Sunday, 30 July 2017

Our fertility story

 I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). I have known since I was 16 however I was not diagnosed until I was 23.

PCOS is a very common condition that affects 1 in 10 women and is also a cause of my infertility. I have many other symptoms that effect my day to day life; these include facial hair, thinning hair, excessive weight gain and insulin resistance.

I have always been aware of my infertility as at my 1st consultant appointment at 16 the Dr told me I would have great difficulty conceiving.  This came as a shock as I have always wanted to be a mum having grown up in a separated family.

When I met Richard in 2009 we started talking about the future and where life was going to go. This is where I mentioned to him my dream of having a family. Richard having been the youngest of 5 told me he would like to have a large family with lots of children running around to play football with.

We had not long been living together and not really thinking about starting a family yet when we  though that I might be pregnant. We took a test and it was the first of many negative tests we have taken. Seeing how disappointed we had been at the negative we talked about trying and we both wanted to start our family right away so we agreed to try without really trying.

I am unsure when just casually trying turned into tracking and really wondering why it was taking too long.  We got engaged and with that our time got taken up by wedding planning and, as we were still trying, we put not being pregnant down to the stress of wedding planning.

We got married in 2013. This is when we went back to talking about why we hadn’t had a baby. There were many trips to the Dr’s as I was not having any cycles and losing weight was becoming impossible. It didn’t matter what I tried I would lose a couple of LB’s on one week and put it on the next. This was the heaviest I had been ever and it was really starting to get to me.
It wasn’t until July 2015 that I broke down in a GP appointment with a locum Dr and after pleading with her she finally listened to me and referred me to the fertility clinic. This referral was immediately declined due to my BMI being too high. However, it did have some positives as in the letter that was sent back there were different suggestions for the Dr to try. 

Having not had a period in 2 years this was the top priority as not having a period increases the risks of things going wrong within the uterus. I was put on hormones to induce my periods and started Metformin. This diabetic drug regulates the insulin levels that in turn help with hormones. It was also suggested I be referred to an NHS weight management program to help with bringing the weight down.

Weight started going down pretty quickly after starting the Metformin, from the weight management referral to starting the 2-year course I had lost 4 kilos. It took taking the Metformin for 3 months for my cycles to start by themselves without hormones and a further couple of months to get a regular 33-day cycle.  The weight management course really teaches you the basics of feeding yourself, exercise and the emotional help you may need. We also got referred to an Endocrinologist to see if there was anything else I could do and after some questioning at this appointment the consultant wanted my husband to have a fertility test. We found out that, although my husband has a good amount of sperm and they are mostly fast enough, less than 10% are good enough to fertilize an egg.

It took losing 10 kilos and 10 months of taking Metformin to get pregnant which was a really surprise that I actually got pregnant naturally.

After having the miscarriage, we are still ever hopeful and if it happened once it may happen again. It took 7 years of fighting/trying to get pregnant fingers crossed it doesn’t take 7 years for a miracle again.

Just Kelly xxx 

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