Don't know if I have PCOS?? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 12-08-2003, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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apologies--this is long!

Hi there,
Turning to you wonderful women on the mothering boards for some insight.
I just came back from my doc's office today .
(some background:
I have been seeing him since April & have
been inseminating with IUI since July-not because of any previous history but b/c I don't have a male partner.
I got pregnant on the 2nd try but had a m/c quickly afterwards). On one of my earlier visits to him in May, he said my ovaries looked like classic polycystic ovaries. His brusque manner & complete lack of compassion really p#&@!ed me off and since his medicalized approach is really out of sync with his, I ignored him. This is not the first time, I have avoided some other treatment he has offered me, since I don't frame my problem as infertility but as lack of access to sperm

But now I'm starting to wonder....one of the reasons I had dismissed the earlier PCOS diagnosis is because I didn't have any other symptoms I associate with this syndrom (acne, body hair etc.). BUT I do have a messed up fsh/lh ratio, classic polycystic ovaries and I did have an m/c which is more common with PCOS--plus I'm a bit overweight, but that could be cause I don't get enough exercise & I like to bake

So my questions:
Does this sound like PCOS to anyone out there?
If it is, what are the advantages to getting it diagnosed & treated? Will this help my health in the long term & help me get pregnant, or will I just end up taking some unnecessary drugs?
Do you know who I should see in order to do this--I really dislike this fertility doc & would not want to go there...

Thanks for listening & dust to all you strong women!
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#2 of 11 Old 12-09-2003, 01:02 AM
 
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I'm 99% certain that you have PCOS!

I noticed that you are in Ottawa as am I. Email me if you wish. I'm a graduate at Parkdale. nadsternada@rogers.com

Usually with PCOS, you are only on drugs to treat the infertility part of it, then you can be on BCPs to keep a better handle of the wacky hormones associate with the disorder. You don't need anything as far as your general health is concerned. I can definately give you more info, especially on the doctors at the clinic.

Nada
dx's: PCOS, endometriosis, blocked tubes, thyroid issues, immune issues
Finally conceived #2 after 3 IVFs and 4.5 years of IF
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#3 of 11 Old 12-09-2003, 03:20 AM
 
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I don't have PCOS, but I thought it was worth noting that Fertility Cycles and Nutrition suggests you can "fix" PCOS with 5% weight loss.

I don't know enough about your situation, and I'm usually leary about the way the medical establisment demonizes folks who aren't a size two, but this seemed like such a moderate suggestion, I thought it was worth passing on.

It also gives you something you can do if you don't like the treatment your Dr. has suggested.
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#4 of 11 Old 12-09-2003, 09:19 PM
 
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I too have PCOS and agree it probably is coming into play with your situation. You didn't mention irregular menses, so I'm guessing that is not an issue with you. However, the early miscarriage could definately mean you're not producing enough progesterone or having "weak" ovulation.
Gonnabeamom, I'm really glad you provided the info on weight loss. I have always felt like it would help me, but with everything else never really did anything about it. This fall DH and I joined WW and I'm within a couple of pounds of losing 10% of my wt. I had a period spontaneously in both October and November, which has not happened to me in a long time. Have had some other fertility indicators, so am hopeful something positive might happen soon.
I also have been trying to take metformin, when I can remember to take it. I feel like it can only help with all the other symptoms. I hate the infertility component of the condition, but am also concerned about the increased risk of heart conditions, etc. My acne has improved with the weight loss, but still have the annoying chin hairs. I really think this is a condition that has not received the medical attention it deserves because of course it only effects women and the symptom most of us seek treatment for is infertility. I'm sure it there was a medical condition that only men had that caused impotence, heart ailments, breast enlargement, and a skin condition there would be lots of studies and an effective treatment. I'll get off my soapbox now and wish you good luck.
Pamela
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#5 of 11 Old 12-09-2003, 11:46 PM
 
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I'm a little late here, but I did want to chime in and add my agreement to what these other ladies have said. It sounds like PCOS to me. I was recently diagnosed and was convinced I had it before I received the diagnosis. I have irregular periods and when I do O, it's CD22 or later, which indicates a weak O. I am overweight and have been since giving birth to my second DD. I'm currently on 1000 mgs of MET and 50 mgs of clomid. I am also trying to reduce carbs and lose some excess weight. It's very hard to hear that you have this, but can be overcome! I wish you the best with this and maybe we could have a weekly check in for PCOS ladies to share tips and treatments? I would love to share any new info I learn...

