[Part 2 of 2]
“Yes…” answered Dr Yisa with a smile. I was shocked to see him smile.
“…It is this imbalance that makes women with PCOS to skip their menstrual periods and have difficulty in getting pregnant. Their inability to have regular periods also means they don’t ovulate regularly too or even at all…”
“Shuu, how person go know if em carry this kain disease nah…” asked Mama Mike as her eye balls rotated 180 degrees in their sockets.
Dr Yisa was obviously happy that the chicken has finally come to roost.
“Okay, they experience irregular periods or have none at all, and may have difficulty (even unable) in getting pregnant because of irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate at all…They may have excessive hair growth like men (on the face, chest or back)…”
I was amused to notice that Mama Mike was actually picking the tiny grey strands of hair on her jaw.
Dr Yisa continued: “…They may have pimples, experience hair loss or gain excessive weight. Sadly, they run a risk of developing diabetes and high cholesterol in future…and run the risk of high BP, pre-eclampsia and diabetes in pregnancy”
I noticed the puzzled look on Mama’s face because we knew she lives with diabetes.
“Abeg, Oga big doctor, wetin fit cause this thing…” She asked with the innocence of a child.
“…Mama, the exact cause is unknown but PCOS can run in families. It is known to be associated with abnormal levels of hormones in the body, including insulin and testosterone…”
“What can we do now for my beautiful daughter” she asked as she placed her left arm across the back of Grace.
“Errrmm… Mama, treating PCOS needs some time and patience. This was why I was annoyed with you earlier at your pressure on your young son and his beautiful wife…
First, those with PCOS should aim to lose weight and eat healthy balanced diet…”
They all nodded. I turned the next page of my writing pad to continue jotting down “stuff” Dr Yisa was moving.
“…The good news is that most women with PCOS are able to get pregnant with treatment. While there are medication to treat symptoms as excessive hair growth, irregular periods and fertility issues; simple surgical procedures on ovary can help destroy the tissues producing androgens as testosterone…
…irregular or absent periods can treated using contraceptive pill. This also helps to protect them against the risk of cancer of the womb. Intrauterine devices can also be used…
…Mama, now, this infertility issue you are worried about can be treated with some hormonal tablets or even IVF…”
Dr Yisa was delighted to see how busy I had been taking notes of his teaching. He smiled and nudged me on. He went on to conclude thus:
“…Lest I forget, a particular blood-sugar tablet can also be used to lower the excess insulin produced and make the cells more sensitive too to insulin.
Mama, Alice never ate her babies nor used them for sacrifice. She wasn’t married to any spiritual husband but this physical Mike. She only has PCOS… Just like you! She is your beautiful daughter…”
Mama stood, adjusted her wrapper, and left the clinic…