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PCOS, underactive thyroid and fed up with ovulation sticks!

(6 Posts)
JustWant1 Wed 04-Sep-13 15:26:55

Help! ! !

Wondering if anyone could help me out?
My story: got told I had polycystic ovaries via a scan showing cysts. Got married, started trying with no luck. Went to docs, got hubby tested and all fine. Had a HSG - all clear. Bloods - showed underactive thyroid and got told its only a slight issue and if i wasnt trying to get preg then i wouldnt even need the tablets but because we are ttc I got on thyroxine - reviewed and all working as it should. Had ultrasound scan which showed no cysts! No polycystic ovaries so not sure if my symptoms were due to pcos or underactive thyroid as the only issue I had was irregular periods - no facial hair etc. slightly overweight but not had problem losing weight. Found a fibroid on the scan; was told it was 10cm and not a problem- shouldn't interfere with pregnancy and doesn't cause heavy periods so no issue. However got letter from consultant who wants to do a laparoscopy before progressing with any treatment! This has been going on for what seems a life time - ok so 8 months but still such a long time in infertility world.
Thyroxine seems to have regulated my periods which is great as something seems to be working!! I have had 33 day cycle for last few cycles! Thought I would try the clearblue ovulation sticks to see when I'm ovulating.. Got the flashing smiley for 6 days in a row...! Slightly confused as it says I should get it for four days and then have 2 days of a solid smiley! I am worried that the thyroxine has just caused my hormones to trick the test and I'm not actually ovulating, does that make sense? I want to know if I'm ovulating now so does the continuous flashing smileys mean I am producing too much oestrogen to ovulate? Is this possible? Has anyone had this before? And can anyone offer any advise in terms of my story? All I want is a BFP ;( help as I am seriously on the road to self-destruction!!!

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 05-Sep-13 15:45:05

OPKs are next to useless when it comes to such issues with fertility. I would stop using them as of now and not waste your money
further on such things. Sorry to say that but they really do not work out at all where PCO or PCOS is an issue.

The cystic follicles associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome can disappear - only to be replaced by further cystic follicles. This may be why one of your scans actually showed no cystic follicles at that time. Also such follicles can be very small and can be easily missed; it can take a highly skilled sonographer to spot them. One clue is the size of the ovary; a polycystic ovary does appear larger than normal i.e walnut size.

OPKs are beset with problems at the best of times and work on two misleading principles; namely that a rise in LH is followed by ovulation and that there is one rise in LH every month; both of these are simply not true.

OPKs measure LH: as many PCOSers have an excess of this hormone to begin with, the kit can measure this excess thus giving a false positive result.

I would talk to the cons at some length about the proposed lap operation in terms of what he intends to do with the fibroid (if others are seen) and what he intends to do if he sees cystic follicles on the ovaries i.e will these be punctured with an electrical laser or needle. That type of surgery however, is called laparoscopic ovarian diathermy and can be helpful for some PCOS patients.

They need to make sure also that your thyroxine dosage is correct; this needs careful monitoring.

NotWithoutMyMerkin Thu 05-Sep-13 15:53:42

To clarify, digital OPKs like the one you are using measure oestrogen (indicated by flashing smiley) and LH (indicates by fixed smiley).
OPKs work for lots of people, including those with PCOS. I would suggest trying for another cycle (and perhaps measuring temps) before asking the doc for tests to confirm if you are ovulating.

NotWithoutMyMerkin Thu 05-Sep-13 15:56:17

Sorry meant to say, you are not getting a false positive as you are not getting a fixed smiley. Hence I would be inclined to think you do not have excess LH levels being picked up by the OPK. I am not disputing what Attila says, just that you have not had a positive (false or not) and therefore may not have ovulated (yet) and the OPK could be working correctly

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 05-Sep-13 16:55:10

BTW JustWant1 are you under the care of a gynae currently?.

You should be seen on a regular basis and you should be monitored via blood tests and ultrasounds. Being left to get on with it is not acceptable if this is happening.

Would refrain from using the OPKs as well as they can cause you more stress. They are really more trouble than they are worth and they are indeed rubbish when it comes to PCOS.

JustWant1 Tue 10-Sep-13 00:50:48

Thank you so much for ur responses.
I tried my first month on opks due to finally having regular cycles; I got flashing smileys for 6 days then I got a solid smiley. I also got some twinges in my left side and some discharge. So this seems consistent with ovulation but you are right I don't know if I have definitely ovulated. The fact that I have been told I had pco makes me think that my body is playing tricks on me. I've never been told I had pcos; always pco so I was excited when they said there were no cysts on my ovaries.
I don't know whether to think that the thyroxine has sorted out my hormone levels or if its just my body playing mean tricks on me. I've been on this journey for what seems like a lifetime it seems silly to get my hopes up over a stupid ovulation stick. I don't think I'm going to continue checking. I have a pre op assessment for the laparoscopy soon so will raise the issues you have mentioned.
I had bloods done last week to monitor my thyroid levels and determine if I need a higher dosage so il see what happens.
What I really want to know is whether I do have pcos or if the symptoms were just that of underactive thyroid as they are similar. I don't have facial hair or acne etc its just irregular periods that I get and from what I have read the symtoms are similar. It seems impossible to get an appointment with my consultant right now but I think I need to sit down and demand some answers.

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