Day 2 Challenge- My PCOS story
It is hard to know where to begin so I will start with a brief background. I was the last girl in my class to start my period and have never had regular cycles since then. One of the most frustrating aspects of this journey is that my obgyn would never listen to me! I can remember being as young as 13 telling my doctor “something is wrong with me and I am afraid I won’t be able to have kids when I grow up.” The doctor always just hushed me and told me it was normal to never have regular cycles. One weekend in collage I even had severe pain that the doctor said was likely a cyst rupturing. I asked if I needed an ultrasound to figure out what was going on but they said it was normal. I was placed on birth control pills several times growing up to regulate my cycles, but the side effects were so severe that I finally threw them away (one of the best things I’ve ever done.)
I got married in May 2008 around the same time my husband convinced me to toss that birth control. We figured I would get pregnant within a few months. Two years later, I really started to worry. I researched what could be wrong and pretty much diagnosed myself with PCOS and then begged my doctor to do more testing. After an ultrasound and blood work, I was diagnosed in June 2010. I was placed on metformin and then took clomid…50 mg, then 100 mg, then 150 mg. Each time resulted in no ovulation and crushed hopes.
I changed doctors and went to a fertility specialist. This doctor performed ovarian drilling and a D & C in October of 2010. Then he placed me on two rounds of femara, which unfortunately also resulted in no ovulation. This doctor said our chances for ever conceiving were 0-4%.
Receiving this news was devastating. It was then that we decided to see another doctor who promoted a charting system that reveals vast amounts of information about a woman’s cycle. He tested my glucose levels, which ended up being fine and I got off the metformin. I have been charting for 8 months now, and we know more about my cycle than I ever have in my life (If you are interested its called the Creighton Model.) I also just had a surgery done called ovarian wedge resection and are waiting to see if it can correct my cycles…and so far so good.
Looking back over the past 3 + years, it has been tough. But I am proud of myself and my supportive husband! We have come so far since I was first diagnosed. Initially, I felt like the world was caving in and that I was doomed to have diabetes and never have children.
However, I have taken this PCOS thing in my own hands. My husband and I have always eaten fairly healthy, but after doing a lot of research on nutrition and PCOS, we have drastically changed our diet- no artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or anything processed. And we mostly buy organic meats, chicken, milk, etc. It is amazing how good my body feels after making these slight changes. As a registered dietitian, I have decided I want to commit my practice to helping as many women as I can to take charge of their fertility and health through proper nutrition. Exercise is also crucial, and I commit several days a week to going to the gym or getting outside and walking. I have found yoga to be an excellent stress reliever. I have also grown in my spiritual life, and I am learning patience and trust in God’s timing.
There was a time when I was ashamed or embarrassed to tell people about PCOS, but now I would shout it from a mountain. I have overcome the anger, guilt and shame, and I feel empowered that I can make choices in my life to control this. It is crucial to get the word out to help those suffering in silence or who may not even know they have PCOS. It takes a strong woman to fight this, and I am excited to be a part of groups like Power Up for PCOS to connect with others.