September is PCOS Awareness month and at the beginning of the month, we posted a piece about what POCS is and how important it is to have a robust expat health insurance package while you are living here in Singapore. If you need to ask any questions about your own health insurance while you are here in Singapore, call us today and we would be happy to have a chat.
Getting a PCOS diagnosis can be a long, tough road that requires a ton of testing, so having a good expat health insurance policy means that you will be fully covered on your PCOS journey. Contact us if you need to talk through the details of your plan if you are unsure.
Jasmine – Jazzy – is a PCOS Awareness Advocate and she has been living in Singapore for the last seven years. Her PCOS journey began when she moved here at age 30 and she and her husband started thinking about wanting to start a family. She’d had most of the PCOS symptoms her whole life; insulin resistance, easy weight gain, horrendous periods and depression but she just suspected, like a lot of women, that this just comes with the territory of ‘being a woman’. She urges that if you don’t think that something is right, get it checked, because it probably isn’t. ‘We are told to think that our bodies are weird and don’t work properly and to not question it. That’s just not right. So many women with PCOS say that and start testing and treatment way later than they should. This usually occurs to them when they want to start a family and sometimes this can be too late. It shouldn’t be that way and we should trust ourselves to ask questions if we don’t feel right. I wish that I had have been more aware and asked these questions sooner. My mum went through exactly the same thing and it was only through my PCOS journey, did she recognize the symptoms in herself.’
Jazzy and her husband started asking these questions and seeking professional help almost immediately after they moved to Singapore. They both had health care insurance in Singapore through her husband’s employer, so initially the quest to find some answers was pretty smooth. ‘The healthcare system in Singapore is AMAZING! They don’t stop until they find an answer. They check EVERYTHING. It’s just that after the initial tests are done, the diagnostics then become about infertility and that falls under our maternity coverage which has a cap. We chewed through that pretty quickly and we have had to pay for so many of our treatments out of our own pocket.’
She strongly advises that if you are having trouble conceiving, to make sure that you are covered under a plan that allows you a generous maternity allowance, and ideally IVF just in case. ‘We’ve spent around $30,000 of our own money that we can’t claim back because it falls under maternity. That $30,000 has included some IVF treatment, but it’s mostly been the constant testing. It’s just one thing after another after another.’
She also adds that it is not just your reproductive system that PCOS can affect. It can affect your hormones, your insulin, your mental health and your weight. The insulin resistance can make many women with POCS prone to weight gain which makes nutrition and exercise an exhaustive, thankless cycle. ‘The time and money that I spend on my nutrition and staying fit is crazy’ she said, ‘I do it because it is the best thing for my mental health and my psychical health and I love it. But sometimes I feel like I am getting nowhere and that is really hard on my down days’.
Her take home pieces of advice for anyone that feels that they might have PCOS are:
- Make sure you have good medical cover with a high maternity cap.
- Get tested. As soon as you think something is up, ask questions and don’t stop asking them until you feel satisfied with an answer.
- Talk to people. Don’t go through it alone. Find a supportive online community and a share your stories with other women who get you. It’s the best.
If you feel that you could be suffering from any of the symptoms of PCOS, see your OBGYN and if you don’t have one, get a referral to one. Do your research and ask people in the community or on any online groups and find a doctor that will be a good fit for you personally. It is important to have someone that you trust.
If you have any questions at all with regard to anything PCOS related, call Expat Insurance.
We’d be happy to help you.