PCOS Update

Hello, My Lovely Peeps!

Sorry I wasn’t here yesterday, I had planned to blog but got up later than we should and had to scoot off to church as we went to see 7 people give their testimonies and get baptized in the sea!! It was awesome and such a privilege to be there with them.

So… I’ve been meaning to write this for like a month and it will contain medical details, so if you’re squeamish this may not be the post for you.

Firstly, I want to thank you all for reading my first blog on PCOS it’s been read so often and by so many…I hope it helps fellow sufferers.

August bank holiday (when the heck was that?? Seems ages ago now…2 weeks, really?!?) was 10 years since we decided to try for baby number 2. I didn’t know then I had PCOS, the diagnosis was about 3-4 years later.

Treatment for PCOS comes in lots of forms… it was first offered to me as Metformin tablets. These are traditionally used for people with pre-diabetes to deal with insulin resistance. There is a link between insulin and PCOS but they aren’t 100% sure why. Best guess is that because it regulates insulin hormones it helps with the reproductive hormones too.

I had several months’ worth and the stuff is strong! They build the dose up because if you stop or start too quickly there are some side-effects. If you can get past the sick and dizzy feelings it gives you, the stuff seems to regulate cycles. If you don’t have insulin resistance, the dizziness can be worse because it’s like your blood sugar is low.

I tried it but decided the side-effects were too bad to carry on (I was on the maximum dose though, so don’t be put off trying it).

I read an American medical paper about 4 years ago, suggesting that artificial sweeteners (Aspartame and Acesulfame K in particular) can have an effect on hormones. So I gave them up. It was hard because I lived on Diet Coke (largely because I thought the full-fat stuff was worse for me as I was already overweight). Seriously, the sweeteners are in a LOT of stuff…even things you wouldn’t expect, like yoghurt.

It was worth it though. I’d had cycles of 70+ days and after stopping the sweeteners they went down to around 35 days…much closer to the average 28. 🙂 I still missed the odd one (if I was ill or stressed usually) but generally, it’s stuck to 35 ish days ever since.

I went to a consultant last year and got issued Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid to those who speak regular Engish) because, despite my improved cycle and less severe symptoms, I still wasn’t ovulating.

So began 6 months of tablets and travel! Every month I’d take the dose of Clomid on certain days and go for scans to see if it worked…and then a blood test or two later in the cycle (oh the joy!). They upped the dose each month and added the Metformin back in for good measure (much fewer side effects when combined…thank goodness!). My last month on the maximum dose was the only time I ovulated. They won’t give it to you for too long as long-term use increases the risk of ovarian cancer; so PLEASE DON’T BUY IT ONLINE! As a side note, being medically forced into a 28-day cycle screwed up my pattern a bit and the bleeding went AWOL after stopping the Clomid….which could be considered an up-side. 😉

So what’s the next step?

They won’t do IVF on the NHS unless you’re within their weight guidelines (I never have been in my adult life, but I have been closer than I am now :/ ). To be honest I don’t know that I could do the self-injecting thing…big respect to anyone even attempting it! Still, for it to be an option the weight loss needs to continue…

That kinda brings me to the main point; the weight loss has to continue. I need to lose weight. It will help regulate hormones (including insulin so that’s not a problem in the future), it’ll help open up my options with IVF and such if we want to go that way. I am also aware that I weighed less when I had my daughter and that someone I follow on YouTube has also just overcome infertility and attributes it to losing 40lbs. (The Cooper Fam if you want to watch.)

We won’t give up dealing with it (even if we feel like it sometimes) and even if the result isn’t a baby, I’ll still be healthier and more in control of my symptoms.

We have also talked about fostering and adoption, but that’s for a different post.

I’m just sharing my experience, these things work for more than half of PCOS sufferers so please don’t be put off trying treatments if you want to.

Have a good one.

Anna x

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