The Diagnosis – PCOS

Since I was going to be off the pill due to side effects from medication we decided it was time to become a family of 3.  I had been on the pill for nearly 7 years, and had always thought when we were ready to get pregnant it would simply just happen.  I remember being told in 6th grade that sex was evil, and if you did it once then you’d end up pregnant.  I’d almost like to go back to that teacher and say she was wrong, but I know that wouldn’t change anything.  I’d also like to go back to the doctor that said an irregular cycle was nothing to worry about, but again, what’s the point.  On one hand it amazes me that people just sugar coat things until you’re faced with reality, but then I wonder if I was in their shoes, what I would tell a girl so young… probably the same thing.

So I was off the pill for 7 months and still did not have a cycle.  At first I thought I was lucky and our first month just waiting for my cycle to come had worked.  Then when I wasn’t pregnant, and a few more months passed, we started to wonder if something was wrong.  Finally after 7 months I went to the doctor.  She took the usual look around and said everything looked good.  She was impressed with the fluid I had produced, and said I was either ovulating or had recently become pregnant.  She had me schedule an ultrasound for two weeks so if I wasn’t pregnant then we could move on from there.

So the two weeks passed and still no cycle.  I went to my ultrasound appointment, and all was confirmed….I had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).  Both of my ovaries showed an amazing amount of cysts, and my blood tests confirmed a hormone imbalance.  I learned that I hardly (if ever) ovulate on my own and I would need medical assistance if I ever wanted to get pregnant.  Though many with PCOS are overweight and have high blood pressure, I didn’t have those problems.  Instead I easily maintain a healthy weight for my height, and my blood pressure has always been on the low side.  So treatment for me were two prescriptions.  The first was Provera to induce my cycle, and the second was Clomid to help me ovulate.  I was told to take Provera for 10 days, stop, and then my cycle would come a few days after that.  Then once my cycle came, I was to take 25mg of Clomid days 5-9 of my cycle.  Throughout the cycle I was to take my basal body temperature each morning before getting out of bed, and use ovulation sticks to confirm when I was ovulating.

All of a sudden getting pregnant was a complicated science.  My husband and I agreed that we’d go ahead with the meds, and I took them just as I was told.  My cycle came with Provera, but Clomid wasn’t working.  After another month passed with no cycle, my Clomid dosage was doubled.  I took Provera again to bring on my cycle, but Clomid still wasn’t working.  Each month I wouldn’t ovulate so my Clomid dosage was increased.  Finally after 6 months of trying I had reached 250mg of Clomid, and was still not ovulating.  Since 250mg is the most a person should take, my doctor referred me to a fertility specialist.

I often feel like we were robbed of trying for a baby naturally.  We went straight from waiting for my cycle to come; to having charts, doctors and medications all part of the routine. We were immediately out numbered by tests, medications, charts, doctors, and nurses… and  just trying to get pregnant on our own was never  an option.  And thinking about it all now makes me realize it’s been both a blessing and a curse.  I hate that we got robbed of just enjoying each other without much stress, but I’m glad the process didn’t drag out longer than it did and we didn’t have to wait for intervention.  There are so many couples out there that just don’t know what’s happening, or don’t have the option of being tested due to the financial stress of it all.  Instead for us, we were blessed with great insurance and because my cycle wasn’t coming, we could be tested much sooner than most.

5 thoughts on “The Diagnosis – PCOS

  1. Your story sounds so familiar. The difference is when the clomid didn’t work, I went right to the RE. That was a good thing, since after all of the tests we found out my husband had a low sperm count and morphology. So, we are now on IVF #2. sigh. Good luck with everything!

    1. Thanks so much for the comment Kelli! I’m finding more and more that many of us have or are traveling the same road. I hope you find some encouragement through this blog, and knowing you’re not alone. Best of luck on IVF #2!!

  2. It kind of happened similarly for me. I was having cycles after I got off the pill but, they were so different from before I went on the pill. They were associated with MUCH more pain and bleeding so we knew something was up right away. It is depressing to know how many people get treated with clomid by their ob/gyn before they are sent for real answers from an R.E.

    The clomid I was prescribed by my ob/gyn made my cycles 10 times worse so within 2 months of being on that we saw an R.E.

  3. You are very lucky. My husband and I didn’t go to the doctor until almost a year and half after I went of BC and only had two cycles. I have been dealing with “regular” doctor for 7 months and I feel like it’s just been a HUGE waste of time as we haven’t done hardly any testing and hardly any treatment. But we are finally scheduled at a fertility clinic at the end of August, so I’m hoping we’ll finally get started. We’ve already been at this for two years now.

    1. Thanks for sharing! I know there are times (well a lot of times) that you feel like you’re just banging your head against the wall. Hopefully things are going well now that you’ve made it to the fertility clinic, and you feel like some progress is being made. All the best to you!

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