even though my doctor never diagnosed me with a specific type, I suspect I had a combination between the inflammatory and insulin resistance type. With the first, I experienced symptoms like skin issues. With the insulin resistance type, as its name indicates, I had insulin resistance. I experienced a really high craving for carbs, excess hair, acne, and common symptoms both types share — lack of menstrual cycle and polycystic ovaries.
2. What was your journey of being diagnosed with PCOS like?
It was hard. Being diagnosed in my early teens, the doctors told me I would struggle having babies since I could not ovulate. That really freaked me out. They told me that if I didn’t start taking birth control pills every month, my body would not know how to function and when I get to my 20’s I’d see severe symptoms. It was scary but I lacked information so that's when I started getting interested in health, natural supplements and attacking the core issues.
3. You often speak about treating the root causes of PCOS instead of just managing symptoms. What does this mean and why is it important?
Like I said, all my doctor did 15 years ago was prescribe birth control pills, and tell me that when I was ready to have babies, I could try fertility drugs. This just meant chemicals and more chemicals. I would have really appreciated it if someone would have told me about the health habits that could have helped, as well as the big difference natural supplements like Inositol can make.
4. How does your PCOS impact your family and relationships?
It really impacted my confidence for many years. When I met my husband I was worried that when I told him that I had PCOS and no cycles he wouldn’t want to be with me due to fear that I couldn’t get pregnant. Nowadays, I’ve been able to get pregnant twice with the help of natural supplements so I have really had great results. However, it impacts our relationship in the way that I can't “track” my cycles, since they don’t go back to “regular cycles” when I’m not breastfeeding.
5. What’s one thing you wish people knew about PCOS and pregnancy?
You are not alone, and it is not your fault! So many other women live with PCOS and there are so many options. Don’t give up.
6. How important are online communities for people with chronic conditions like PCOS?
They have been such a game changer for me. Since you typically don’t go around telling people that you have PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome, or that your body doesn’t get a period like most women do, it was something that really made me insecure and made me feel alone. When I discovered that there was an entire community of women living through the exact same symptoms I had, I could not believe it. That's where I found that my PCOSNowMama community could help so many other women with the same dream that I had. I could give them hope that they too could have their own babies one day.
7. In your experience, how can the Aura TENS machine help people with PCOS?
A very common symptom with PCOS is that you have very irregular and painful cycles. I thought the Aura TENS machine was an absolute game-changer. So many of us really suffer on those days when our period actually decides to arrive. The Aura TENS device really offers a lot of relief with this pain.
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Read more about how TENS machines can relieve pain now. Have a browse of our VUSH Wellness Blog to learn more about health and wellness. Read our guide to managing endometriosis, Bridget Hustwaite's top endo tips, or learn how to support a loved one with a chronic illness. To increase your knowledge on reproductive health, read about the four stages of the menstrual cycle.