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PCOS and trying desperately to conceive

(24 Posts)
jojoandjohnny Wed 23-Feb-05 17:26:28

I have PCOS and came off my pill 5 months ago, I know that 5 months does not seem a long time but I have not had a period since giving up the pill!
Does this mean I cannot conceive because I am not ovulating yet?
I have an appointment with my Consultant on 4th March so is there anything I could ask for, I've heard alot about Clomid - does it work?
Also If there are any Women in Hull that want to talk and maybe meet up and swap ideas, let me know! Thanks, Jojo x

Preggars Wed 23-Feb-05 17:28:54

Hi Jojo,

Two of my best friends had pcos, and both have little ones. One took two years, then after the hormone boosting drug conceived straight away, and the other took two years, and fell completely naturally. Have everything checked out, as might be something very straight forward to sort.

Good luck to you both.

MeerkatsUnite Wed 23-Feb-05 20:39:50

Hi Jojo,

I sincerely wish PCOS was something straightforward to sort out - it often is not and it is not a problem that can be cured. The underlying causes of PCOS are not fully understood. It can only therefore be managed. It can be a hard journey both emotionally and physically.

If you are not having periods then you are not ovulating. Even having a period with PCOS is somewhat problematic as in such cases you are likley not to be ovulating. It does not always follow that having periods means you are ovulating.

Clomid is often the first line of treatment for PCOS patients BUT you need to bear in mind that this may not work out. Some PCOS patients can and do become clomid resistant over time. Clomid increases LH production; if your LH levels are sky high to start with then it may not work for you. This is certainly not the end of the line though; there are other treatments that can and should be tried. Clomid should be given for a maximum time of six months; if it hasn't worked after six months then it is unlikely to. You should be monitored with both blood tests and ultrasounds whislt on clomid and certainly not left.

I take it as read that the March appointment is the first one for you both. This is usually a question and answer session, they will doubtless arrange for you both to have further tests done.

Would strongly suggest you write down anything you want to ask no matter how trivial it may appear and to go with your man to this appointment (moral support is vital at such times and he can also ask questions).

Another suggestion I would make to you is to have a look at Verity's website. Verity is a UK based charity speficially for women diagnosed with PCOS. Their web address is www.verity-pcos.org.uk.

Arm yourself with knowledge, the more you know the better off you will be when it comes to making decisions.

It is certainly not an absolute barrier to conception, I am a parent (following ovarian diathermy surgery).

I wish you well, keep us posted

HTH

Meerkats (PCOS diagnosed 1997)

expatinscotland Wed 23-Feb-05 20:47:57

I have regular periods but have not ovulated (I've been off Pill since October), TTC for two cycles now. I'm not overweight, have a clear complexion, etc. I have marked ovarian pains each month around the time where O should be taking place, but no O.

Clomid can help you ovulate, but it can also dry up cervical mucus sperm need to swim up the vagina. This can be counteracted by drinking a couple of cups of green tea each day starting from the day your period ends, or taking a swig of Benylin cough syrup (NO decongestants, just the plain stuff - can't recall the active chemical's name, but it's guasomething or other) daily.

MeerkatsUnite Thu 24-Feb-05 07:02:22

Hi Expat,

Has anyone investigated the underlying cause of the non ovulation?.

Generally speaking PCOS is a very individualistic disorder. There is no one set profile that completely fits all. What may be a serious problem for one woman may not necessarily affect another.

There is actually no real basis in fact behind taking the decongestant - its a myth that's been floating around for years now. Clomid certainly can affect cervical mucus consistency also.

This is why it has to be taken with due care and attention (in terms of having further tests done throughout treatment. You should certainly not be left without any monitoring at all if placed on clomid).

Meerkats

runtus Thu 24-Feb-05 11:06:50

Jojo, just wanted to let you know you certainly are not alone. I too have been ttc for a while now (9 months) and I have just been diagnosed with PCOS. Just had my first consultation and I wanted to let you know it is not necesarilly all doom and gloom (as some would have you beleive!).
90% of women with PCOS conceive!

My consultant has run a sperm test on my othe half (to rule out any further problems), blood sugar level tests on me (to see if there is a sensitivity problem affecting the PCOS) and an ultrasound to see if there are any additional problems as well. This was all done after a full question and answer session about our general health, any genetic factors that could be involved and a general discussion of the type of PCOS I have. I imagine your Consultant will do much the same thing.........nothig to worry about and I found it to be very useful in filling in the gaps in my knowledge.

I have now been prescribed a 3 month course of Clomid (100mg as a 1st course of 50mg didn't work)and a course of Progesterone to get my periods to come on, if I am not pg by the end of each month.

