This is a bit of an overshare. It’s the kind of thing that would usually be private. Unfortunately, by co-sponsoring HR 212, Paul Ryan has made my private health issue a matter of public policy.
I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It’s pretty sucky. Basically, it means that I have a hormonal imbalance that does all sorts of really unfortunate things to my body- acne, extra hair, weight gain. On top of that, I get my period really rarely. Like, maybe three times a year. That may sound alright (the fewer periods the better, am I right ladies?), but when I do get them, I have incredible amounts of pain. Plus, and this is more important to me, my chances of getting pregnant naturally are pretty tiny.
One of the problems with getting a period so rarely (which is actually a condition called oligomenorrhea) is that it puts you at a higher risk of getting uterine cancer. So on top of all the rest of the horribleness that is PCOS, you are at a higher risk of cancer.
PCOS is pretty common. It’s estimated that between 5 and 10% of women of reproductive age have it. It’s the most common endocrine disorder for women in that age bracket. It’s also incurable.
But it is treatable.
One of the most common and effective treatments of the side-effects of PCOS is the Pill. It treats a bunch of the symptoms. My skin clears up. I lose weight. But, more importantly, I get my period regularly, which means it hurts less and, best of all, reduces my chance of getting endometrial cancer.
But Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan doesn’t care about any of that. He doesn’t care about preventing pain or reducing the risk of cancer. He wants to ban the oral conceptive pill because he thinks a fertilized egg should have all the protections of a human being.
You can see how ridiculous this is in my case. He would ban me from being able to access medical care I need because of a POTENTIAL fertilized egg. The fertilized egg doesn’t even exist. The fertilized egg has a very slim chance of ever existing naturally, due to my PCOS. But he’s so concerned about that potential, he’d prevent me from having access to the care I need.
And you know what, if I did want to have a kid, he’d like to sincerely limit my options there too, because he’d ban IVF.
Paul Ryan is an extremist. For all the talk about small government, he’d like to interfere with my doctor’s capacity to treat my chronic condition. That’s about as big as government gets.
Vote Obama in 2012. Do it for the women with PCOS who deserve access to medical care.