Can anybody help?

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Can anybody help?

Postby apricot » Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:49 pm

Hi All,

Hope you are all well and that the sun is shining where you are today.

I will try and cut a long story short! I was diagnosed with PCOS 8 years ago after an ultrasound (my ovaries look like 'bunches of grapes').As a teen, I had a lack of regular periods (they come when they want to - usually every 3-6 months). I have only a few of the symptoms of PCOS but they include the dodgy periods, darkened annoying hair in silly places, terrible mood issues. I am not above the average BMI and when I have had bloods taken before, they all showed as normal apparently (8 years ago). I am in a long term relationship, 27 years old and looking to have children. My periods have given me issues for as long as I can remember.

In my teens, before diagnosis, I tried 3 contraceptive pills. All of them made me feel like my brain was melting and caused me to bleed constantly (on 3 occasions, for 3 months solidly each time). For this reason, I really don't like them. My mom and my sister also had similar problems when taking the pill (dont know if that is of any relevance)

I have visited my GP many times to express my concerns about my periods. Mainly being that I rarely have them and they have no sort of cycle. When they do arrive, they take about 2 months to do so during which I feel symptoms of depression, hopelessness and a vile, terrible mood. Usually the day I come on, the mood lifts and I feel emotionally okay again. I am very happy in the rest of my life and I have no reasons for these symptoms other than hormones (ladies, you just know when its your hormones dont you!) I have very painful heavy and long periods when they do arrive usually lasting somewhere around the 10 day mark - though I must admit I feel a relief when I do get one as for once I feel my body is doing something it should be doing. I have been having unprotected sex for 3 years with my partner and have never been pregnant. We have not "tried" in the sense that we have had sex every day or whatever for 3 years, but we have had unprotected regular sex for 3 years. Our plan has been to 'let it happen naturally in it's own time', neither of us wanted particularly to plan when we have children, we just stopped using protection and said lets just let it happen if it wants to. I don't feel like things will work that way though when my periods are the way that they are...maybe I am wrong.

The only things I have been offered so far when approaching my GP are A) the pill (again) which I am not happy to try again after the last times (also - I do not want to use contraception for obvious reasons) B) The coil - which I am told could help to make me have a monthly period, but also has the effect of protecting me from pregnancy - which again, I don't want!

I know there are worse issues than this out there and maybe I should just stop worrying, but I am worried about the health implications of not having periods (last one was Nov 2013), I am sick of feeling at the mercy of my hormones for such long periods of time (The weeks, sometimes months of PMT, sore boobs, period pains, night sweats I feel do affect my quality of life and they also affect my relationships as I turn into Mrs Vile). I believe the really bad periods are a result of a build up or hormones as I am just not regularly menstruating. Also, I would like to get pregnant some time soon - generally PCOS makes me miserable.

After a very bad bout of low mood lately and after having period pains and intermittent night sweats for weeks and no period to show for it - I decided to go back to the GP and ask for her advice again to see if there are any other options that might help me feel better and maybe ovulate more regularly. I have a friend who has been put on Metformin for a long time (though granted she is a higher BMI than me) and I did a bit of research finding some people online saying it helped to regulate them and also helped them get preggers - so I asked the Doc if I could try that (in my head, the possibility of more ovulation, more regular cycle, better chances of pregnancy, less horrific cycles maybe...it's worth a try surely?!) but she tells me that I am not suitable for the drug as I am not overweight. Regarding PMT she suggested I eat some chocolate and have a hot bath (which I find quite patronising - I am not sure she realised the impact it has on my life). She has previously suggested I take anti-depressants and only take them when I think I am going to come on, but this to me feels like it is treating the symptoms not the cause and as I have such long periods of PMT I feel I would be on them all the time - maybe I should be more open to this option, I don't know...I took anti depressants in my youth for mild depression and they made me feel flat lined so I didn't enjoy that experience much.