Blessings to all~
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#6 of 11 Old 12-11-2003, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to everyone who replied. It's a few days later now & I'm coming to terms with the fact that I probably do have PCOS & that it's probably better to find out now than go through another m/c or more struggles with fertility. So I will see the doc next week & talk about meds. I'm really scared of Clomid though, as I've been finding this whole struggle is making me emotional enough without adding any chemical emotions too!
But if it's only for a short time, I guess it's ok, and If I get a , it would be worth it too.
Fairymama, gonnabeamom, thanks for weight loss tips--this really makes sense to me because I lost 10 lbs. with weightwatchers over the summer and then got pregnant (while having a very normal cycle). Its very encouraging to me that I can take a healthy positive step like that which is good for me & for my fertility.

Storeimy--I really like the idea of a PCOS check in on the mothering boards, since they are my favourite boards on the net, and I know I could really use the support.

Thanks everyone,
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#7 of 11 Old 12-11-2003, 01:39 PM
 
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just wanted to give you a good link for PCOS information (with links to other informative sites).

www.soulcysters.com

also, specifically check out the research board
http://www.soulcysters.net/forumdisp...?s=&forumid=45

and the research page
http://www.soulcysters.com/cgi-bin/a...ewarticles.cgi

be informed and know what's what. it can be a bit confusing, and can take a few approaches (weight loss does not always cure) to achieve what you want (be it weight loss, pregnancy, or overall good health), but it can be done.

good luck!

edited (thanks to the prompt to my slow mind by the post below) to add:

definitely be wary of drugs...i'm not saying not to look into them at all, but there are options. i took a year (a time period that you may not be happy with since you're ttc now) to tone my whole body prior to actively ttc. this is what i did:

*went off the pill 16 months before ttc (and will never go back on it)
*started charting my cycles (temp, cervical mucous, and cervical position) - after a few cycles learned that i had started ovulating, but relatively late in my cycle (cd 25-35)
*started eating better (moderate carb intake with a low sugar diet, whole grains, etc.), exercising regularly (i had always done this up until the year i went off the pill due to a back injury), and taking a b-complex after o (this helped with some pretty bad pms)
*started taking vitex a year before ttc (took recommended dose during my entire cycle, once i started ttc, did not take it after ovulation)
*my cycles shorted, but still were a bit off, so 6 months prior to ttc, added dong quai (took recommended dose entire cycle except for during menses) and evening primrose oil (cd 10 through O)
*my cycles shorted even more to where i Oed cd15-22

the first cycle ttc, we learned that we had a bun in my bellyoven!!

bottom line, research, research, research. definitely attempt the exercise and eating healthy bit...and then find what else will fit with your outlook, lifestyle, and habits.
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#8 of 11 Old 12-11-2003, 01:47 PM
 
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Jesse -- how regular are your periods? Do you know if you are ovultating? What kind of cycle do you have?

Please be very, very careful about clomid. It has been tied to ovarian cancer both in studies and anecdotally. The midwife I work with has been preparing to do some IUI with a friend of hers who was frustrated with medical fertility treatment, but that person just found out that she has ovarian cancer and will lose her ovaries and uterus. Clomid is counterindicated for those with ovarian cysts because of cancer risk -- this client had been seeing an ob who recommended it last year for several cycles when he knew that she had cysts. Bad doctor!

I have a number of PCOS symptoms and was able to get pregnant through a combination of diet modification, herbal treatments and homeopathy. I had been having 55-60 day cycles and within two months of treatment was down to 35 day cycles. That, combined with charting and body awareness enabled me to optimize my chances of conceiving. Every person is different and requires a different regimen, but here is what I did:

Eliminate all sugar and most high-glycemic index carbs from my diet.
Homeopathic Nat Mur (for increasing cervical mucus)
Homeopathic Sepia (for excess androgen production, blood-sugar issues,uterine tone)
Red Raspberry Leaf tea (for uterine tone)
Fenugreek tea (lowers blood sugar levels, also increases secretions to improve cervical mucus) -- I feel this herb was one of the most helpful
Increase water intake.

