I’ve seen many posts on different blogs about PCOS, but I have not read one with someone living with this. Guess what, I’m going to tell my story, my nightmare with this disease. Now, this is my personal story, not everyone who suffers with this is the same, so what works for me, will not work with everyone. So, what is PCOS? Well to be truthful it sucks, but medically it’s Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, a condition that ovaries accumulate cysts, instead of follicles growing and going on to ovulate, it releases male hormone into the blood. When I was diagnosed the testing was if your LH to FSH ratio was 3:1, means you have the disease. Many women who suffer from PCOS, do not ovulate, which makes it harder to become pregnant, suffer from diabetes, obesity, acne, horrible cramps, unwanted hair growth, just what every woman wants to suffer with, right?
I’ll go back before I was even diagnosed, so maybe some can relate to the symptoms. For as long as I can remember I’ve had irregular menstrual cycle, sometimes I’ll get two in a month, and there’s been times I would go months without having one. When I was pregnant with my third son, Jarron, I was having horrible cramps in the beginning, went to ER and the doctor told me after an ultrasound that there was a fibroid pushing the baby out. I just sat there like can that really freaking happen? I was sent to a high risk OB, who told me that was almost impossible to happen, and after 2 more visits with this doctor, I was released to see my original OB….My son Jarron is almost 14 years old, so no that didn’t even happen, lol..
That first fibroid that was found during my third pregnancy, was the first of many, and I mean many! For years I suffered from heavy never-ending periods, I was anemic, pale, and literally weak. After our wedding in 2008, I noticed I was gaining weight, was in constant pain, and that was not like me what so ever, I’ve always been a healthy weight, I never gained more than 12 pounds pregnant with any of my children, after another emergency room trip, I was told, I will quote the doctor, “A hell of a lot of cysts on uterus”. I contacted my OB/GYN, they ran the tests for PCOS, did ultrasound, and decided they would need to go in and remove the cysts, he informed me I had at least 2 dozen embedded in my uterus wall. I had that surgery three times that year, each time there were more and more. The PCOS test they ran, my number were less than 1 ½ what would’ve been considered having the disease, so I didn’t have it at that time. A year later, almost to the date, I was back in the office with pain, more weight gain, more fibroids, he ran the test again, remember the 3:1 ratio, well mine was beyond 6:1, that’s how fast it progressed.
So, the time has come to decide on another myomectomy, or have full hysterectomy, the doctor was convinced the hysterectomy was the better choice so I could stop suffering. I was all for the hysterectomy, I was finished having kids (I only spit out boys anyways lol), but when I talked to my husband about it, he was against it. He was concerned about the changes I would go through, and he told me he didn’t feel like I really done with children, my youngest was about 7 years old at this time, I believed I was done. So, I talked to my doctor about it and he basically told me he didn’t believe I would be able to get pregnant again, well….challenge accepted! As with many with PCOS, I was put on metformin because I became a Type 2 diabetic (OMG, the side effects of that med is brutal!!), he started me on six rounds of Clomid, at this point we were trying to get my body to ovulate, because having anovulatory cycles isn’t that good for you, then I was on couple rounds of Femara. Within these two treatments, I did have two chemical pregnancies, basically the egg was fertilized but never implanted. After the end of femara, I was ready to throw in the towel, I just received the letter that my nursing school was starting, and I really didn’t want to be pregnant in that time. I talked to my husband and told him that I wouldn’t get the hysterectomy, but I was ready to have my tubes tied.
My doctor had me on another type of med, this medication would help me start my menstrual if I went so long without one, I can’t remember the name of it, but he said before I take it, just take a pregnancy test to be sure I wasn’t pregnant. I’m in my first month of nursing school, having horrible cramps, but no period, and I felt like it was coming, but just wasn’t there, so I decided I was going to start that medication. Now, I already contacted my doctor to have my annual done, and told them I wanted to schedule my tubal while I was there. After school, I stopped at the store to grab a test, went home and found my medication to take, I took the test (just so I can say I took one before the meds), went to throw it away (why look, it’s going to be negative, right?) for some odd reason my eye caught there wasn’t a NOT before the Pregnant, it was a cool digital one, lol. I was in complete shock, didn’t want to tell my husband just incase it was another chemical, so I kept it under wraps, until I went to my doctor. The Dr. was so excited for me when he walked in, then I went on telling him, that I didn’t feel it was right timing, he said it always happens once you stop trying, kinda like going to buy a sports car then your wife becomes pregnant, I replied well I just bought a mini-van, so it’s meant to be. Of course, I was happy about it, hey I won the challenge, but I seriously thought how am I going to manage school, pregnancy brain, and 3 other children. I’m a good multitasker, so another challenge was on.
Is anyone wondering what does this have to do with PCOS? Well, it has a lot to do with it, during my pregnancy my cramps started going away, my numbers were looking good, and I even lost all the weight I was gaining (yes, that is okay, I was losing my weight, the baby was gaining weight just fine). The doctor believes the extra hormones I was getting from being pregnant, is what I was lacking, and it was all balancing out. I have not been on metformin since I became pregnant, my levels are still well, and I have not had one cyst/fibroid since I was pregnant with my daughter (yes, I finally got my girl!!). I’ll never be cured from this, and there’s the chance it can all come back, but I do stick with a good diet, despite all my recipe posts (we don’t eat those everyday lol), I am still a type 2 diabetic, my levels stay right at the border so I know my control is okay. I do have a high cholesterol, which was found after I was diagnosed with PCOS, faithfully taking medication for it, we’re not sure if this is related to PCOS or hereditary (my father had high cholesterol).
Please remember, this is only my story, I was able to get pregnant with the disease, but I know many who haven’t, and a few close friends went through adoption to have their family. Also, I’m not saying if you do become pregnant, your symptoms will disappear or lesson, I consider myself lucky that it happened this way. What I am saying is don’t lose hope, there’s many options out there for many, I really thought 5 years ago this disease was going to run my life, but it didn’t, it actually made me stronger, more willing not to ever give up, and to discover when one person may be in doubts, no is not the final answer.