What is PCOS and why is getting pregnant so hard?

Did you know that September is PCOS awareness month?

pcos-awareness

At 26 years of age, I had never heard of PCOS.  All I knew was that having gotten married at 23, it had been three years and I was ready to have a baby.  My husband thought I was addicted to pregnancy tests. Seriously!  You know you have a problem when you ask if you can buy pregnancy tests in bulk from Sam’s Club. FYI…you can’t.  It wasn’t because we were two people getting busy all the time, but I just kept skipping periods. I’d go one month, then two months, then three without having a period. Surely I was pregnant!  Take a test and the words read clear “NEGATIVE”. So what was wrong with me?  Why was I missing periods, and why couldn’t I get pregnant?

I was about to find out.

My mom had mentioned my crazy periods to my cousin Jennifer, a.k.a. Dr. Hayes, a local gynecologist. My cousin Jen said she thought it sounded a lot like PCOS. I wasn’t having it.  “There is nothing wrong with me,” I thought in my mind. But after nudging from my mother, my aunt and my cousin, I surrendered and went to her office to have an ultrasound. She was right. I had a hereditary condition called “Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome,” often called “PCOS.”  At the time there wasn’t as much info on it as there is now. Did you know that Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is the number one cause of infertility in women?  Sadly, it often goes undetected or misdiagnosed.

The news was devastating. I was married and starting wanted to have a baby.  When I was younger I dreamt of having two or three kids.  I remember when I found out I had PCOS I thought, “Will I ever be able to have kids?”  For a while I was quite depressed, but my cousin Jen was encouraging and put me on a course to help reverse my PCOS symptoms. I started taking a pill that is often prescribed for diabetes called Metformin.  See, what happens is many women with PCOS have too much insulin in their bodies because they have a problem breaking the insulin down. The excessive insulin then produces too many androgen hormones which cause your body to stop ovulating and for tiny little unformed eggs to turn into cysts in your ovaries.  It also causes many other symptoms like acne and weight gain to name a few. Sounds fun huh?  No.

Pregnancy PhotoLucky for me after three months of being on Metformin and losing some weight, I was able to get pregnant. I call my daughter my “miracle baby.”  The pregnancy was considered “high-risk,” not only because I had high blood pressure, but also because I had PCOS.  Normally, I am a worrier.  But funny enough as it was, I was so excited to be pregnant that I didn’t have enough time to worry about all the “high-risk.”  I felt healthier being pregnant than I ever remember feeling before. (Well, there was that one time when I had morning sickness at work!)  Other than being on bed rest the last week before being induced, the complications seemed non-existent.  Then again, my doctor (a.k.a. Cousin Jen) took really good care of me and never let me think there was anything to worry about.

So we have beautiful healthy daughter, and one will be all we will have.  Thanks to inheriting my family history of battles with insulin, my daughter now has to watch her sugar really closely as she has insulin resistance.  I’m proud of her for staying on top of it so well.

So to all the moms and wannabe moms out there who are trying to get pregnant and taking test after test. Don’t get discouraged, if it happened for me, it can happen for you.  All things are possible, have faith!

Kaylea and Mommy 3-19

So tell me, what struggles did you have with your pregnancy?  

Post sponsored byHR EndlessLove2 (2)
Summer
Summer M. is a working mom who spent much of her childhood on an adventure living in Central and South America. After graduating with a degree in Communications/Public Relations, Summer decided to move to Clearwater. She soon met Eric who was born and raised in Saint Petersburg, Florida. Since he was so good at keeping her laughing she decided to marry him and make Tampa Bay her permanent home. Their daughter, the gifted and gorgeous 8 year-old Kaylea, keeps them educated and entertained along the way! When she's not out promoting Tampa Bay and Pasco County as a great place to live, work, and play, you can find her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or check out the children's book she published with her own mom at www.kayleagrowsup.com.

1 COMMENT

  1. I am 23 and have PCOS. I am actually pregnant with Baby 2. I was so worried after reading about PCOS that I would also never had children. I changed my diet, was exercising a little more (I am of average weight anyway but still), and made sure to keep hubby in check when I was in between periods 😉 After a MC in 2011 I was very hesitant and questioned if I wanted to risk going through that again. Needless to say I have a happy, healthy little boy who is almost one and number two will be here in February. A lot of scares – high risk here too – but certainly worth it.
    Glad you got your little girl!

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