PCOS and Infertility is a messy subject and it’s not always pretty, but no journey is. And this is my journey. Fair warning, I am not a medical professional nor am I claiming to be one. This is fully based on my experiences.
It was never a question IF I would have children, but a question of when. Coming from a large Southern family, it was expected of me and that was ok because I wanted a family. I felt called to be a mom.
I got married at 20 and it baffled my family that I chose to put off having children for a few years. At that point, I thought I had plenty of time. I was a newlywed and I wanted to enjoy that. I also wanted to finish school, enjoy being young, and get settled into a home before I started having children. I knew that my life wouldn’t be the same once children entered the picture.
By the time I turned 25, I started having baby fever and it was taking up permanent residence in my heart.
Growing up my cycle was never regular, but I didn’t think much of it. To me this had always been the norm, but I knew it wasn’t right. I saw the trouble my friends went through every month and I didn’t have to worry about it. Obviously, I was the lucky one. Still, I knew where babies came from and what needed to happen in order for me to become a mom. My first step was just to regulate my cycle so I went to my gynecologist and was put on birth control. No one ever explained to me why I wasn’t having a cycle (by this time I had gone to the doctor since I was 16 trying to get this question answered), but they knew how to get it to start. At the time, that was all I wanted since my husband wasn’t ready to have kids, and we still had time so the pill was the best answer.
In 2012, my marriage ended and at the time I thought I had lost my chance at a family. I had spent the last seven years waiting for him to be ready and now it’s never going to happen. I was a wreck. It was during this time that I started talking to one of my friends and began noticing the similarities between our cycles and symptoms. She had been diagnosed with PCOS within the last couple of years and suggested that I go to the gynecologist. So off I went.
I was just looking for some answers. What is going on with my body? Why is this happening to me? How can I fix it? Honestly, she didn’t have all the answers to my questions, but she did reassure me that many women with PCOS are able to conceive through the use of medicine and fertility methods. All I had to do is let her know when I was ready and we would start treatment. This was amazing news to me. I wasn’t hopeless! I had a chance!
When I remarried in 2014, I knew that I didn’t want to wait to have children. After discussing what PCOS is and how difficult it could be to get pregnant, my husband and I decided to start the fertility process. Neither one of us knew what to expect. We just knew that we would do whatever it takes to have a family. If we only knew then what we know now.
In February 2015, I had my first visit with my doctor to discuss our options. Let me just say, that going into this first appointment, I honestly thought it was going to be as easy as waving a magic wand and saying some magic words and BAM! Pregnant. Not quite.
During my first fertility consultation, I was told that we were going to start small. I started taking Provera for the first 10 days of every month. This would cause my body to have a cycle instead of using birth control and then we would reevaluate. I was disappointed when I left her office, but trusted that she knew what was best (after all, she’s the one with the M.D., not me). She wanted me to continue taking Provera for 6 months and to work on losing some weight. My follow-up visit yielded no results. Nor did the months following that. I wasn’t ovulating.
By September of 2015, it was obvious that Provera alone was not working for me. I had started a high protein diet (good for women with PCOS) and working out 5 days a week. I hadn’t had great results (only 17 lbs down), but I knew that every bit counted and it was going to be worth it. Little did I know what my next doctor visit would have in store for me.