He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. —Psalm 113:9

May 16, 2011

PCOS, I Has It

I finally had my annual checkup to renew my BCP today, and as much as I griped about it, I'm glad I went. When I asked the doctor for information on testing for PCOS, she went over my symptoms and told me that I meet enough diagnostic criteria that I don't need any testing. Then she went ahead and made the diagnosis official.

But then she also told me that PCOS doesn't cause miscarriages, which, a whole lot of Internet sources and women in the RPL community beg to differ. And then she went on to say that the only treatment for PCOS is the BCP, which, all of the holistic web sites where I researched PCOS said that traditional doctors always say that, and when I asked her about controlling or reversing it through a low-glycemic diet, she said that it wouldn't cure the PCOS but it would cure any insulin resistance that would be causing it. Which may be a case of same difference, but: this might be one of those areas where sometimes the Internet knows more than doctors.

Anyway, she wanted to do a glucose test, but since I'm uninsured she left it up to me. I checked the cost with the lab and it's only $42, and if I get it and it confirms that I'm insulin resistant, then she said we can talk about putting me on Metformin. But she also said that if I just keep up my diet and keep losing weight and getting in shape, I'll most likely turn it around without medication.

So I'm a little torn. The whole plan for Project Oven Repair was to do just that--turn my (rightfully) presumed PCOS and insulin resistance around with diet and exercise. Now I have confirmation that I'm on the right track. But, I've read really promising things about Metformin preventing miscarriages. As much as Matt and I both prefer natural remedies over medication when possible, if I have an opportunity to start taking Metformin, should I seize it? I just don't know.

Right now, I think my feeling is that I should just stick with the diet, and let that do the work of turning all of these complications around, and then TTC again after I reach my goal weight. And then if, God forbid, I have another MC, I'll try the Metformin route for our fourth (and most likely final, regardless of what happens) attempt. Of course, if it goes that way then I'll end up hating myself for not taking the Metformin right away.

And this is where I get angry and frustrated at how unfair it is that just thinking about trying to get pregnant has to be so confusing and complicated. Bleah.

At any rate, they finally renewed my BCP prescription. I'm going to wait until the next cycle begins to start taking it again, which gives Matt and I a little longer to decide if that's really what we want to do. We had a heart-to-heart about it yesterday, and he's not as sure that I should stay on it as I thought he was. But I'm also not as sure that I'm ready to go off of it as I thought I was. I think probably the wisest thing is to keep taking it until I reach my goal weight, which should also give us some time to stash some money in the bank to cover the inevitable days (or weeks) when I'm too overcome with pregnancy fatigue to get any work done.

All in all, I came home from the exam feeling good about things, and hopeful for the future of my oven. Chalk today up in the WIN column.


Hope said...

I know you didn't ask for advice, but, having been on Met.formin for 6 months, I have some thoughts. Take them for what they're worth.

I think your plan sounds like a good one. I really dislike being on Met.formin. It's messed with my appetite and made me nauseous over foods I would normally like. If you can avoid it, I'd say do. And if you do need it, wait to start until you are actually about 2-3 months out from actively TTC so you don't have to be on it for very long.

You might also want to consider holding off on the glucose tests until you reach your goal weight, or testing twice if your pocketbook can handle that, once now and once when you reach your goal weight, to see if the diet is having enough of an influence on its own.

You could also think about consulting with a doctor who supports treating PCOS with Met.formin for miscarriages. I know that money would be an object for you, but it does help to have your medical professionals on the same page with you.

Elphaba said...

 I don't have any experience with PCOS but I just wanted to wish you luck figuring it out. It just sucks that doctor's diagnosis when it comes to IF stuff is such a crap shoot all the time. 

Jean Bauhaus said...

Thanks, Elphaba. It certainly is frustrating how little the doctors seem to know.

Jean Bauhaus said...

Thanks for the advice, Hope. I do appreciate it. Especially your suggestion to do the test now, and then again later to see if I'm improving. Although when I brought that up to Matt, he reminded me that we have plenty of glucose monitors lying around the house, so I can just use those to accomplish the same thing.

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