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PCOS graduates- how long did it take you to conceive?

(14 Posts)
pandaeyes Wed 23-Aug-06 18:57:04

Just wondering how many mumsnetters had PCOS and were able to conceive naturally? Also:

how long were you trying?

Did you find 1st or 2nd child etc harder to conceive with PCOS?

How long are you cycles?

WEre you on any medication?

We are onto 5th cycle now of ttc no.2. DS was conceived on cycle 4 of 45-60 day cycles. No medication etc. I have now had a definite PCOS diagnosis and even though my cycles are a regular 35 days, the clinic suggests metformin- not that keen though due to the side effects. I did exaggerate to the dr. a bit and say we'd been trying 7 cycles . Just mulling over whether I should take this metformin or not!!

babyfettle Wed 23-Aug-06 19:27:01

Hi pandaeyes

I had suggestive PCOS (diagnosed from a scan when I was 21 after 10 years of very irregular periods).
It took us 2 yrs to conceive DD naturally - fell pg after initial fertility tests and had to cancel 1st fertility clinic appointment as pg when it came through.
With 2nd, we tried for 9 mths before pg, but had missed mc at 10 wks back in Feb. Still no joy since then, but dh has been away for past 9 weeks, so that hasn't helped!
When I had my scan before my 2nd ERCP after mc, I asked the sonographer what my ovaries looked like and she said they were clear, so here's hoping my PCOS has been cleared by the pg hormones.
GP has agreed to refer us though to the fertility clinic when DH gets back just to discuss our options.
I've considered metformin, but don't know much about it. And if my PCOS has cleared up, it probably wouldn't help me. But a colleague at work has just given birth to her 2nd child following treatment with metformin.

Attilathemeercat knows much more about PCOS, so she may pop by and give better advice than me!

LaylaandSethsmum Wed 23-Aug-06 19:37:23

Hi I was with PCO at 21 started ttc at 22 conceived at 24 had DD, before this I lost around 1.5 stone which helped my cycle. TTC again jan 2004 conceived in the july but m/c at 5 weeks.ttc again ,lost weight again and conceived DS in Jan 2005.

Before DS my cycles were v long and irregular could be up to 70 days!!

Since DS born 9 mths ago have had 2 periods about 6 wks apart.

Both kids conceived naturally but was prescribed clomiphene about 2 weeks before finding out about DS!!!

Metformin has been shown to be very useful and not many GPs are giving it so i'd go for it![smil]

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 23-Aug-06 20:51:45


PCOS is a very individualistic disorder and can affect each woman with it very differently.

Unfortunately (and that's an understatement) its a condition that does not go away and no one therapy or treatment will completely eradicate the cystic follicles associated with the condition. The cystic follicles assocaited with PCOS do disappear- only to be replaced by further cystic follicles. Polycystic ovaries can also appear larger than normal size (a normal sized ovary is about the size of a walnut). In my case as well I was told I had a higher risk of miscarrying because of PCOS.

I've always had irregular periods though did not realise the cause. After six months of ttc without luck the doc referred me to the subfertility unit and I went there six months later. It was only when I had tests done that PCOS was discovered (internal ultrasound scans and blood tests confirmed the diagnosis).

My cycles were pretty much non existant really - only had two or three periods a year at most and this is from the time I started menstruation.

Was not given clomid as was told it was not suitable for me to take (LH levels were sky high and clomid encourages such production).

Metformin may be worth considering especially if there is a degree of insulin resistance (not all PCOSers have IR but some do). Another possible option to ask them about is ovarian diathermy surgery. This is a keyhole surgery procedure whereby the surgeon punctures the cystic follicles on the ovaries with an electrical laser or needle. This can lower the excess amounts of LH in the bloodstream and hopefully kickstart ovulation.

I conceived following such surgery.

To you all-
You may want to look at Verity's website as this is the UK based support group designed for PCOSers and contains lots of information. Their web address is



pandaeyes Wed 23-Aug-06 21:46:43

Thanks all. That's v. interesting babyfettle about your ovaries being clear now, encouraging too.

Attilathemeerkat- I will definitely ask about such surgery. I guess I'm hesitating because my blood results are fine, I have regular cycles now (albeit a bit long), I definitely ovulate each cycle and have a normal lp. All in all, things seem better than when ttc no.1. However, I haven't conceived yet. Hmm- I'm still confused!

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 24-Aug-06 07:06:42


Some women with PCOS do have "regular" cycles but this does not necessarily mean that ovulation is happening on a regular basis. It could be in your case that ovulation is only happening occasionally if you're for instance having regular six week cycles. You can have on the other hand periods and not ovulate; this scenario is even more likely unfortunately with PCOS.