She basically said I either leave it and live with it, try a pill (which I have explained I dont want) or go down the fertility clinic route. I chose the latter and she is going to run some bloods and send my partner for sperm count test. She says from there she can refer me to fertility clinic if she see's fit. I am pleased with this though I dont know whether it is because I am in a bit of denial or not, but I do feel a little strange going to fertility clinic - I thought there might be something that we could try at primary care level before going to this extent. Or was hoping maybe I could just understand what is going on more in my body. She says that I don't need regular periods to be healthy that not having periods is not a health risk (which is contrary to what I understand...) and that really unless I want to go on the pill, there is little else that can be done to help the other symptoms.

I just wonder if anyone out there has felt the same as me - anyone with fertility clinic experience - anyone who has tried anything that has regulated their periods - anyone who just might know how I feel (frustraaaateddd and a tad confused!). Are there any other GP prescribable treatments that I could push for? Is the fertility clinic the best place to go from here? Has anyone any suggestions or experience with drugs for the mood side of PCOS?

Any advice appreciated.
Thanks all.
apricot
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:26 pm

Re: Can anybody help?

Postby Hols969 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:56 pm

This sounds pretty normal, the next step really is the fertility route and they will check you out further. Ideally they need to check your tubes etc to check they are clear and then you could be prescribed clomid (there is a time limit on it so you need to make sure everything else looks ok before going down that route). Periods actually don't mean as much as you think, some ladies have got pregnant without them and others, like me, had regular periods but didn't ovulate (I presumed at the time that a period meant ovulation but unfortunately it does not). I would also start charting your temperature (fertilityfriends website) as this may help to know what your body is actually doing and the signs to look for. I would also cut out all white carbs and as much sugar as possible as I think this contributes to the problems as well. It could well be that your partner has the issue and not you as 1/3 of fertility issues are now men, so it could be contributing to it. You will get there in the end, it may just be that you have a blocked tube so relatively easy to resolve, or you may just need clomid to kick start your ovaries a bit in the hope that one of the follicles takes that leap so it can be fertilised.

Unfortunately one of the main ways to control PCOS is a combined contraceptive pill but the other thing is diet as that plays quite a large part in our moods/hormones. Good luck.
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Re: Can anybody help?

Postby apricot » Tue May 06, 2014 12:18 pm

Hi Hols,
Thanks for your advice.
Sorry for the delayed reply.

I have had another blood test which has come back as normal apparently (?? how??) and partner is off for the sperm count next week.
It is a relief to know that some people get preg without periods - it just feels so strange not to have them and I worry about other illnesses which I could potentially be at higher risk of, not getting periods..

Thanks for the diet advice, I am going to follow this.

I just wonder what do you mean by there being a time limit on clomid? Can you only take it for so long?

On fertfriends website now -thank you so much.

Have a lovely day.
apricot
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:26 pm

Re: Can anybody help?

Postby Hols969 » Tue May 06, 2014 12:48 pm

Yes I think you can only have a maximum of 12 or something for clomid (so 12 months worth)
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Re: Can anybody help?

Postby apricot » Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:56 am

Does anybody know anything about use of Metformin in ladies with PCOS who are not overweight - do they ever give it?
I have found some forums in USA and many of the women of all shapes and sizes have been given it there but GP won't prescribe it to me.
I guess this is another question for the specialist.
apricot
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:26 pm

Re: Can anybody help?

Postby Hols969 » Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:34 am

There is no evidence in the UK that it helps with pcos, our advisors think it is dished out too much when it only helps a tiny percentage of pcos ladies, and the worry is the long term consequences of this when it is actually not of any benefit.
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Re: Can anybody help?

Postby apricot » Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:46 pm

That is so helpful Hols, thanks.
Is it given to many across the board then, regardless of weight, bloods, IR etc to "see what happens" or is there a specific type who tend to be seen as typical candidates for it?
apricot
 
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Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:26 pm

Re: Can anybody help?

Postby Hols969 » Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:04 pm

More often it is given to the overweight as it can help you lose weight (due to the awful side effects) and obviously losing weight can improve your periods, so metformin can help some ladies get pregnant but they could have got the same results by losing weight anyway!
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