Saturday, November 21, 2009

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Photo: www.health-res.com

Once I started seeing a fertility specialist, a review of my menstrual history and some blood tests led my doctor to believe that I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). It's one of the most common causes of infertility in women. No one is 100% positive about what causes PCOS, because it's hard to tell which of the conditions that are associated with it are symptoms and which are causes... and not all women have the same combination of conditions. Once one hormone gets out of whack for whatever reason, it causes a chain reaction of other hormones not working. From what I've read about it, women with PCOS can have any or all of the following:
  • Anovulation (lack of ovulation)
  • Acne
  • Excessive amounts of androgenic hormones (particularly testosterone)
  • Insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Cysts (immature follicles) on the ovaries
  • Depression
And I'm sure there's more I'm missing (I'm not an expert), but that's the gist of it. I have the first half of the list. Geez! But I am SO thankful that I've never developed large cysts, because I've heard from friends that they can be extremely painful and there's not much you can do for them except wait until they resorb into your body. Ew.

The medications I'm taking for treament (Clomid and Metformin) have helped my hormones not be so out of whack. And they appear to be working now after a year of taking them in increasing doses. So, unless there's some other problem that we haven't found out about yet, this is my issue and is the only reason I haven't gotten pregnant in over 5 years. Hopefully this means that it'll only be a matter of time.

Doctors encourage you to see a fertility specialist if you've gone one full year with regular (frequent) unprotected sex and not gotten pregnant yet. Yeah... I waited way too long.





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