The surest way to determine whether you are ovulating or not is to have blood tests done. All other methods with regards to PCOS will not give you such a degree of accuracy. They also need to measure your progesterone levels. Has this been done?.

Have your LH levels also been compared against those of your FSH recently?. Both levels need to be compared as they may look okay individually. If LH and FSH are not compared then the test is not fully accurate.

Do ask them about surgery and metformin usage; the most common side effect of this is lots of bowel movements. Is this what primarily puts you off using it?.

angelcake99 Thu 24-Aug-06 12:21:57


I have pcos, only just found out. I wanted to know is it worth using things such as persona or shop bought fertility tests to see if I am ovulating? Or would they be a waste of money?

Sorry for butting in, but i will be watching this thread with interest.

Incidentally I have just lost a stone in weight and this month my cycle isnt so long as usual. Could weight loss have an effect that quickly?

Thanks []

pandaeyes Thu 24-Aug-06 13:24:55

ATM- I am 98% sure I have ovulated every month so far. I used to chart a lot and now that I know my body pretty well, I take my temp when I think I have O'd and it definitely goes up. My charts look perfectly normal except for the fact that I don't O til day 21 or 22ish. I am having progestorone checked this cycle. In the past it has been fine and confirmed ovulation. I had day 3 LH and FSH done a couple of weeks ago. They were v. good.

I will definitely ask about the surgery. They also want me to have a tubal check around day 7 next cycle to check my tubes are open (incase trying with metformin is futile I guess). Yep, don't fancy having a upset tummy constantly- I hate that! I just keep reading these PCOS threads and I don't feel like I fit in. I'm not overweight, not hairy, not spotty, my cycles seem to have improved since having DS. On the other hand, I haven't conceived after 4 cycles and I'm desperate for a baby!

angelcake- from what I read weight loss can help greatly- good news on the shorter cycles. How long are they now? As for persona etc, I would follow ATM's advice and get blood tests to confirm you are ovulating. If they show that you are, I would say persona and ovulation sticks might help. However, when I had 55 day cycles, i found those things v. stressful. I just go by checking cm and ovulation pains now.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 24-Aug-06 17:24:23

Hi Pandaeyes,

One of the problems with temp charting is you can get a temp rise in the second half of your cycle when an egg has not been shed.

Am glad to see that previous progesterone tests confirmed ov but you need up to date results. Hopefully they will prove affirmative.

What were your day 3 LH/FSH levels like?. Was LH higher than FSH?.

I did smile at this comment of yours, I know what you mean here:-
"just keep reading these PCOS threads and I don't feel like I fit in. I'm not overweight, not hairy, not spotty, my cycles seem to have improved since having DS. On the other hand, I haven't conceived after 4 cycles and I'm desperate for a baby!".

PCOS is a very individualistic disorder and affects each woman with it very differently although there are some commonalities. Not all PCOSers are overweight, spotty and hairy by any means!!!. I was only diagnosed with it on the basis of my irregular periods, an ultrasound showed the cystic follicles clearly.

As you are no doubt aware 4 months is not long at all in the great ttc scheme of things but if you have PCOS it is wise to seek treatment for it sooner rather than later. You are wise therefore to be asking about options.

They certainly need to measure your progesterone, my guess is that if your LH and FSH is awry then it will affect the progesterone later on in the cycle and show a negative ovulation result. BTW they like to see a level of 30 plus with regards to progesterone; this would indicate a positive ovulation. Anything below that would count as a negative.

The tubal check they're referring to is the HSG (its a tubal x-ray and is a most useful test to have done. Deformities inside the tube can only be seen on x-ray and it can give information not normally accessed easily by other methods). Having had one of these done the fear is far worse than the reality. The person trickles some dye through your cervix (they use a speculum) into your uterus thus giving a good view of the state of your uterus and fallopian tubes. The dye will come out of you; you should you a sanitary towel post procedure. You should also be given some painkillers beforehand; whilst it should not cause any great pain it can feel a bit uncomfortable.

Have had no personal experience of using met but have heard the side effects are mainly in the short term and may help PCOSers particularly if shown to be insulin resistant. However, not all PCOS patients show insulin resistance.


