Hannah Sharp: Living with PCOS is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

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After dealing with “debilitating stomach pain” on several different occasions that sent her to the emergency room, Hannah Sharp, 28, knew something was wrong. But she didn’t know what was wrong, and she was fed up with the responses from doctors, “Each time [I went to the ER], the doctors thought it was my appendix, but it never was,” she shares. If it wasn’t for the knowledge of one kind nurse and finding Allara, Hannah may still be dealing with PCOS symptoms.

Read below to learn about Hannah’s holistic healing journey and how Allara helped her treat her PCOS symptoms with a patient-centric approach that combines personalized care with a unique blend of Western and Eastern medicine. 

Please share a little background about yourself

Hi! My name is Hannah Sharp; I am a 28-year-old Newlywed from Orange County, CA. I am very passionate about health, wellness and fitness. I love being outside, visiting my local neighborhood coffee shops, and spending time with my family and friends.

Can you share what symptoms led to your PCOS diagnosis?

A few years ago, I started having horrendous stomach pains. The pain started behind my belly button and slowly progressed each day for a week until I could barely walk without gripping my stomach. I went to the ER twice, and each time, the doctors thought it was my appendix, but it was not.

There was one really kind and caring nurse who told me that my stomach pain could be hormonal, and she recommended that I visit my OB/GYN ASAP. I took her advice, and after getting an ultrasound, they found fibroids on my ovaries. That discovery, coupled with other symptoms such as sudden weight gain and an irregular period, led to my PCOS diagnosis.

The doctor gave me two options: get a progesterone prescription to induce my period each month or go back on birth control (I stopped taking hormonal birth control two years before my diagnosis). I did not want to do either of those options, so I had to figure out something else.

So, you opted for PCOS treatment without birth control?

Yes, I am a pretty holistic girl and, if I am being honest, a bit stubborn, too. One day, while driving home, I searched “how to heal PCOS naturally” on Spotify and ran across an episode of The Blonde Files featuring Allara’s founder, Rachel Blank. Her story really inspired me, so I signed up for Allara as soon as I got home.

With Allara, it was like a new, magical third option opened up to me. I signed up in January 2023, and I’ve been working with Allara ever since.

What changed when you started working with Allara?

Working with Allara drastically changed my life! Within the first month of signing up, I got my period back after two years of not having a period. I also learned a lot about my inner-self through lab work, working with the dietitian and my incredible doctor. I still have occasional PCOS symptoms, but I know the journey I’m on is a marathon, not a sprint. I feel so much better now than I did before!

What is the biggest difference between Allara and your previous experience with traditional care?

To me, the biggest difference is the attention to detail, compassion, and knowledge the Allara doctors and dietitians have. They work with me instead of telling me I need to do X, Y, or Z. They listen, consider my current lifestyle, and offer better solutions. It truly feels like a collaboration. 

Most importantly, with their help, I was able to have my period again, naturally, without a prescription. The OB/GYN told me that the only way I would get my period again was with progesterone, and I would not be able to conceive naturally, but working with Allara, I see a pathway to achieve these naturally. 

I also love the blend of Eastern and Western medicine and how Allara tailors my treatment plan to ME. The ease of scheduling virtual appointments also helps tremendously; everything can be done on your own time, which is important to me. You have created something exceptional, and I am proud to be a member!

What is some advice you would give to someone struggling with their PCOS journey?

Living with PCOS is frustrating, which I am sure a lot of people can relate to, but it is also very eye-opening and can be a positive experience with the right support system in your corner. Mel Robbins says if you’re frustrated, it means you're growing, which I always remind myself of while on my PCOS journey. For me, that growth started when I found Allara. 

If you’re learning about PCOS, my biggest piece of advice is to set up an appointment with Allara and get your labs done. From there, the team can help you get your symptoms under control through personalized care. I left so many doctor’s offices feeling hopeless and defeated, but after my first appointment with Allara, I felt confident and hopeful. 

Trust me, I know the struggle of feeling like your body isn’t yours due to hormonal imbalances. But if you’re willing to put in the work and commit to yourself, you can and will reach your goals!

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