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My PCOS Story
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Member Name: lmurphy72
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Advantages: Absolute none!!
Disadvantages: One massive headache, low confidence and self-esteem issues etc........
In 1992 after suffering a very irregular menstrual cycle for a number of years I was encouraged to go along to my doctors to try and find out the cause of this. At this time I had also put on weight suddenly and started to experience hirsutism (facial hair). I was referred to a gynacologist who advised me that I had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and told that with this condition I would probably never be able to have children! As I was only 20 yrs old, single and kids weren't even on my radar I remember being concerned but not deeply upset - strange!
However I went on and met my husband in 1994 and told him almost immediately that if he wanted children then the relationship was going nowhere. He accepted this and as I couldn't fall pregnant I did not use contraception. I began to feel unwell in Aug 96 and to my total disbelief I found out I was pregnant and my daughter was born the folllowing April! However during the next 5 years I began to put on more weight and the facial hair began to get worse. My periods were not as irregular or infrequent as I had used contraception since my 'surprise pregnancy'.
In 2000 I had began to get really down about PCOS and had been back and fro to the doctors and decided to take the matter into my own hands. I joined a gym and lost some weight although I could never seem to reach any targets that I set. I tried every diet you could think of and often ate very little to find that the weight would continue to pile on. I also started going to a beautician for electrolysis which got rid of the facial hair.
In 2002 we decided that we would like to try for another child and I stopped using contraception. It happened unexpectedly once before who says it cant happen again was my motto! However, after a year of trying on our own I went to my GP who was extremely sympathetic. I was referred to a gynocologist again and the PCOS Clinic at my local hospital where my husband and I had to undergo tests. Everytime I attended I was weighed and I was advised that losing weight would assist me in falling pregnant - if only it was that easy. This is one of the most frustrating parts of this illness that people assume that you are not making the effort when I knew in my heart I was trying 110%. Finally I was told that as my husband and I had a child together that there was nothing they could do for us and that I wasn't eligible for IVF. However they did suggest trying metform which is often given to people with PCOS to stabilise the condition and in some cases improve it. I tried this for a year and after having no effect whatsoever I stopped the medication. By this time it was January 2005 and I was preparing to move house.
Obviously I had other things on my mind after the move and hey presto in May 2005 I found out I was pregnant again!! My second daughter was born prematurely in January 06 as I had pre-eclampsia which relates to high blood pressure. Since then I have had to continue with the BP medication as this never stabilised and this can also be related to PCOS.
Eventually when I turned 35 yrs old I decided enough was enough my weight gain was continuing and I was approaching (if not going over) the 13 stone mark. I joined a slimming club and in addition to this I joined a gym which I was going to at least 3 times a week. The maximum I lost was 10lbs which I found extremely difficult. At the same time my beautician was going on maternity leave and I was struggling to find someone locally to replace her. After researching PCOS on the internet I found the Verity website which offers a lot of advice and information to people with this condition. It was reading through this site that I discovered the importance of having a regular menstrual cycle and that medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart problems have all been linked to PCOS sufferers.
It also became apparent to me that individuals who were diagnosed with this condition, like me, where no longer told to go away and deal with this on their own. I felt that there was more options available to me, since I was first diagnosed, and I decided to go back to my doctor for further advice. This was the best decision that I have ever made and the main reason why I have added this review. My doctor was extremely sympathetic and for the first time I felt that my opinions mattered and were taken seriously. He made the decision to refer me to a gynocologist once more and as I felt this was my last opportunity to receive any help I made the most of the appointment that I was given. Once again I was prescribed metformin, I was also encouraged to continue with my exercise regime and to eat a GI Diet (probably the only one I had never tried!). The gynocologist also referred me to the laser clinic at my local hospital to see if I would qualify for this treatment on the NHS for the hirsutism.
I took the metformin for over a year and when I didn't see any real benefits in continuing with the medication I stopped taking it. I have continued with the GI Diet and I feel that this has gave me the best results. I knew I had lost weight recently as I had gone down from a size 16 to a size 14 and although I try and avoid weighing myself as I am often disappointed my nose did get the better of me! To my absolute joy I am now 11stone 12" - which I haven't been in years and I haven't felt I have had to starve to lose this weight!! In addition to this my assessment at the laser clinic was so successful that I qualified for a course of treatment. To top this all off for the first time in years I had my blood presure taken and it was normal!! I know that there are many women who have a very different tale to tell. I'm been very lucky in the support I have received from my doctors and I feel very blessed to have 2 beautiful kids. For the first time in a very long time I feel that I am happy to be who I am - it hasn't been easy but sometimes the hardest things to come by are well worth the wait!! (so my mother kept telling me throughout the yrs!!). I'm never going to get rid of PCOS but I have finally learned how to live with it!! If I could give any advice, and I dont give this lightly, it would be that if you are not happy with any aspect of the treatment that you are given by your doctor then find one that you are!!
Summary: I've accepted my deck of cards!!