PCOS and ovarian cysts can be life threatening. There are at least four people I know and love who have experienced the excruciating, disabling pain caused by ovarian cysts. Do you know what it’s like to see a person you love in so much pain that they’re vomiting, crying, curled up in a ball and refuse to move because it hurts too much to even open their eyes? Hormonal contraceptives do more than prevent pregnancy. You want to protect life? Start with the people who are already living.
Although PCOS & ovarian cysts largely affect women, anyone with ovaries is affected. Ovarian cysts are VERY common, however, most people don’t know they have them. Those who are aware know because either the ovarian cyst(s) burst causing excruciating pain, or the cyst(s) themselves cause excruciating, often debilitating pain (e.g. PCOS). The development of ovarian cysts and the likelihood of one or more bursting is often genetic- which means people generally have no control over whether or not they have ovarian cysts or if one or more burst.
I have had 2 ovarian cysts burst in the past, though I’m sure I have more cysts. I thought my appendix burst, or I had torn through a muscle in my abdomen. I could barely sit up, let alone walk, and I had to drive myself to the doctor the first time. I had to get a painkiller shot that prevented me from driving home it was so powerful- it knocked me out almost instantly because it was so painful. The second time, my doctor’s office was closed, and I had to wait in the emergency room for 2+ hours for them to tell me they thought it was a gas bubble and that they couldn’t do anything. My doctor told me later (based on how I described the pain, where it was, and the fact that I’d had one burst before) that it was very likely that it was an ovarian cyst bursting again.
I didn’t know before this that there was a prevention. Now that I do, AND that it is up to people without ovaries to decide whether it is available- I will fight every battle I need to.
*NOTE: (My best attempt at a privilege check- I’m still learning how to phrase privilege checks, so please be nice while I learn) I realize I have no right to be in women’s spaces, as I am not a woman, however this is an issue that affects everyone with ovaries.
Agreeing with all the previous commentary here.
Just an added reminder to get yourself checked for PCOS, my understanding is that trans men and lesbians with ovaries are at a significantly increased risk for PCOS (there’s one study that shows that 25% of trans men have PCOS). Granted that that’s the language used by these studies and those statistics probably extend to lots of other folks and the studies surely have hella problems, but nonetheless just a reminder to keep an eye on that stuff if you can, fam! (if you want to know more, a few different articles come up when you google “trans men” or “lesbians” “at higher risk for PCOS”)