How many months TTC with known PCOS should GP wait to refer you?

(20 Posts)
MonthlyAFIWish Sun 25-Nov-12 16:29:13

dingdong my "he" GP was actually a "She"
Meant that GP said when i went to gynae they wouldn't give me clomid (not the GP wouldn't)
Ive known I have PCOS since age 22, for all the lovely symptoms you have ding.
The only time I did loose wait was a complete low GI diet, where i think i only ate salad and small amounts of meat. i can't remember much as I was brain dead at the time from the diet, but I did it for my wedding so had alot of motivation. Although being desperate for a child isn't the same incentive for me so a bit annoyed at that!!

Frankie I've no idea what I'd feel like 2.5 years down the line, 7 months (+2 previous years working out if pregnancy was safe for me) has been awful

FrankelDeBeauvoir Sun 25-Nov-12 16:20:50

Sane? What's that?! wink

There are a few PCOS type threads around, though I've found my own little group of ladies who have been TTC for a long time. They are very supportive.

DingDongBelle Sun 25-Nov-12 16:06:18

Frankel; I don't know how you are still sane. I take my hat off to you, I really do. While I wasn't ttc but after my diagnosis, being told I couldn't have kids naturally was heartbreaking and hung over me for years. I used to cry if my period came and cry again if it didn't - I never knew what to wish for. I've been lucky enough to have regular cycles since having ds and so we are ttc again much sooner than we would have liked to try and take advantage. I can't have any fertility drugs this time due to a blood clotting issue so we really are in the fingers crossed boat as there isn't much they can do for me otherwise. My gp here is excellent and has offered a referral for ov drilling if I'm still ttc in a year (and this time I am being good and waiting my turn smile)

Is there a ttc/pcos regular Fred? Couldn't see one.

FrankelDeBeauvoir Sun 25-Nov-12 15:59:17

I should apologise too DingDong, as you say we're both in the same boat. I've seen quite a few threads lately started by women who complain about not getting pregnant at the first couple of attempts and whine about how hard it is for them, when all I can think is that I'm 2.5 years down the line and they've got nothing to complain about IYSWIM.

DingDongBelle Sun 25-Nov-12 15:58:10

Ps: OP, your gp sounds like he went to the same med school as Dr Posh Spice grin

Could you find a new gp? The best gp I ever had was an ex obgyn and he was SUPERB. I loved him passionately and seriously considered kidnapping him when I moved away mental, moi?

He doesn't sound very well informed and this is horribly common, but you have the right to see any gp/hospital (I'm pretty sure) and perhaps another gp might be better educated/more useful/more sympathetic?

DingDongBelle Sun 25-Nov-12 15:51:00

Frankel: I do agree with you in many respects. For 'normal' couples (I don't like using that term but you know what I mean) there are women who get all fed up when ttc for a couple of months and i am absolutely not suggesting lying in that case, but that wasn't the case with me and I stand by what I did. I was diagnosed really early at 24 and not as part of fertility diagnostics (I have pcos related insulin resistance and was being investigated for the lovely man beard unexplained weight gain.) My pcos diagnosis alone took 3 years and 3 gp's. The one who diagnosed me was the one who kept wittering on about posh spice angry.

When DH and I went for help I had been off contraception 18m and we had been actively trying for six months. I'd been whining down the phone to my friend about the futility of having to go through a process of trying when I wasn't having periods and she suggested exaggerating our times.

If you know there is a problem then you should be referred earlier/immediately but in practice it often doesn't happen. Perhaps, op, you could push your gp for a gynaecologist referral now as you have known pcos?

I had some success with strict diet/low GI and one of the horrible ironies of PCOS is that pregnancy and weight control (two things pcos actively fucks up) are among the best 'cures'. Fx for you Op, and you too, Frankel. I think we haven't got off on a good footing but this is a heartbreaking condition I wouldn't wish on anyone and I know how very, very lucky I am to have ds.

I hope all that makes sense. I didn't want to make anyone cross brew?

MonthlyAFIWish Sun 25-Nov-12 15:18:51

Hi, GP also told me that they wouldn't give me clomid either, huh?? I also told GP that becuase of another condition I have that affects me physically, that if it took say 3 years to pregnant I don't think I could go through pregnancy then. I am 31 now as well.
Sounds like your gp frankie was alot more helpful.

FrankelDeBeauvoir Sun 25-Nov-12 13:40:07

I also have PCOS though it was undiagnosed to start with. My GP told me she would refer me for tests after 6 months without a period, which is exactly what she did. My appointment came through for 2 months later and within 6 months of the referral I had had my tubes checked (both with dye and x-ray and a laparoscopy as the first test was inconclusive) and was on Clomid. Sadly the Clomid didn't work for me and I'm now on OV induction.

My point is, lying or stretching the truth does no one any good in the long run smile

SinkyMalinks Sun 25-Nov-12 12:02:25

But the guidelines are for "normal" couples. An identified problem is different. And the 13 cycle line is total bullshit.

I can see your point dingdong, but you shouldn't need to lie. Use your GP friend and arm yourself with the info you need to get the referral based on the truth.

Myself and Atilla have gently disagreed in the past, but I do agree that you have to arm yourself with enough information to stream out the rubbish you might hear/be told.

Monthly, I'd suggest not trying to ignore your degree, although its temping to let someone else take charge. I'd politely suggest that most GPs (unless GPwSI maybe) wont know much/any more than you. If you're being sold bollocks, pull them up on it. You'll either learn something wink or be able to steer the consultation in a different direction.

Good luck.

