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Help for my friend

(17 Posts)
2015diary Tue 04-Nov-14 10:33:03

I just have a couple of questions. My friend has been ttc and has been told she has polycystic ovaries. She has been refused help until she loses weight. I think she has to lose at least 5/6 stone before they'll help her.
She told me that her and her Dh have bought some medication off the internet which I think would be something like clomid. She said it stimulates the ovaries to ovulate as she wasn't ovulating and has irregular periods.
I did say she needs to check it out with her gp but she said that the website they got it from is an American doctor approved website and they've gone over all the risks and side effects.
I know she's desperate for a baby and while she is losing weight she wants to get started on getting help but the doctors are refusing until she's lost a certain amount. Is that what they normally do? Why can't they start to help her while she is losing weight? And how daft is she to have bought something off the internet? I'm worried she's going to cause damage by not knowing what she's doing. What can I say to her or should I just. Butt out?

Kewcumber Tue 04-Nov-14 10:36:32

She needs to speak to someone with a specialism in PCOS and fertility. Clomid is not necessarily very succesful in overweight women with PCOS (or at least erratically helpful).

She needs a referal to a gynaecologist or endocrinologist and to ask about Metformin whilst she losing weight - my periods returned (previously 9 months apart) within weeks of starting metformin and whilst losing a moderate amount of weight.

RawCoconutMacaroon Tue 04-Nov-14 10:37:24

Is this for real? It would be utter stupidity to take clomid without the proper medical input. She could end up hyper ovulating and conceiving a large number of babies, which realistically would be doomed- the risks of multiple pregnancies are huge.

Kewcumber Tue 04-Nov-14 10:39:31

There is also a limit to how long you can take Clomid (6 months?) so she doesn't want to waste it - best to start losing weight first and ask about metformin.

I'd be surprised if they expect her to lose 5/6 stone first though I suppose it does depend on how much overweight she is.

In my experience but it does vary by GP, they would expect you get get below a BMI of 35.

RawCoconutMacaroon Tue 04-Nov-14 10:40:17

Also, the diet is very important. Cutting carbs, losing weight and thereby normalising blood sugar levels will reduce, or eliminate her Pcos, and there's a good chance ovulation will normalise.

2015diary Tue 04-Nov-14 10:52:14

She is very overweight. I was quite surprised when she said what they'd done as yes I do think its stupid but I do also understand her desperation. The thing is they won't refer until she's lost weight so I assume they will also not prescribe her anything like metformin (I've never heard of that so do t know anything about it) I can mention it to her because she will probably not know about it either.

Kewcumber Tue 04-Nov-14 10:53:07

to be clear - when I say "erratically helpful" I was including over stimulation in that. I didn't hyper stimulate on Clomid but I did with stonger drugs (massively) and it's known to be a higher risk factor with PCOS

2015diary Tue 04-Nov-14 10:53:22

I think they've told her that losing weight will help and she has lost a bit already but she still has a lot to lose before they'll help.

Kewcumber Tue 04-Nov-14 10:54:06

You can't eliminate PCOS - its genetic. It a way of ensuring survival of the human race during famines!

Kewcumber Tue 04-Nov-14 10:55:15

They should prescribe Metformin when she's overweight - it can even help with weight loss. If her doctor hasn;t suggested it then they don;t know enough about PCOS.

Tell her to contact Verity the self help group for PCOS

2015diary Tue 04-Nov-14 10:57:59

Kewcumber I did say to her that she needed to be under medical supervision with that sort of drug but she said the website had gone through all the risks and how to use it properly. I don't know if they actually spoke to an American doctor or if it was just what the website said.

2015diary Tue 04-Nov-14 10:59:15

Thanks kewcumber I will. I'll talk to her again and see else she says and I'll definitely tell her to get in touch with verity. Thanks for your help.

Kewcumber Tue 04-Nov-14 11:21:57

RawCoconutMacaroon Tue 04-Nov-14 12:40:07

Yes Kew, of course there are genetic factors, there always are, but diet is a huge factor... As with many endocrine disorders, the interaction between genes and environment is so complex that it's hard to tell if (for an individual) dietary modification will help a little, a lot or not at all. But it's worth trying surely? Costs little and will do no harm.

For many people a high carb diet (in conjunction with their genetics), is the cause of the insulin resistance that lies at the root of many health problems. As a society we are profoundly metabolically disordered. Pcos may be a marker for underlying metabolic disorder rather than a cause of metabolic disorder... Without a high carb, processed western diet, those people wouldn't have got sick in the first place, regardless of their genes.

Drugs like Metformin to lower blood sugar have a role to play but they are a sticking plaster, and all drugs have side effects. Surely better try and see if diet modification works for an individual (it might not, but it might work better than a drug regime).

Although I do realise my crazy views go very much against the "call everything a disease and sell them a pill, in fact sell them lots of pills" ethos prevalent in modern health care smile!!!

Kewcumber Tue 04-Nov-14 15:07:49

I wasn;t diagreeing that diet (and actually just as effectively exercise) will help I was just correcting your statement that she could eliminate her PCOS. You can't it's genetic - of course it doesn't mean you can't improve it.

Some people have always been insulin resistant regardless of diet exercise or modern way of life (plenty of evidence of type two diabetes prior to our current) and there is a strong view (discussed with me 25 years ago when I was first diagnosed) that PCOS is natures way of making sure that some women start ovulating in famines to ensure a continuing supply of children.

Saying diet and exercise is a very good starting point but when you are desperate then it pointless telling people to take 2+ years to lose weight (when they've probably tried and failed many times) before trying anything else is pointless.

I'm just pointing out that Metformin may have more effect on both weight and PCOS than clomid (and can be taken for a longer time). It is in fact now licenced for the treatment of PCOS.

allchatnicknamesgone Tue 04-Nov-14 18:55:15

I suggest you show her this thread and MN in general! There is a wealth on info on here and it sounds like she needs it.

QuietNinjaTardis Tue 04-Nov-14 19:18:16

I have pointed her in mumsnets direction before but I dont know if she's visited yet. Will find out though wink

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