Lots of people don’t know a thing about PCOS. I, included. Did not even know something like this exist. I don’t know how I am gonna pull this topic off but maybe I better share what I have experienced as a sufferer.
I woke up one day with multiple zits on my face. I am not a chick who has an immaculate complexion. But atleast, I knew then that my face was already clear from my previous acne flare up. It has been a normal thing for me to touch my face when I wake up in the morning. And there it went that very moment when my fingers have once again said hello to numbers of giant acne. I did not know where they came from. And very same month, I missed my period for the first time since I was in high school. I am now 28 by the way. Because of the sudden “hello-zits” and absence of period, I decided to go to a hospital with my husband.to check my hormones. I had to go with him because I am not that fluent yet in Japanese most especially about words used for health.
Same day, my OB-gyne gave me a blood test and intravaginal ultrasound. There, we found out that I have PCOS and OHSS. Both acronyms were new to me. I was just lucky enough that my OB-gyne could somehow explain in English.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs. Some other symptoms of PCOS are…
- Irregular periods or no periods at all
- Acne and oily skin
- Absence of menstrual cycle or prolonged cycle
- difficulty getting pregnant (because of irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate)
- excessive hair – usually on the face, chest, back or buttocks
- weight gain
- thinning hair and hair loss from the head
- unusual weight gain and weight loss
But as a woman who has PCOS, we always say that no two women are alike. Some may have most of the symptoms, and some may only have one or two. In my case, it was the sudden acne flare up and unusual absence of period.
2. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is a medical condition that can occur in some women who take fertility medication to stimulate egg growth, and in other women in very rare cases. Most cases are mild, but rarely the condition is severe and can lead to serious illness or death.
I was really in shock then because my husband and I were not trying to conceive yet at that time so I have never had any fertility medication yet. But then, I couldn’t dare to think much anymore at that time because I was just wired to just accept whatever my doctor has seen in me. And hearing from my OB that my OHSS may be gone as soon as I finish my next cycle, that somehow made me shake that off immediately.
My OB gave me a 10-day pill that will induce my menstruation. And was advised to go back after my next cycle for the next step. I wish I remember the name of the medicine.
Result; had my period back 3 days after my last pill
Went back to the clinic while on period and was refered to a new OB/fertility especialist for a more aggressive treatment. My husband and I decided then to conceive as soon as possible after knowing more about PCOS.
- Talked to my new OB
- Was prescribed with CLOMID 50mg to be taken from cycle days 3-7 to induce ovulation.
- Was advised to come back after my period for intravaginal ultrasound to check if I really had my ovulation.
Result *Big Fat Negative; ovulated but did not conceive* This somehow hit on me.
Same thing as April.
Result *Big Fat Negative; ovulated again but did not conceive AGAIN* This month started making me feel how serious PCOS is.
- Scheduled my husband for semen analysis. Got the result immediately and knew that he is totally fine. He was so happy then. So was I. Though there was a part of me that realized it was just me to be blamed for this infertility.
Same thing as April and May
Result *Big Fatter Negative; ovulated but no baby soon* This month was so real. Twas my firt time to cry and started blaming myself.
- Plus, my OB saw that there was a 0.3cm polyp in my uterine lining. It was not something to be removed yet via invasive procedure but bet yeah, it was a roaring thunder in my ears knowing that I have another problem. It started making me feel hopeless. I knew then it was not that long yet since we started this journey but having the pain and the agony grow inside you make you feel like it’s been forever.
Same thing as April, May and June
Result * Bigger Fatter Negative; ovulated but no miracle baby* More tears, more self-pity, more self-blame, more of negative emotions. I have not cried that much in a long time.
- I asked my OB that I wanted to do HSG procedure. He told me it is painful but I didn’t care anymore. I was just so willing to do whatever it takes to get pregnant. Then, I was scheduled for it after my next cycle.
Same thing as April, May, June and July
- Had my HSG. The procedure took 5 minutes only. It was not really painful, maybe the 750mg pain killer I took an hour before HSG really helped a lot. Same day we learned that my left fallopian tube was totally blocked and my right was fine. My OB was still showing positivity in my case though my heart was once again freshly broken. Because of these past heavy months, my husband and I decided to go far away and try climbng Mount Fuji. Yeah, we climbed right after my HSG procedure. I then felt I may be a half-ruined woman, but at the same time I am also a badass in trekking. I don’t know if I was just physically strong, or my sadness just made my body numb.
Result *Giant Obese Negative; * Losing hope; in the verge of making a decision to divorce my husband; I did not want him to stay with me if I can’t make him a father. He was saying he is happy with me even if we don’t have a child. But I was filled with guilt, self-pity and probably depression was starting to sink in.
Same thing as April, May, June, July and August
Result*So Negative; and so was I, was trying hard to keep going and be positive but before I close my eyes at night, I realize how much trouble I have because of this. It affects my confidence and my vision about the future. I did not even want to talk about babies anymore despite the fact that I like kids.
I had to start clomid again, 50mg for 5 days but this time I took it from fifth day of my cycle to ninth.
Started checking using the cheap HSG strips I got from Amazon on cycle day 9. NEGATIVE
Checked again on CD10 knowing CD9. Another NEGATIVE.
Checked again on CD 11 just to use my newly bought set of HSG strips, they are cheap anyway, so I just played with it. NEGATIVE. I was already convinced then that this is just another month just like the others.
CD 13, my intuition asked me to have another strip and oh yeah, i saw very faint lines. I could not believe my eyes so I tested again and the line is almost the same as the first one.
CD 14, I took another strip early in the morning and the lines were a bit more visible. I waited for two more hours for the nearest pharmacy to open by 10am to buy a digital checker. And Oh Boi!!! My eyes were not lying. TWO CLEAR LINES;)
I was over the moon then. I did not tell my husband yet. I had to wait for a few more hours thinking how I should tell him. I just used a guessing game then by the river. I felt like it was such a perfect day for us.
I felt like I got myself back;)
Other things I did to help me conceive
- supplements (MACA for 2 months and INOSITOL for a month )
- Physical activities (snorkeling on weekends from July to August, gym, swimming in a public pool, biking and walking to work atleast 30 minutes, walking-lots of walking including weekends, basketball shooting)
- Avoided all sweets
- Vegetables only for lunch from August to October
- Avoided dairy products to avoid acne
- No caffeine at all
- More fruits
- Used honey instead of sugar for my insulin level
- Limited carbohydrates intake