Lindsey’s Story PCOS Awareness Month 2021
“We were pretty typical, we got married and started thing about having a family. After a few months of trying, we got pregnant but unfortunately miscarried. I wasn’t even 35 yet so we kept trying but without luck. We knew then we needed something more.”
Lindsay and her husband met with her OB/GYN as a first step on her path to a successful pregnancy and came away with an early indication that PCOS might be part of her infertility story. “From the outside, you wouldn’t have seen me as a PCOS patient. I ran, skied, and kayaked for much of my life but it was clear that while trying to get pregnant sometimes excessive exercise can be too much of a good thing.”
“Failure to diagnose PCOS not only reduces the chance of achieving a pregnancy; it can also increase the risk of pregnancy complications. Unfortunately, it is estimated that only 50% of women whose reproductive lives of impacted by PCOS are properly diagnosed,” offered Dr. Robert Greene, from Conceptions.
In simple terms, PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal imbalance in the body where excess androgens build up in the body and have a negative impact on normal egg development in the ovaries.
Excessive exercise like running more than a few miles a week can put the body into a state of stress and induce a negative imbalance of hormones that can lead to PCOS. Runners, mountain bikers, and swimmers take notice -while having the body in good physical shape is important if you’re trying to get pregnant, over-exercise can have a negative effect too.
“My OB/GYN started me on Clomid. After three cycles without success, they referred me to Conceptions. My doctor at Conceptions said there’s no reason that if they couldn’t get my hormones balanced that I couldn’t be pregnant. That gave me a lot of hope!”
After two rounds of light gonadotropin stimulation, Lindsay was overjoyed to hear that she had developed a lead follicle or egg. Based on her treatment, Lindsey’s path to pregnancy was a timed intercourse cycle. “My nurse called and said it was time for “date night!” Well, a few weeks later we went in for a routine ultrasound and we were pregnant!”
Many patients can overcome PCOS without a drastic change in both routine and diet. “My doctor at Conceptions never got on the bandwagon about crazy PCOS diets or menus. My care was evidence-based and individualized. I never felt like just another patient with PCOS.”
The causes PCOS are still somewhat unclear but are varied. Many women with PCOS have insulin resistance and others have weight gain-loss issues. For some, PCOS may have genetic roots, running in families and across generations. “Thinking about it now, my mom and grandmother didn’t have a lot of kids but tried. Maybe PCOS was part of our genetic story from the beginning.”
Lindsey and her husband successfully overcame PCOS and now have a family to keep them “running.” “I still work out but most of my exercise comes from chasing these kids around the house.” If you’re trying to get pregnant and suspect PCOS is part of your story, don’t wait. See your OB/GYN or a reproductive endocrinologist as soon as possible. Egg quality and quantity are the biggest drivers of success and are heavily influenced by PCOS.
September is PCOS Awareness Month.
Visit https://pcosawarenessmonth.org/ for more information and support.