Good luck!

Stacia -- intrepid mama, midwife, and doula. Changing the world one 'zine at a time.
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#9 of 11 Old 12-20-2003, 05:07 PM
 
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I have PCOS as well and it sounds alot like you have it. I dont have acne or facial hair either but I am chunky, my fsh/lh are off, and my periods were super irregular (I dont know now, its been 2 years since I had a PPAF). I also had 3 m/c prior to conceiving my son.

I wanted to second the idea of being careful with clomid. I was on it for 7 months, up to 250 mg and I ended up with lots of tumors and had to end up doing the hoxsey treatment to rid of the tumors. The drs said it was not related but I honestly think they are full of crap.

I concieved my son shortly after losing 30 pounds on low carbing. I am ttc again for number 2 so I am going to start the low carbing again soon and also take vitex and hope that helps.

Desiree

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#10 of 11 Old 01-08-2004, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi again and thanks to all those who posted all the helpful info.

Dp & I moved to our first house & entertained tonnes of people over the holidays, and I've been in a really low space about the m/c, TTC and PCOS diagnosis so I've avoided answering for a variety of reasons. Mostly just not being able to face all this.

But...this is a new year, I'm feeling like a fresh start, my dp has agreed to start eating well with me to encourage me in weight loss, I'm back at the gym. I'm really hoping weight loss will help, but emotions, stress & food are closely linked for me, so it's taken me a while to get back to a place where this is possible. (Thanks for the encouraging story on that DesireeH).


Just by background, I am currently taking: Calcium, acidophilus, two multis, wild yam root powder, Vitex and red clover powder. In the last 14 months of preparing to ttc and since starting to ttc in july, I have been drinking herbal fertility tea containing red raspberry, Vitex, and red clover (with honey ).

As for my cycles--for a very long time I have been very regular, I always had 28-29 day cycles with very rare exceptions. But since I`ve been regularly charting, and especially the past 11 months, my cycle has been ALL over the place -usually no longer than 43-45 days, although I`m currently at day 50 with no af and still waiting--my longest yet. The time that I did get pg in August I o'd on day 13 & 14. I do know when I ovulate as I have been charting faithfully, monitoring cervical mucus, cervix changes, and with a Clearplan fertility monitor (which gets expensive when your cycles are long!) Most recently I o'd on the 27th of Dec, (more than 28 days after my previous af).

After some soul-searching, I have decided to take metformin for now, (plus healthy eating), as I feel this could help without doing too much damage. Also I found out that my mother also has Polycystic Ovaries--she has also struggled with weight & has recently given up wheat & lost a tonne. BUT she never had any miscarriages and got pg with my sister & me on the first try both times! Sigh... It is comforting to know that she has polycystic ovaries too & really confirms PCOS for me--sigh!


Thanks also to scbegonias for the soulcysters suggestion--I have just checked out the msg boards & they look good. Good overall site. I also found a cool natural medicine site for PCOSers created by a naturopath, which I will post a link to here when I remember it.

thanks again to everyone.
-Jesse who's very much looking forward to AF so that she can start this whole thing again!
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#11 of 11 Old 01-11-2004, 08:51 PM
 
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I hope you ladies won't mind my posting a reply here (as I am only a quiet lurker) but, I wanted to say that I've had alot of rough experiences with the medical community in general, but with female issues, in particular, I've had nightmarish experiences.

I was in to see the doctor, some years ago, at which time they did an ultrasound. I was told that I looked to have Polycystic Ovaries and I needed to be seen by the specialist, right away.

Well, upon seeing a specialist, I was told that my ovaries were most likely just fine, and that depending upon the time of your cycle in which they are viewed, the ovaries can appear to be polycystic, even if they are not. Further tests, at that time, showed my ovaries to be normal.

I am responding to your post to urge you not to be bound by one doctor's diagnosis, if at all possible, and if you can, please try to get another opinion --from a woman doctor, if you can, only because I find that MOST OF THE TIME they are alot more in touch with what you are feeling and what you are physically going through.

That being said, if PCOS is what you have, I wish you the best of luck in dealing with it. I hope that you can work past it and come out a happy mamma!
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