I have also updated my diet slightly to lower my carbs intake, as I have read this can have a positive effect.

I hope this helps and let me know how your appointment goes - good luck!

bran Thu 24-Feb-05 11:29:14

I would also recommend a course of accupuncture, but you would need to find someone who is experienced in treating PCOS. I had a 6 week course of accupuncture and it made a huge difference to me (from 1 or 2 periods a year, and when they did happen it was a very slow bleed lasting about 3 or 4 weeks, to a period almost every month with a normal speed bleed lasting 5 or 6 days). I can't really say whether it would make any difference to fertility though as I'm not ttc.

There are also other things you can do to help your fertility, as runtus has said about diet. Regular, energetic exercise is very helpful for PCOS generally (and something that I'm really bad about doing ) as are various herbal remedies like Agnus Castus. Also I see that Collette Harris has a new book out called something like 'PCOS and your fertility', I haven't read it but her other PCOS books are very informative.

Best of luck.

MeerkatsUnite Thu 24-Feb-05 12:54:05

An important caveat re Agnus castus in relation to PCOS.

It is imperative you not self medicate with this particular herb as it can in some cases make the underlying problem of PCOS far worse.

If you want to use herbal remedies I would strongly suggest you seek the advice of a properly qualified medical herbalist.

fresco Thu 24-Feb-05 12:55:52

sorry to butt in, but is this thread if you not sure when you ov or even if u ov?thanks

bran Thu 24-Feb-05 13:04:59

Oops, sorry, I should have said what MeerkatsUnite said, as well as contra-indications a qualified professional will be able to tell you which brand to use as there are huge variations in quality of herbal remedies. The brand that I buy has to be bought over the phone and they won't supply it to me unless I give my naturopath's name.

jojoandjohnny Thu 24-Feb-05 15:35:24

Thanks for the advice everyone!!
Answering MeerkatsUnite, no it is actually my 2nd consultation. My first was in 2001 when I was 17 but because babies seemed a long way off, i didn't really ask any questions and just went straight onto Dianette and Metformin. Metformin started to give me panic attacks so I stopped taking it for a while. Back on it now and learning to control attacks as I heard it is a great help to kick start weight loss, lost a stone so far
With regards to the LH production, I have a kit which detects LH but I have had no detection of it whatsoever so Clomid may be of help.
I will let you all know how I get on after my Consultation, hopefully bring good news.
This time I will make sure I ask lots of questions relating to fertility and hormones. x

Laylasmum Thu 24-Feb-05 15:49:02

hi!! sorry for butting in late but i have PCO and did conceive naturally 1st dd but it took 2 yrs. am now going to start clomid when my next period comes. By far the thing that helped me the most was loosing weight so if your overweight try and get down to a healthy BMI between 20-25 and you will see an improvement in your cycles!!!

MeerkatsUnite Thu 24-Feb-05 16:25:18

Hi Jojo,

Read your message with great interest. You were put on two standard treatments at the time. Was wondering if there are any insulin resistance issues with your good self (I only say this as you were put on Metformin - did they test you properly beforehand?).

The kit you are referring to re LH - is this an ovulation predictor kit?. If it is, I would urge you not to use it. With PCOS patients in particular such kits are not worth using at all as these kits read LH hormone. As many PCOSers produce an excess of LH to start with, these kits will only therefore read the excess levels.

I wish you all the very best with your next consult.

Meerkats

expatinscotland Thu 24-Feb-05 16:31:09

I thought I had to wait a year TTC before they'd see me? Thing about that is, I'll be 35 by then. Am wondering if I don't O soon, if can go get tested just for that w/o having been a year TTC?

Laylasmum Thu 24-Feb-05 16:39:52

Expat don't mean to sound too personal but are you doing it at the right times? if your cycle isn't the textbook 28 days then you won't be ovulating on day 14. I'm sure you probabaly know all this with regards blood tests your GP could run some basic tests such as thyroid function and a hormone screen specifically a progesterone level which could indicate if you are ovulating!! HTH

expatinscotland Thu 24-Feb-05 16:49:54

It is textbook 28 days. It's never failed me once since I was 11 years old - except when I got pregnant w/dd. I've beeing using OPKs. No O. No EWCM, either. It doesn't surprise me, b/c the periods I've had have not lasted very long at all compared to before I fell pg w/dd.

MeerkatsUnite Thu 24-Feb-05 17:44:37

Hi Expat,

I would agree with Laylasmum re seeking medical advice. You need to know for certain if non ovulation is taking place and why this is.

If your GP is unhelpful insist on a referral to a gynae.

