By Nickey Siegerman
Senior Kayla Forbes is planning on making a difference in the world. With a double major in Biology and Allied Health and a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, she plans to become an ultrasound technician, specializing in obstetrician-gynecologist ultrasounds.
Forbes shared that she and many members of her family suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Forbes’ goal is to learn how to work with and through the syndrome and possibly figure out a way to avoid it in the future since there is currently no cure or known cause.
According to Mayoclinic.org, “This is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone levels. The ovaries may develop small collections of fluid and fail to regularly release eggs.”
Early diagnosis and treatment along with weight loss may reduce the risk of long-term complications that come with it, including Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
In summary, this diagnosis deals with a less predictable and irregular period, having an issue with body hair, being prone to miscarriages and sometimes have the inability to get pregnant. So, as one can imagine, not ideal.
Forbes spoke about how she got involved with these majors and the WGS minor when she came to KU. She picked KU to give herself a chance to broaden her horizons and to see if she’d find a place to find herself, and her parents supported her. Forbes said her parents told her to give it a year, and if she didn’t like it, she could go to community college, which Forbes was fine with.
She took her general education classes as an undeclared student, and that was when she took Biology 12 for non-majors with Dr. Lauryn Antoine. Dr. Antoine’s own passion for the major sparked Forbes’ and was the reason she decided to be a biology major.
Forbes loved Biology 12 due to its coverage of human biology, especially anything involving anatomy and physiology.
When it came to the WGS minor, it was Dr. Clemens that Forbes went to for more information.
“I’d always been interested in women’s rights and equality, so I took the WGS intro class with Dr. Clemens and loved what I learned. I loved how knowledgeable and passionate Dr. Clemens is, so I decided to pick up the minor.”
Clemens got right to work helping Forbes. She said that Clemens wanted her to be prepared.
“The books I’m reading about talk about the side of pregnancy, tragedies that we don’t talk about and no one does talk about and that led me to be prepared for what I will have to experience,” Forbes said.
Without Clemens, Forbes wouldn’t be working towards this goal, reading about stillbirth or learning this information. Forbes said she’d normally never read information like this. She relayed Clemens words, saying, “It’s good you’re reading it; it’s preparing you for the job.”
Reading these facts about stillbirths, tragedies or anything like that makes her upset, but “when you’re in that career, you can’t react to that,” Forbes said.
Ultrasound techs are not allowed to tell the patients what they have, and the doctor is the one who will tell the patient. Forbes says it’s tough, but she’s prepared to learn about the tact and patience she’ll need.
Forbes looked into medical jobs that could be obtained without going to medical school, and she saw jobs for an ultrasound technician, specializing in OB-GYN.
For Forbes’ practicum, she chose to write about women and their experiences through pregnancy. Her practicum is a blog that gives her credits for the minor and helps her do research to be more prepared for this field and other surprises that may come down the line.
Mostly, these posts talk about the bad experiences, like stillbirth, being pregnant during wars, the hardships and emotions women go through and the decisions that need to be made. With the tragic part of pregnancies, like miscarriages and how no one talks about it, Forbes wants that made more public.
She added that ordinary people need to talk about this issue as much as anybody else. Women don’t talk about these issues as much as they should, which Forbes feels strongly about ending the stigma towards. “The more people talk about this, the less they feel alone,” Forbes concluded.
To read Kayla’s Blog, go to womenandgenderstudiesobgyn.wordpress.com.