DingDongBelle Sun 25-Nov-12 11:22:40

I was advised to stretch the truth by a friend who is a gp. My pcos makes me amenorrhic and I was barely having periods, one a year or so (so 13 cycles would have taken me 13 years!) and my gp friend said as my gp had said I categorically would not conceive without help she said the wait would only be a year of heartache.

I was also almost 30 so would have been 30 before even beginning treatment. I didn't mean to offend anyone but as I have a known fertility issue I only stretched the truth.

The 12 month guideline is supposed to be applied to 'normal' couples without known fertility problems, so I was told, but some gp's apply it to everyone. Especially pcos couples: many gp's are very poorly advised on this condition. When I eventually got diagnosed I got told all sorts of rubbish by my gp: I was actually advised that I'd probably be ok 'because Posh Spice had pcos and she's got loads of kids' by a gp confused, that I had loads of time to thin about kids (I was 24) and should probably sort out my looks first (I have excess facial hair). biscuit

We were nowhere near the point of ivf (met/clomid route) and afaik there is no wait for that so no one else would have lost out because of me. I was not trying to offend anyone and I'm sorry if I have. I was heartbroken to be told I would not conceive naturally (although eventually I did) and I do know the pain if it all. I waited and waited for my period and tested every month but lack of periods at all meant the whole thing was bewildering, and heartbreaking. So I was not selfishly jumping a queue but did what I knew made sense. I'm sorry if that upsets you but pcos is a very poorly managed condition and you have to make the rules work around you sometimes.

MonthlyAFIWish Sun 25-Nov-12 09:35:36

Was very shock about what she said. Not least because I am a doctor, but not a GP/gynae, but they know I am a doctor, which is why I thought knew it was bollocks.

DH wants to approach the whole process as if I know nothing as thinks I will get too stressed. That's why I love mumsnet so much, as I can usually ignore the doctor part and just ask stupid questions and read advice.

My GP also knows that due to a medical condition, we have been thinking about is it safe to ttc, for the last 2 years.
Agh! Although did agree to the day 21 bloods and semen test, only because of my shock face I think

""nope my GP's advice was that I had to wait the length of time it took me to have 13 cycles, I.e. someone normal had 13cycles in 12months, so wait the 2-3years for me".

That was awful advice on the part of the GP, not just to say wrong. Being given poor advice like this also would make me want to change GP practice as well. (If I had to have waited a supposed 13 cycles I would have been waiting 4 years!).

As the referral appt can in some cases take months on end to come through, I cannot see the problem with asking for a referral now. Also although some women with PCOS do conceive without medical help, many do need help from the subfertility unit.

Gynaes generally like to see people after 12 months of ttc without success.

MonthlyAFIWish Sun 25-Nov-12 08:50:51

Thanks sally yes a 28day cycle would be lovely!! nope my GP's advice was that I had to wait the length of time it took me to have 13 cycles, I.e. someone normal had 13cycles in 12months, so wait the 2-3years for me.
Let alone the fact that not having a regular cycle is a pain in the arse as no simple dtd to death on days 10-14. It's hard to keep going all cycle long wondering if you ovulate.

SinkyMalinks Sat 24-Nov-12 23:48:54

Hi. Good name OP!

I guess from your name you have irregular/non existent cycles. Much like myself.

From personal experiance, and from hanging round these boards too much, it would be a hard GP to refuse to refer once a problem has been identified, ie amenorrhea over 6 months with a diagnosis of PCOS.

If you were a PCOSer with normal-ish cycles I would back frankel and say sit out the year. There are plenty of threads here from women with PCOS who have no problems getting preggers.

MonthlyAFIWish Sat 24-Nov-12 23:27:59

Frankie I agree about the lying thing, which is why we have been honest. I've known for the last 8 years I would have problems, and the consultant told me I wouldnt conceive naturally.

atilla looked all through the nice guidelines, and it just said women with known problems should be offered investigation and treatment earlier, but no timeline on that

FrankelDeBeauvoir Sat 24-Nov-12 23:21:46

Lying to your GP/any Doctor is selfish and irresponsible. It pushes those of us that follow the guidelines further down the list angry

Besides, lying to get yourself seen for treatment may result in you undergoing unnecessary procedures. It is normal to take up to a year to conceive, for a healthy couple.

This is not aimed at the OP, or any other posters on this thread, but I'm afraid it really gets on my nerves to hear about couples complaining about it taking "a long time" when they've only been trying a few months. Some of us have been trying for years!

MonthlyAFIWish Sat 24-Nov-12 23:01:09

GP started me on metformin 1 year ago when I asked. Can't lie about ttc as went to GP 7/8 months ago to get medication changed before could start :-(

When I last saw gynae about 5 years ago, in different hospital trust, they said to come back straight away, but GP said no.

DingDongBelle Sat 24-Nov-12 20:03:25

Lie. Tell your gp you've been trying for longer. That's what I did. If you've already seen your gp could you see another gp and exaggerate? If you have been on met a year could you say to your gp that you'd been off contraception for that long, even though only 'officially' trying for 6m?

Have you had a look at the NICE guidelines; this would be worth looking at.

If you have a PCOS diagnosis as well you should be referred sooner rather than later. (Gynaes generally like to see people after 12 months of ttc without success).

I went to the GPs after six months of having no periods and was duly referred on to the hospital's subfertility unit. That appt came through six months later.

BTW who prescribed the metformin; if it was a gynae I would contact this person as a matter of course.

MonthlyAFIWish Sat 24-Nov-12 18:29:59

Went to GP after TTC for 6 months as was previously told only needed to wait 6 months? GP said that despite known problem with me I would have to TTC for at least 12 months before they would refer me on to gynae / infertility clinic.

Is this right that I have to wait 12 or more months?
I've already been taking metformin for 1 year and cycles are still irregular and never shorter than 8 weeks

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