Getting ready to come off the pill

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Getting ready to come off the pill

Postby Pepper » Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:26 pm


I'm new to this board although I was diagnosed with PCOS 14 years ago, at the age of 17. I started my periods when I was 12, had about six months or them being relatively normal, then they stopped completely. I had total amenorrhoea and I've been on the pill since I was 19 to regulate my cycle (first Dianette, then Microgynon, now Yasmin).

I'm now 31 and I'm getting married in November (yay!) and my fiance and I want to start a family sooner rather than later. Ideally it would happen next year but, because of the uncertainty surrounding my fertility, we have decided that I'm going to see out this month, then stop taking the pill and track my BBT and CM for a while to see if I'm ovulating. I've had a chat with my GP and she said that, as I have the previous diagnosis of PCOS, they would probably be able to look at treatments (e.g. Clomid) after six months if I show no signs of ovulating, rather than leaving it a year or more.

To make things more complicated/uncertain, I have epilepsy and as a teenager I was on a med called Sodium Valproate aka Epilim. I was taken off it when I was 19 because it was linked to birth defects so the NHS decided to take all women of childbearing age off it, unless it was the only thing that worked for them. I went on a drug called Lamotrigine instead, which I'm still on, and my first month on that I had a period - my first natural one in more than six years! When I went back for a check-up to see how I was getting on with the Lamotrigine, I mentioned this and the nurse said, "Oh, yeah, well there is a link between polycystic ovaries and Sodium Valproate..." :shock:

So I have no idea how 12 years of being off Epilim and being on the pill have affected me. I could be lucky... or I could be about to start on a very long, painful and heartbreaking journey. I know I have no way of knowing how easy or difficult it's going to be for us to have a family but I'm still scared.

So, that's my story!
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Re: Getting ready to come off the pill

Postby Hols969 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:39 pm

One thing to consider is staying on it as according to the endocrinologists that advise verity, the 6 months following coming off the pill are the most fertile for us as our body is less pcos, especially if you are on a combined pill. It is extremely rare not to conceive if you have pcos so I would just try and get your body as good as poss prior to conceiving. Also 1/3 of fertility issues are now men so get you oh on some zinc (hubbie took the boots vit c and zinc tablets and his sperm results improved by over 100% in a year - it was a shock when the results initially came back as he was healthy weight, didn't smoke and rarely drank and ate healthily but apparantly it's not that uncommon now). Good luck, try not to worry, enjoy the wedding.
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Re: Getting ready to come off the pill

Postby Joanne81 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:28 pm

Hey Pepper,

Sounds like you have quite a good insight into what's going on and a plan of action. Can I ask, have you thought about coming off the Lamotrigine as the next step? I have epilepsy and was on carbamazapine 2 x 200mg daily before we started trying to conceive. I didn't know I had pcos at that point, but started coming off it in the November ready to start ttc in the May as the GP said the reduction would take around 6 months. They then wanted me to have a cycle before trying as apparently changes during our hormones during the month can trigger seizures. It may be the logical first step. Like Holly says if you're more fertile when you come off the pill, I assume you don't want to come off it now and be fairly pregnant at the wedding!

The only reason to leave you on anti convulsive medication would be if the risk to the baby was high by not being on them as (I think most of them) can lead to birth defects.

I spent the 6 months I was reducing my tablets tracking my bbt as I worked shifts and had irregular cycles so I assumed by the time we were ready to conceive we'd have a good understanding of my cycle and when I was fertile. It obviously didn't show much!! But meant I could go to the GP pretty sharpish and got a diagnosis. If you started a reduction plan now, and tracking your temp and cycles etc, when you are off the tablets and start coming off the pill, you can take it all to the GP and it may speed up a referral if you need one.

Good luck with whatever you decide!
TTC #1 since May '12, diagnosed Aug '12 after a lifetime of irregular cycles and lack of ovulation. Referred for treatment Jan '13. 7 rounds of clomid and DD Molly born at 36 weeks 30/07/2014

TTC #2 Sept 2016...BFP Dec 2016. EDD 31/8/17.
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