PCOS is a photographic project that records my journey since March 2021, when I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Through an exploration of the self, I analyze my condition, how it manifests in my body, my mind, and the experience of regulating it.
PCOS, in its most simple forms, is a condition that only female-born women can experience. The leading diagnosis notices multiple ovarian cysts in the ovaries. However, PCOS extends further and complicates many areas of the female reproductive system such as an irregularity in your hormones, insulin level and menstruation cycles. Other symptoms may be excess hair growth, acne, obesity, inflammation, excess androgen, and dark patches in the skin, among others. Bodily and mental complications include infertility, diabetes, natural miscarriages, metabolic syndrome, sleep apnea, mood swings, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, abnormal uterine bleeding, and endometrial cancer. Because of the different components of the condition, the photographs were taken around four categories: body, mind, treatment and food. Together the photographs present to the viewer a fragmented image of my body and my PCOS.
Learning about the condition and its complications came as a shock but also gave me a sense of reassurance. After 22 years, I finally feel like I am making progress towards truly connecting and controlling my body. The diagnosis made me spiral into a deep investigation of why it took so long to determine a condition that affected every aspect of my life, and in that investigation I was taken aback about how many women go undiagnosed, the gaslighting that the healthcare system in the USA consistently presents to women of color and the difference between the diagnosis of male and female doctors.