PCOS Infertility Treatment: My story
*Update 23rd November: Since writing this post, I gave some 'magic pills' a chance after recommendations from a good friend. I can't believe it but a lot of the symptoms below have gone or been reduced. The products I am using can be view on our 'shop' section. I literally had to endorse these as soon as they started working.
I wanted to write a bit of an update, about my PCOS infertility treatment (I was diagnosed this year post trying to conceive for over 18 months) in the hope to share awareness and help others, or if you personally also have polycystic ovary syndrome.
I am going to leave the main explanation of what PCOS is to wiki (link above) and talk more about my experiences and what I am personally doing to get through my journey of trying to conceive with PCOS together with the symptoms I'm experiencing.
PCOS early symptoms
I was extremely surprised that none of my OB-GYN picked up my PCOS, for years! I remember going back about 10 years now, my skin started to become extremely bad and I started getting acne. My skin had always been great growing up, but when I hit my mid 20's it felt like I was hitting puberty.
PCOS and acne
When I consulted with a skin specialist, I remember my results coming back with imbalanced hormones, but she never really mentioned what to do what that information and that was that. I just figured my body naturally produced more male hormones. I ended up using benzol-peroxide as a last resort topical treatment which seemed to work and mask the underlying problem.
From that time, my symptoms just kept appearing, never aware that it was in fact, PCOS. More recently, my acne really flared up, again, only a strong acne treatment helped in managing it.
Charcoal mixed with pure aloe is a great treatment, it helps settle agressiveness. A great alternative treatment, give it a go. I crush charcoal tablets and mix with the aloe to make a paste.
Today I have changed my diet in terms of pretty much cutting out all dairy (especially cows milk, as there is a specific protein in it that causes inflammation and results in disrupting your hormones). It has helped with it somewhat and I am waiting on my delivery for something new I'm trying which has had raving testimonials! I'll keep you updated. Also avoid processed foods, more below in 'PCOS and obesity'.
PCOS and infertility
My case is what they call 'secondary infertility'. This means that I have already conceived (my daughter is now 4) and this time we haven't succeeded.
After trying for over 12 months with no success (or knowledge of my PCOS) I really felt my doctor wasn't giving me all the answers. He simply told me "you have one, it's ok just relax and it will happen". A lot of wasted time and more stress not understanding why it wasn't happening. I even asked him if he thought there was an underlying problem or something like PCOS, he simply told me 'no'.
Looking back, trying to conceive the first time was also lengthy and somewhat stressful, it took us over a year but it finally happened and I never thought about any underlying cause.
Long story short, I was finally diagnosed and my entire past 10 years made sense. More about what I am currently doing to treat my infertility further down.
PCOS and obesity
One symptom that I have kept under control is the weight gain associated with PCOS (50% of women with PCOS are overweight/obese). I have known that once I stop eating clean or exercising, I gain weight by almost looking at a cookie. I thought it was 'just me' and that I was just a super hungry person and weight was easily gained, genetics most probably.
I use exercise and a healthy lifestyle to take this entire symptom away. In fact, with my first pregnancy, I trained and really looked after myself both before/during/post pregnancy.
That is where the 'fit and fab pre-pregnancy program' comes in. Although whilst creating my program I was unaware of my PCOS/infertility, I wanted to help women get in shape, prepare their minds, feel good, eat right and be confident and amazing! So I created a program based on everything that I am doing pre-pregnancy. The amazing thing is, I'm doing it still and it's been my savior during this time. So perhaps I am my best student.
Recently I started taking Myo-Inositol, it's helped regulate my blood sugar and I actually get fuller faster and I would recommend checking it/consulting your doctor if you suffer from PCOS.
PCOS and facial hair
One issue that also had quite a lot of effect on my confidence and 'inner peace' was the unwanted facial hair. If you have PCOS you understand all about it. I had always waxed my lip, legs etc, but I started to get fine hair around my jaw and chin. Still being in my teens and quite clueless I tried everything. From plucking (do NOT do that) to electrolysis treatments, my own crappy electrolysis machine from home and laser. I still find that laser has probably been the best option for me till this point. If you suffer from unwanted hair from PCOS, my personal recommendation is to consult a laser specialist - just make sure they are very experienced and certified.
PCOS and hair loss
One of the symptoms that have really been prevalent in the last 24 months is my hair loss. It's quite traumatic having to finish a hair wash with pulling out basically strands of hair. It's hard to explain to someone who doesn't suffer from this. Most comments are "Don't worry, you have so much hair!" or "It's natural", "It's our age, don't stress". I don't get upset too much, as it's hard from the other end when you aren't actually there - pulling out chunks of hair.
I have been using evening primrose oil capsules each day which has helped, but definitely not 'cured'.
Currently, I am on my way to starting my 3rd IUI, staying positive and anyone else experiencing infertility or finding it hard to conceive I would say look at your symptoms and ask for checks and tests, as my experience has taught me to do your own research and not rely just on your doctor.
A huge factor in keeping my positive attitude is simply my lifestyle choices. I can't express enough how staying active and eating clean has made this journey bearable. I have kept depression (another fun symptom of PCOS) under control and although I'm still working on the other symptoms, it's all looking positive.
What I would say to anyone with PCOS is - you're not alone. Reach out to communities with women experiencing the same. Put your health and lifestyle choices at the forefront. You will see a lot of positive changes both physically and mentally once you do. Diet plays a huge role here, especially with the resistance of insulin - we have to be super careful to avoid processed foods, trans fats and so forth. I have some great recipes in the program which I use as my staples. The main thing is to make your plate colorful and full of fresh veggies, lean proteins, avoid too much meat and be conscious of your habits.
I am sending love to anyone going through this, I will update you in an effort to bring more awareness and share my treatments and the new and exciting nutritional supplements I have just ordered!
I'm always sharing updates daily, mainly on my Instagram so it's best you follow me there for more in-depth updates on a regular basis. I also send out updates to my newsletter subscribers and you can get part of my recipe program as a bonus when you sign up (yay) so do that at Nicole's Newsletter.
Lots of love xx