neolara Thu 24-Aug-06 22:09:43

I was diagnosed as having PCOS at 18 when I had "typical" symptoms e.g. very irregular periods, a bit over-weight etc. I was on the pill for nearly 15 years before trying to get pregnant. When I came off the pill, I had absolutely no PCOS symptoms. (I attribute this in a completely unscientific and un-checked-out-with-a-doctor way to getting fit enough to run a marathon a couple of years ago. My body turned from fat to muscle and my theory is that this somehow clicked all the hormone imbalance back into place.) I found I had very clear LH surges on ovulation tests. I know these can be unreliable for some women with PCOS who have consistently raised LH levels, but for me they worked well. I also had bloods taken which suggested my hormone levels were completely normal. My periods were not completely regular but fell within 24 to 30 day cycles. It took 3 months to conceive first time (ended in miscarriage), 3 months to conceive second time (dd), 1 month to conceive third time (ended in miscarriage) and 4 months to conceive fourth time (now 19 weeks pregnant). Like you, I was getting slightly panicky last time about the length of time it was taking to conceive, but then I read that on average it takes couples in their mid-twenties 6 months to fall pregnant and as I am 37 I think I probably over-reacted. I was also panicky about the role of PCOS in miscarriage, but I was lucky enough to be seen at a specialist recurrent miscarriage clinic. I was told that if you ovulate normally (which you seem to be from all your testing) then you should be no more at risk of miscarriage than someone who doesn't have PCOS.

Good luck with TTC and I hope it happens for you soon.

pandaeyes Mon 28-Aug-06 14:39:06

Sorry, I've only just been able to check the thread (computer probs)

ATM- I haven't got the results with me at the mo but I think FSH on day 3 was 4.5 (the clinic said that was good as my ovaries are obviously 'not struggling'). I forget the LH but I think was 1.something. Does that sound right/okay? Ithink I may have O'd yesterday so I'll be interested to see what the prog is like 7dpo! Thanks for the HSG info, that's really helpful. I hope they do give me some painkillers etc! I'm still questioning this metformin. My cycles have been 33-36 days for 15 months now. I know that is not brilliant but I don't want to take metformin if it's not likely to do any good. Do you know why I wasn't prescribed clomid instead?

Neolara- thanks for your message. It's v. encouraging and congrats on your pg. I think I need to chill out a bit but I'm terrified of not having another baby which I'm sure is just aggravating the pcos- arrgghh!

littleoops Sun 01-Oct-06 17:51:14

Hi, I have been diagnosed with PCOS for about 8 years now and I was on Metformin for about 3 of those years. I had the classic symptoms.... over weight, spots etc but my cycle was fairly regular at 35 days. I had strong insulin resistance and really struggled to lose any weight. The metformin (if you weren't sure) is actually a drug developed for the treatment of diabetes... it is taken after meal to help your body produce the correct amount of insulin after each meal and re-sensitise your body tissues to the insulin released into the blood. I also vastly reduced my carb intake as it is a high level of carbs which people with insulin resistance can't cope with.I lost 3 1/2 stone in 2 years with not very much additional exercise but the change in diet (which by the way was suported by my PCOS consultant).
I have just come off the pill and am going back onto Metformin to lose a stone before i ttc...again on advice from the consultant.
I did not experience any side effects with Metformin and would recommend it.. also really look at your diet... if you are a carb junky reducing especially refined sugar and processed carbs such as white bread, pasta and cake may help you.
As you lose weight, helped by the Metformin, your hormone levels will normalise, assisting a more 'normal' cycle and regular ovulation.
I suspect the reason that you haven't been prescribed Clomid is that it hyper stimulates the ovaries and if you are ovulating at all then they probably wont precribe that. They also tend to prescribe that if you need assissted conception . Hope that is helpful. Good luckx

sammy2509 Sun 01-Oct-06 22:14:04

Hello i was diagnosed with pcos 3 years ago after trying desperarley for a baby.Fertility examinations revealed mild pcos on one of my ovaries.I was prescribed clomid and took 100mg from day2 to day 7 of my cycle but after 6 months of trying still nothing had happened.I was took back for scans to see how the follicles were growing and was told i had a cyst the size of an orange on my ovary,as you can imagine it was not the news i wanted to hear.I stopped taking the clomid for one month to allow things to sort themselves out and like a miracle the cyst dissapeared.I then took a lower dose of clomid 50mg from day2 to day 7 and i caught pregnant straight away with my son who is now a year old.Please dont give up hope beacause i know better than anyone dreams can come true.good luck.

kirstin77 Mon 20-Mar-17 05:41:05

I am 31, and my husband is almost 38. We have been TTC for 5years. I was diagnosed with PCOS in February of 2010. We have tried Clomid, Femara, injections and 2 IUI's all with little luck, so i saw online about a spiritual healer name Oduma and i just had the mind set that there was not such thing as spiritual healer and pregnancy spell and cleanse , but i was out of options and i tried this online spell caster and requested for this spiritual healing and pregnancy spell and to my greatest surprise within the 2month i became pregnant and the doctor said it is a miracle they could not find anything as pcos or infertility in me, to clear the doubts of others out there who had the mind set of mine that there was no such thing as spiritual healing and pregnancy spell should think again, am a living testimony of the miracle and blessing of Oduma spells , there is never any harm in trying , for those going through similar situation as i was can contact Oduma on email or tel +2347055176615,website:, i pray baby dust on you all

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