PCOS & Fertility

Women with polycystic ovaries and fertility problems:

  1. Do not release an egg (ovulate) regularly
  2. Have ovaries that contain many small cystic structures, about 2-9 mm in diameter

How does normal ovulation work?

In a normal menstrual cycle with ovulation, a mature follicle – which is also a cystic structure – develops. The size of a mature follicle that is ready to ovulate is about 18 to 28mm in diameter. About 14 days after ovulation the woman would be expected to get a period if she is not pregnant. The key difference between polycystic and normal ovaries is that although the polycystic ovaries contain many small antral follicles (also referred to as resting follicles) with eggs in them, the follicles do not develop and mature properly – so there is no ovulation. This is why women with polycystic ovaries don’t ovulate regularly, hence one of the syptoms of PCOS is irregular periods.

Can women with PCOS conceive?

The good news is that the chance of getting pregnant with polycystic ovarian syndrome using fertility treatment is increasing by the year due to new treatments and drugs being discovered which can aid ovulation. The real question for women under the age of 35 with PCOS, is not so much ‘will treatment help me?’ but rather ‘which treatment will work best for me?’

getty_rm_photo_of_home_fertility_test

Treatment options:

  • Clomid (clomiphene citrate or Serophene) is an oral medication that is commonly used for the treatment of infertility.
  • Femara (generic name is letrozole) is also an oral drug which can be an effective fertility treatment for women with ovulation problems, or for those with unexplained infertility. This medication is in a class of drug called aromatase inhibitors. Femara has also been used to treat certain cases of breast cancer.
  • Injectable Gonadotropins: these are the next option when oral medications, such as clomid and femara fail to result in pregnancy. However, because there’s a substantial risk for multiple births (of triplets and higher) injectables for PCOS are being used less often.
  • Metaformin is a relatively new method of treating women with PCOS. Like Clomid and Femara it’s an oral medication which has, until now, been traditionally used to help control diabetes. Then, it was figured out that metformin could be very effective way of treating polycystic ovarian syndrome. If it does not work alone, it’s commonly combined with Clomid to induce ovulation.
  • Lastly there’s In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) which many of us have heard of. The large majority of women with PCOS that didn’t get pregnant with other treatments will be able to get pregnant and have a baby with IVF.

Escaping depression

As the suns warmth touches my nose and my golden retriever dances with the leaves, I think about what it is that makes me happy. I think about my jogging route. I think about what I’m doing today. I think about what I’m going to tomorrow. I think about what I’ve done. I think about last year. Thinking is definitely something I over-do. I over think everything… Especially the last year.

Heath Park Run

Break up’s are never nice. ‘Exhausting’ would probably be the most appropriate word to describe mine. Not because of why or how it happened, but what the months that followed entailed. I not only hit my lowest weight ever since high school, being 7.8stone, but I developed acne, sleep insomnia and anxiety. Sounds pretty horrible right? And it was. But now, a year and a bit later, I’ve come to believe that it may have been just what I needed. Not the spots, the weight loss or the sleep struggles but the overall feeling of being weak, both physically and mentally, to a point in which a part of me rotted away.
And I needed that to happen. I needed that part of me to disintegrate as that was the part of me that caused my relationship to do the same.

At the time, only one person knew what it was I was going through. You’d think that person would be me. But It wasn’t. It was him. I had no idea what was eating away at me. I just thought I was struggling with my degree or that my hormones were bouncing off the walls. Boy, was I wrong. It wasn’t until I pushed away the only person who was always there, the only person who could see what I was going through, that I could see it for myself. I think I had only come to terms with it because I no longer had someone to vent to, to cry on, to drain, to push away. I had to hit the lowest point before I could touch the bottom, push off, and slowly but surely swim up.

A lucky escape…

Some people don’t escape it as easy as I did. And I’m not saying it was easy but at least I managed to pull through without medical or psychological intervention i.e counselling. Depression ruined my relationship and, although it got very close, It didn’t ruin my life.

Mental health is something that is nowhere near talked about enough. The word ‘depression’ alone provokes some sort of awkwardness. The stigma it carries seemingly puts people off the topic. Well, with social media starting to raise a little more awareness about it, I think it’s about time bloggers do the same. It needs to be talked about. And I’m starting here.

At the end of the day, I’m running today with a head on my shoulders that motivates me to throw one foot in front of the other. It controls all that I do, all that I love and all the crap that I over-think. My mental strength is… me. It is the core of me and you. Without your mental strength, how can one possible long for and achieve physical strength?

Loving the Outdoors