HTH
Meerkats

Snowbell Fri 25-Feb-05 16:18:52

I had PCOS. I was diagnosed after blood tests and a visit to a gynacologist. I was single at the time so Clomid wasn't appropriate. I tried acupuncture but it didn't help me. I then started visiting a medical herbalist for a period of a few months. He gave me tinctures of agnus castus, blue (not black) cohosh, and other things that I can't remember. This cured the PCOS absolutely and after a few months I was having proper, regular periods. I continued to take agnus castus, buying from Boots. When I wanted to conceive, years later, it happened on the second attempt! I just want to say, the alternative route is well worth exploring.

MeerkatsUnite Fri 25-Feb-05 17:05:03

I would agree with you re the medical herbalist but would have to say that PCOS is not curable. At best it can be managed. No one therapy or treatment will completely eradicate PCOS.

munnzieb Sun 06-Mar-05 14:41:00

JoJo, how did u get on at the Dr's? if u don't mind letting us know what happened? (my firneds in the same boat, and has to wait 6 months for an appointment. and she's slightly worried)

AML Sun 06-Mar-05 16:05:30

Hi Jojo and all,

I was diagnosed with PCOS last Jan after no periods for 2.5 yrs. Was originally on dianette but it made me feel really ill so came off it and tried the diet route. For me that has worked and I concieved naturally in October.

I agree one of the best things you can do is get informed a good book to start with is PCOS, a womans guide to dealing with.... by Colette Harris. Meerkats asked if someone had insulin resistance (IR), there are some studies now that show a link between PCOS and IR but they can't say if it is a cause or effect or both.
Also there is alot of anecdotal evidence that being on the pill can mean the symptoms of PCOS get worse when you come off it, one of the factors in my decision to stop dianette.

Sorry if this seems scary. My consultant said that the best thing you can do is try to lose weight if your BMI is poor and to follow a good GI diet this will help if you have IR issues.
Just remember you are not alone about 10% of women have PCOS.
Good luck.
AML

malinki Fri 11-Mar-05 07:49:02

Hi JoJo, I have had PCOS now for 10 years, started out on the pill (like you do) and then came off the pill at 25, had regular periods for a couple of months then nothing at all, went to the doctors, they did the routine hormone blood tests, wasn't pregnant and 7 months had gone by without any sign of AF. Tests came back and I was referred to a Gynie, had ultrasounds etc and PCOS was confirmed. I had 6 months of Clomid (didn't work), had 6 months of Synarel Nasal Spray (didn't work, just made me sick), then 2 years of Metformin. I had 2 lap & dyes, of which they discovered I also had endometriosis and on the 2nd Lap and Dye they were able to drill my ovaries, I conceived 2 months later whilst still taking Metformin, the whole process from start to finish was 5 years and Abigail Chloe was born in August 2000. Well I'm back again and ttc #2, been going through this for over a year and I've already been sent to see a Gynie and IVF clinic (things move quicker the 2nd time around or they are doing for me) I have been on clomid (didn;t work again) and now I'm straight onto Metformin and having trouble with the sickness side of things, but don't worry, side effects don't effect everyone, I think its more down to the brands. With Clomid, if you work, be prepared as you have to have scans / ultrasounds on certain days of your cycle etc, with Met, I have to have blood tests every 3 months to check my Kidneys, anyway good luck with the PCOS, don't forget PCOS can only be controlled and not cured.

jojoandjohnny Mon 14-Mar-05 16:29:25

Hello everyone!!!
Had my Consultant Appt the other day, turns out I may not even have PCOS! We had a long chat and she said that the ultrasound scans are not very diagnostic and because I had never had a problem with my skin or excess hair then I may not even have PCOS. I have to have a blood test in 2 months (around 1st May 05) then go for another Consultant Appt around 1st June 05 to discuss results. I was also told to come off Dianette and Metformin completly and see what happens. They don't want to put me on any other hormone because I am only young and my weightloss should kick start my natural menstruation.
I am really hoping I do not have PCOS, just have to wait and see. Consultant said I could even be pregnant before end of this year )
Will let you all know!!! xxx

MamaMaiasaura Mon 14-Mar-05 16:35:03

sorry if hijacking just saw malinki's post. Hi malinka - i have pcos too and been prescribed metformin although not ttc. not met anyone else who has been prescribed it for pcos. I managed to concieve ds. xp were not trying having been told 'i couldnt' concieve without treatment. Really want another but 29 now. Got another year of uni and then want to get a job.. how long should me and partner wait before seeing specialist? I havent ever had regular periods and ds in now 5 and have about 12 cycles in last 5 years.

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