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Archive for October, 2010

A while back I was asked this question: “Do you have any ideas that deal with talking to your spouse/husband about infertility and PCOS?”

“My husband knows I have this condition, but really does not understand how/why it is affecting me. He seems to think that since it’s my problem (and not his) he does not need to concern himself with it.”

“What he does not realize is that I need his support to get through this, but how can I get his support if he does not understand what’s happening to me. I really could use some advice on how to talk to him about it. Thank you.” — Client

This is an excellent question. An understanding and accepting spouse or partner is a critical factor in your successful journey toward better health. Yet little is said about it.

I certainly don’t have all the answers. But here are a few thoughts.

1) You can lead a horse to water but can’t make him drink.

Some men have the maturity and interest to be deeply concerned and supportive of their mate’s health. Some don’t. Most men don’t focus on their own health, so it’s no surprise they would not focus on the mate’s health.

If a spouse is not mature enough to be supportive, develop your own support group independent of him.

2) Explain to him that infertility and PCOS is a very serious condition.

You might ask him to imagine how he would feel if he had a serious disease, such as prostate cancer. If he had prostate cancer, would he like to have YOUR understanding and support?

If he understands that you need his support, you can start to educate him about PCOS and your particular diagnosis. You could take the information you have gathered from your research.

Explain that you have a very serious matter on your hands, which can severely reduce the quality of your life, your happiness, and your health. For example, some possible consequences of  polycystic ovary syndrome are depression, impaired lung function, liver trouble, acne, infertility, obesity, hair loss, hirsutism, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Tell him that cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer of women and that women with PCOS have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than other women.

Explain that you are in an “at-risk” group for health problems. You might ask him how important it is to him for you to avoid heart disease. How important is it to him for you to avoid diabetes? Or depression? Does he want a wife who is healthy and attractive, or who is chronically ill? And who might have a shortened lifespan? Find a way to ask questions like this without making him feel defensive.

Further explain that there is no cure for this disorder and that most doctors don’t have an effective logg-term solution. So your long-term health is in your hands, not the doctor’s.

PCOS is partly driven by your genetic inheritance. Therefore you have to counteract this genetic tendency. The best way to counteract your genetic tendency is to eat a very healthy diet, get lots of regular exercise, and avoid chronic stress (as described in this ebook). Tell him there are no magic pills out there for PCOS. The only solution is to have the persistence to develop and maintain exceptionally good health and lifestyle habits.

3) Share your feelings about PCOS with him. Does he know what you’re experiencing inside?

4) Ask for his cooperation in very specific ways.

Start with something small. Make it easy for him to cooperate and praise him for his cooperation.

If he likes to eat half a gallon of ice cream after dinner, ask him to not offer you a bowl of ice cream. You can skip dessert, or if you want dessert with him, have some berries and raw nuts.

Or, invite him to join you in a walk around the neighborhood. You get the benefit of exercise and so does he. It’s also an opportunity to spend some uninterrupted time together.

Incrementally add more things about which he can be cooperative and supportive.

Be sure to offer generous praise and thanks when he does support you. Tell him it means a lot to you and you really appreciate and love him for it.

Build on small successes.

5) The future health of your children is at stake.

If you haven’t started a family, explain to him that because of PCOS, your future children have an increased risk of developing health problems as they mature.

Polycystic ovary syndrome is thought to start in the womb. It affects both male and female babies. So if he wants to have healthier, happier children, then you want to get your hormones into better balance before you conceive. One crucial way to get your hormones into a healthier balance is to adopt good health practices.

PCOS is not just a little temporary problem with your ovaries. It is a systemic disorder that requires life-long attention.

6) Your spouse’s health can also be improved.

You could also let him know that if he chooses to participate in your improved health practices, he will improve his health and longevity.

In conclusion, patiently educate him as to what you’re really dealing with. This process may take months or even years.

Ask for assistance in simple, clear ways that he can understand and can fulfill. Don’t make him feel guilty or pressured. Avoid criticism. Be liberal with thanks and praise when he does anything that is supportive.

And finally, PCOS is a family issue simply because every family member will be affected.

Source: PCOS review

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