September is PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) awareness month, so I felt compelled to write a blog post on this topic, since it is something that I was diagnosed with during our infertility journey.
I had never even heard of PCOS until our first visit with our infertility doctor. During our initial visit, he asked me a few questions about whether I had struggled with acne (ugh, the worst), unwanted hair growth (thank goodness for laser hair removal) and/or irregular periods. Unfortunately I had to say yes to all of these fun things, except I hadn’t really realized that I had irregular periods because I had been on the pill most of my life. So until I went off the pill when Todd and I started trying, I didn’t really put two and two together. A quick date with “Wanda” (transvaginal ultrasound), and my doc was able to diagnose me with PCOS. He saw the tell-tale sign that my ovaries were covered with what look like a pearl necklace (or small cysts). Nooooo. I immediately asked myself….What does it mean for me and our ability to start our family? I googled the shit out of PCOS that weekend. Luckily, our doc was optimistic that once they were able to regulate my cycles with meds and get me to ovulate, we would be able to conceive. Luckily, he was right (our first month on Fermara and Ovidrel I got pregnant, and then again two months later on Follistim and Ovidrel), but unfortunately, we miscarried both of those times. One was a chemical pregnancy, and the other we lost at 8.5 weeks due to trisomy 16, so after many more failed attempts we decided to move on to IVF, which resulted in a viable pregnancy so far (19 weeks tomorrow!).
Not only was starting our family going to be more challenging due to PCOS, but there are lots of other really unfortunate side effects that go with PCOS like:
So, basically PCOS causes hormonal imbalances that impacts a ton of things going on in your body. Luckily there are some awesome resources out there to help you overcome the challenges that come with it. For example, eating a paleo-like diet (high in protein, low in carbs/sugar) can be really beneficial for those who suffer from PCOS because it reduces the insulin levels in your body that cause some of these side effects/symptoms. I hate that I love sugar so much (but I do), and eating a diet rich in protein is hard for me (I don’t really crave meat), but I know it’s the best thing for my bod and to combat PCOS and helping me avoid diabetes in this pregnancy and later in life. This type of diet can also help with weight maintenance and loss. Except for when I was prescribed Adderall, weight loss has been such a challenge for me. I’ve realized that there’s an underlying reason for that, and it’s all up to me and the foods I fuel my body with that can make a difference.
Also, with the right doc and meds for your bod, you can regulate your cycle so you can ovulate, helping your odds of conceiving. It’s just important for you to have a good pulse on your body and what’s going on so you can see a doc sooner than later. Another bonus? You'll likely get a lot of eggs at egg retrieval because of the number of follicles you have, helping your chances of making that IVF cycle a success. Yay!
For more support and resources you can visit the following websites:
And remember, you’re not alone! PCOS impacts 1 in 10 women. With the proper support, education and lifestyle changes we can combat PCOS and all of the yucky side effects that go with it!
Note: I am in no way, shape or form a doctor. I wish. This is not medical advice or anything of that sort. If you think you may have PCOS, consult with your doctor. Image credit @misspcos on Instagram,
Hi, welcome to my blog! I started my blog as a way to channel my creativity and document our life happenings. From the pretty, styled shots to the real, raw experiences, too, like our journey to start our family. I love to share about my faith, my personal style for interior decorating, holidays and entertaining & for our little guys. too. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your support. XO, Lindsay