Post # 1
I am a 24 year old women who was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 21. My family doctor had a blood test done and apparently my FSH/LH ratio is way out of whack, something like (4:1). She also requested for an ultrasound and that came back normal (no cysts). However, I’ve been told that even healthy women have cysts. My cycle averages around 28-35 days. I am also anaemic and have a severe Vitamin D deficiency.
My doctor put me on Spironolactone (75 mg) and tried several kinds of BCP. I went off the BC after months of trying because I was having extreme mood swings, spotting 50% of the time and EXTREME vaginal dryness to the point where sex just wasn’t fun anymore. I had to go off the Spiro too since it causes birth defects and should be taken with BCP. Me and Fiance are using condoms, but would like to have a family soon after we get married next year. I want to focus on being healthy and getting my FSH/LH levels normal before TTC. My doctor is not too bothered because according to her, I at least get a period and many PCOS women don’t for months.
I have read that losing weight helps trememdously. I am 135 lbs and 5’3″ tall. I used to be around 148 lbs, but I went down to 135. Losing weight is extremely difficult for me and I’m finding it hard to get below 135 even with weight training, cardio, diet, etc. Are there any fellow bees in the same situation? Ideally I would like to conceive naturally instead of going for IVF. I think I would like to hear some success stories..
Is it possible to get pregnant with PCOS and a 35 day cycle?
Post # 2
greywacke : The thing with PCOS is that there are several different criteria for a diagnosis, but you don’t have to have all of them to have PCOS. If all she’s looked at are your LH/FSH ratios and an ultrasound for cysts, you could still be ovulating regularly which would make conception easier. It’s impossible to know how long conception might take without a more complete picture of your cycles.
What you should do before you start TTC is ask for a few more tests that might help you understand what exactly is off about your cycles. A full hormone panel will help you see if your testosterone or other hormones are out of whack as well as your LH and FSH. You can also do cycle day 3, 7, and 21 testing (I think these are the numbers, but you should verify with someone who knows) to see about progesterone and estrogen levels at different points in your cycle. Also, a three hour oral glucose tolerance test that includes insulin response to glucose will help you see if you might have insulin resistance as well. Usually insulin resistance is associated with weight gain and/or difficulty loosing weight, but in PCOS it can be also very hidden. I am quite thin, borderline underweight, but my insulin resistance was very severe and I had to be put on the maximum dose of Metformin to control it. Eating a low glycemic diet and cutting out dairy can be super helpful to balance PCOS hormone issues as well.
Another thing you can do is learn to temp and track your cycle with cervical mucus. Taking Charge of Your Fertility is a great book that gives an easy to read introduction to this. Tracking can help you determine if your cycles and periods are normal, or if you might be experiencing anovulatory bleeding every 28-35 days. Tracking my cycles is what helped me realize that something was off even before we started TTC. If your bleeding is extremely heavy, that can be a sign of anovulation as well.
If you’re not ovulating regularly, that doesn’t mean you can’t concieve without IVF! I don’t have an official PCOS diagnosis myself, but I do have hyperandroginism, anovulatory cycles (with a “period” every 28-35 days as well), and severe insulin resistance. I was able to conceive after about a year on Metformin, which brought my insulin level down enough to make me start ovulating again. Some women have great sucess with a combination of Metformin and Clomid as well. It can be really sucky trying to figure all of this out, and there is definitely a lot of poking and prodding involved with all the necessary blood work, but it is worth it. Good luck!
Post # 3
I have PCOS. My first took 18 months, but I was also diagnosed about mid way through that time frame – 3 rounds of clomid while alternating months on BC to keep my cysts under control, HSG test, tracking ovulation every month etc. I got pregnant the month before we were looking to start IUI . Second took 1 month (provera then clomid). Much easier to have a game plan going into TTC knowing that you have PCOS. Not that 1 month is typical but at least we knew trying without meds was probably a waste of time for me since I wasn’t ovulation on my own and we got lucky.
Post # 4
I have what my RE calls “skinny PCOS” (very irregular cycles, classic polycystic ovaries, but not overweight and not enough insulin resistance to need medication) and it took us 3 years and ultimately 2 rounds of IVF – after 6 months of Clomid and 3 IUI’s – to have a successful pregnancy. I have a ton of eggs but it was difficult to get them to grow to the ideal size for conception.
From what I’ve heard and read, every case of PCOS is different and women have different reactions / success with different protocols.
Have you tried an anti-inflammatory diet? Basically no wheat, sugar, dairy, or alcohol. In my journey through infertility I found it helpful to stick to basically eating fish and grass-fed beef with tons of veggies, very little fruit (sugar!!), healthy fats (avocados, olive oil, kerrygold butter, etc) and limited slow burning carbs (sweet potatoes, black beans, quinoa, etc). The less my body was working to process inflammatory foods, the better results we had with egg quality and quantity.
Post # 5
Not speaking from experience, but my best friend has PCOS and it took her around 18 months. She wasn’t even getting her period every month so it sounds like you are in a better position than she was. Agree with the PP about Diet being a really big component to successfully TTC. From what I understand, a high fat diet, or Keto diet really helps with regulating women’s hormones and can get you on the right track.
Post # 6
Totally possible. I have PCOS and my cycles range from 30-40 days with spotting for up to 10 days before coming on. I had to go through 2 miscarriages but successful BFP came in February 2017 after starting in August 2016. We got pregnant first time with every single attempt, just lost the first 2.
The take away from this though is that everyone is different and you don’t really know what will happen/if you need assistance/tests until you start trying. I thought we’d have problems even getting pregnant with my PCOS but we ended up having the opposite problem.
Post # 7
I have PCOS and so does my sister. She has been on clomid, had a laparoscopy and has “regular” cycles and has been trying for like 8 years with some sanity breaks here and there.. I have freakishly long irregular cycles and I conceive my first baby my second cycle trying. I o’d on CD 90 or something. It took me 4 cycles to conceive this baby, I o’d on CD 74, I’m currently 13 weeks pregnant.
Post # 8
Mrs.Massontobee : Congratulations on your much awaited baby!
Post # 9
catmom17 : Thank you for your very detailed post. I agree with everything you have said here. I think it would be in my best interest to be healthy before TTC to have better chances of pulling through my pregnancy.
I have done the fasting glucose test at least 2-3 times. My doctor has explained this to me in a way that she said she doesn’t think I have diabetes, but she didn’t mention insulin resistance. I think I may be insulin resistant though, because I have quite bad acanthosis nigricans, which is a side effect of insulin resistance.
As for the day 3, 7, and 21 testing, she has tested my FSH/LH ratios, but any day in my cycle, which I don’t quite understand because the ratios vary through the cycle, yes?
I also have a feeling that I might have very low progesterone levels. Because I have:
1. severe migraines and headaches
2. anxiety issues
3. breast tenderness (feels like watermelons in a balloon)
4. vaginal dryness
I think starting next month I will try to have a stricter diet.
Post # 10
greywacke : I also had the GTT a few times without measuriing insulin, and my sugar levels were normal so several doctors and an endocronologist thought I was fine. It wasn’t until I did one that also measured insulin that they realized I had severe insulin resistance, so it might be worth asking about.
I’m not super clear on hormone levels throughout the cycle, but I do know that at least progesterone and estrogen will vary throughout, as does LH. Not sure about FSH though.
Best of luck getting it all figured out! The diet stuff can SUCK so much, I mean seriously I need cheese in my life lol, but it did help me a feel a lot better.