Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Prognosis

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog titled "Yes We Do" about the difficulties we are having with trying to conceive a child. Earlier this week I had a doctor's appointment. My symptoms have changed since I first stopped birth control, so my doctor wanted to do another full exam. Back in March when I visited her and informed her that we want to have a baby, she did a sonogram to look at my uterus and ovaries. I too was able to see it all on the screen and she said everything looked good and healthy.

She did another sonogram on Monday. She said the lining of my uterus isn't too thick, which is good, and she will have me continue to take Provera to help me have a monthly period. She then scanned over to one of my ovaries. It looked noticeably different from last time. Even I could tell. It looked something like this. The other look just the same. I thought it looked like a alien was in my stomach.



I have what is called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). It affects 1 out of 10 women. A woman with a normal cycle would produce follicles in the ovaries which fill with fluid and then release an egg along with the fluid during ovulation, and if that egg is not fertilized, 14 days later she will start her period. What happens with me is I develop these follicles and they fill with fluid, but because of a hormonal imbalance they do not develop and/or release an egg. The follicle then stays on my ovary and becomes a cyst. In the picture above all the black spots are the cysts. I have about 9-12 on each. You can see the difference between a normal ovary and a polycystic ovary in the picture below. I personally think it is disgusting. Look how it is like bubbly! I have been haunted by what it looks like all week.



So what now you might wonder? Well PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility in women. Therefore, it will be more difficult for me to get pregnant because I am not ovulating very often. I will most likely be put on a hormone pill first which will help my body produce and release eggs. This is where multiple birth become a possibly...yikes! If that does not work for us, we would need to do something a little more invasive like in vetro fertilization. I am also going to have my insulin levels tested because PCOS impacts the body's use of insulin which can lead to diabetes.

You might also wonder why I am 28 years old and just now finding this out. As a teen and when the symptoms first stared to be apparent, I honestly didn't think much about it. I figured it was a normal teenage hormonal thing. I soon stared to use ProActive which masked those symptoms, but each time I stopped my face quickly broke out again. The irregular periods I always blamed on being athletic. I was always a runner. I ran everyday, almost, before I got married.

You might also wonder why it wasn't apparent when I had my check up in March. Well, I had been on birth control for 3 years and birth control actually helps the symptoms. It doesn't cure it. There is no cure for PCOS, but while on birth control no cysts developed because I wasn't ovulating. In March I had stopped the pill the month prior so everything looked fine, and as the months continued to pass my cycles became more and more inconsistent as my hormones went back out of whack and the cysts built up.

Again, I share my story with you because like me there could be someone struggling with the same issues. I do wish that doctors took more opportunities to use the sonogram on their patients. It took my doctor 5 seconds to look at my ovaries and realize my issue. I am very grateful she did. She is a great lady.

The game plan: I will continue to take Provera so I will have a period. I am doing a lot of blood work to rule out other problems. I cannot get pregnant until March as it is because I received my Rubella vaccine a few weeks ago. I am going to get healthy. I want to start running again and improve my eating habits as those have an affect on ovulation. Then, in March we will then begin fertility assistance.

To read more about PCOS click here.

8 comments:

  1. That was one of the things they thought was causing my infertility. My aunt has it too and she's had 4 healthy kids!

    Getting into good lifestyle habits will help a lot. Just don't run too much, running too much can have a negative effect on ovulation.

    I'm glad you figured it out. We'll keep you in our prayers to be able to get pregnant quickly! How lucky that you found out reasonably quickly as to what the problem is!

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  2. Melody- Thank you so much for sharing! I have so many friends who have the same or similar problems. We haven't tried having kids yet, but I may very well have something similar. I know that you will touch hearts through your story. Best of luck! :)

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  3. I am so glad you found out what the issue is. I have so many friends who still do not know what's going on or didn't find out for years! We will keep you and Nathan in our prayers. I know you two will be wonderful parents!

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  4. Hopefully all works out for you! I will say a prayer for you and your husband!

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  5. i just found your blog through kendi's remix list.
    i hope things go well for you getting pregnant, isn't it so nice to have an answer to these medical issues we all have?
    i'm going to add you to my reader so i can keep up with your 30/30! ;)

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  6. I just went out birth control about 2 months ago and my hormones are doing some crazy stuff!!!!

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  7. I'm so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Have faith and be of good cheer, two of my sister-in-laws have PCOS and they both have children now. Thank you for sharing your story. I think it is something that can help a lot of people. Lot of prayers and hug your way!

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  8. hi sorry :[

    im sure with your changed lifestyle things will get better! God bless!

    AlphabetSoup Style

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