The day was dreary and it was misting as I waited impatiently on the phone listening to terrible “hold music.” I was nervous and scared. I had received a message on my voicemail telling me that my ultrasound came back and that I needed to call the nurse back. I waited for my fate to be told to me by a complete stranger.
After 18 minutes of “hold music” the nurse finally came onto the line. I gave her all of my personal information and finally, she gave me my results. “You have multiple follicles and a small cyst on your ovary,” said the nurse. She went onto say, “your symptoms indicate polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). I continued to listen to the nurse, but I couldn’t concentrate after those words. All I could think of was, this is why we can’t get pregnant. It’s my fault, something is wrong with me.
I was standing on the sidewalk waiting for my bus when I got the news and tears started streaming. In all my humility I walked onto the bus and took an inside seat hoping no one would sit by me, but just as I thought that, someone sat down right next to me. She was a middle-aged woman that I had seen a few times on the bus, but had never talked to. I called my mom right after receiving the call and gave her the news as tears continued to stream down my face.
As I was walking off the bus, the woman who was sitting next to me turn around and handed me a small piece of paper and asked me to read it when I got into the car. I walked to my car and opened the note. The message was simple. “I am praying for you.” God sent me angel that afternoon right when I needed one to bring me a bit of peace.
I went into the clinic later that week to meet with my doctor. She recommended that we try a round of Clomid. I had to wait to get my cycle and then start the medication on day five. I waited and waited. But, no period came. Many women with PCOS have very irregular periods, so I assumed that was the reason. But, then I started feeling different symptoms….sore breasts, a keen sense of smell, and a loss of appetite. Finally, I allowed my mind to consider that I may be pregnant. I waited until day 41 until I finally tested and to my amazement two lines appeared. I was pregnant….naturally with PCOS.
I share that story to give all of you hope if you are trying to get pregnant and have been diagnosed with PCOS. It can happen, I know because it happened for us naturally. Don’t lose hope. God will send you your angel at the exact right time.
What is PCOS exactly?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine system disorder among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have enlarged ovaries that contain small collections of fluid — called follicles — located in each ovary as seen during an ultrasound exam.
Infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods, excess hair growth, acne, and obesity can all occur in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. In adolescents, infrequent or absent menstruation may raise suspicion for the condition.
The exact cause of polycystic ovary syndrome is unknown. Early diagnosis and treatment along with weight loss may reduce the risk of long-term complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
*Definition provided by mayoclinic.org
What I know about PCOS
I am not going to pretend to be an expert about PCOS, because I definitely am not. After I was diagnosed I was almost immediately pregnant. But, now that I’m through my postpartum period, I have learned more and more.
- Research tells us that nutrition makes a significant difference in the symptoms of PCOS. I visited with a nutritionist this week and this was her advice: 11 servings of fruits and vegetables a day (1/2 cup servings), four grains, one serving of legumes, one serving of nuts, two servings of dairy, one serving of protein, and one sugary treat. Many women with PCOS struggle with weight gain and insulin resistance, so it’s essential to maintain a healthy diet.
- Exercise is essential.
- Many women with PCOS have gluten or dairy intolerances
- Women with PCOS are five times, let me repeat that, five times more likely to suffer from a mood disorder
- Many women have acne and excess hair growth or hair loss
- PCOS is linked to infertility
- There is no cure.
- Different medications may help with symptoms of PCOS
I know this is a very brief list, but this is what I have learned throughout my research. I’m still learning everyday. Right now I’m concentrating on my diet and exercise. I have been limiting dairy and gluten and I can tell you that I have seen improvement in my acne. Luckily I haven’t experienced excess hair growth or hair loss. I have however experienced the mood disorders.
Although living with PCOS isn’t the easiest thing all the time, it is doable. Be kind to yourself and be patient. One piece of advice I have gotten repeatedly is that you need to take care of yourself. That means a healthy diet, adequate sleep and exercise, and other self care techniques to lower stress levels.
I wanted to share my experience as September is PCOS Awareness month. The more women who share their experiences the more we’ll learn about this condition. One day their may be one solution or even a cure to this condition.
Three items I’m grateful for:
- Friday night date nights with Matt and Owen
- New friendships
- The crisp fall air
Blessings to you and all of your loved ones,