Imagine being a 12-year-old girl, feeling scared and ashamed because you’ve missed your period for 3 consecutive months. You’ve grown copious amounts of facial hair seemingly overnight, your voice has deepened, and you’re having unexplainable mood swings, amongst other symptoms you don’t understand.
Family members interrogate you mercilessly because they assume you may be pregnant, but of course, you know this can’t be the case. So they force you to do pregnancy tests, and they always come back negative.
Still, these symptoms never disappear, and eventually, you just learn to cope, welcoming the discomfort as an accepted way of life.
Until one day, you seek medical intervention and suddenly your world comes crashing down, as you’re diagnosed with PCOS.
What is PCOS?
PCOS is a hormonal disorder that can cause irregular periods, excess body hair, type 2 diabetes and infertility. 1 in 10 women of childbearing age across the globe are affected by this syndrome.
Nigerian-British TV host, actress and PCOS conqueror, Stephanie Coker Aderinokun, is on a mission to raise awareness, by amplifying the voices of brave women living with PCOS through mediums like documentary, “Where The Heck is My Period.”
Produced by Stephanie, the documentary features interviews with culturally diverse Nigerian women living with Polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Directed by Michael ‘AMA Psalmist’ Akinrogunde, this feature length documentary highlights the everyday struggles caused by the syndrome with interviews from gynecologists, pastors, public figures, and native African doctors.
Riveting stories shared include how a mom living with PCOS lost her child, who only lived for 30 minutes, a painful divorce stemming from one woman’s infertility struggles due to PCOS, and many more heart-rending accounts. However, make no mistakes – these women are not victims, they are warriors, and through their voices, they will help amplify conversations about PCOS and infertility.
Speaking about why it was important for her to produce this documentary, Stephanie says, “As someone living with PCOS since age 16 and being put on medication such as the contraceptive pill. I wanted to shed more light and educate people about this incurable disorder and hopefully help young girls going through the same issues.”
“Where The Heck is My Period” will premiere during Africa International Film Festival 2022 (AFRIFF).
Beyond the documentary, Stephanie Coker’s NGO, The Future is Her, will continue advocacy to drive awareness, acceptance, and aid for African women living with PCOS.