Post # 1
I’m hoping TTC bees know more about this than I do. I have been having trouble getting AF lately, so I went to the gyno. I explained my situation, and since I’ve gained weight in the last couple years, she recommended a blood sample to test for various things. They called today, and she says I have polycystic tendancies and my blood level was right at the top of the normal range, which may put me at borderline diabetes. She wants me to come in tomorrow for a fasting blood level, and she says we’ll know more then. She said depending on that result, she may put me on Metformin, and I should watch my carbs.
I have so many questions! Does “poly cystic tendancies” mean I have PCOS? Is that what the Metformin is for? Also, I’m a vegetarian, so going low-carb will not be easy. Does anyone have any ideas? How much does PCOS/borderline diabetes affect fertility?
Anyone who knows anything about this please share!
Post # 3
First, as The Hitchhiker’s Guide would say, Don’t Panic. As you get more information, you will understand more, so don’t start worrying about all the worst case scenarios. I know that’s hard.
Metformin helps stabilize blood sugar levels, in the most basic of explanations. You do not necessarily have to go “low carb” when watching blood sugar levels. It’s more about eating the right carbs, and balancing what you eat. Even certain fruits can be no-no’s when you have high sugar levels.
PCOS can impact fertility because it can impact your ovulation. It does not mean you will not ovulate or cannot get pregnant.
Honestly, you don’t have enough information at present to have an accurate diagnosis, but you can start educating yourself on glucose intolerance (which I would assume is where you are) and PCOS/infertility.
Post # 4
SoulCysters is a great forum for women who have PCOS.
Diabetes is a difficult condition to live with period. Getting pregnant while diabetic can not only be challenging, but potentially dangerous for you. FI’s ex is type-1 diabetic and always had trouble with her sugar levels. While she wants kids, getting (and staying) pregnant will not be easy for her.
The good news is that you know this now, and can do something about it.
I’ve been diagnosed with PCOS and it’s been something I’ve lived with for over 10 years. While I do worry about eventually having a family, it’s not something that FI worries about.
The best thing for my PCOS is getting regular exercise. Acupuncture helped me a lot as well.
As an aside, I think it was a bit irresponsible for your gyno to claim you have polycystic tendencies if you didn’t get an ultrasound.
Post # 5
Well, I can’t help with the TTC side of things. However, my fiance was pushing the diabetic line for quite some time, and I can tell you we threw out the pasta and threw out the white bread. Limited the potato (sweet and regular) consumption to once/twice a week. Most people think that high BG levels = sweets. That’s very rarely the case. It’s the cheap and easy carbs that will get you time after time. His BG is normal now, and has been for almost a year. He’s dropped over 30lbs too, which also makes a huge difference.
Post # 6
@MariContrary: Thanks everyone! I’m trying not to freak out too much, and just think sensibley about changes I can make. I don’t know much about PCOS, so I will check out that website. I do eat a lot of pasta, so cutting that out or limiting it and only eating whole grain will probably do me a lot of good.
Is it, like, basically impossible to conceive if you have PCOS? Are there women who have it that have successfully had children?
Post # 7
@QueenOfSerendip: Challenging, not impossible
Post # 8
So Dream fields make a really low carb (i think 14g vs the normal 40+?) pasta. I only know this because my FFIL has T2 DM. So you can cut ur carbs that way.
Unfortunately PCOS affects millions of women and is typically associated with obesity, glucose intolerance, infertility. (not saying u have to have these thigns to be PCOS) In some cases losing weight helps with the glucose intolerance and with PCOS. It doesn’t mean that you cant get pregnant but it becomes that much harder. I think a good start to help would be cutting carbs and exercising to get rid of the weight that you stated you put on over the years.
Post # 9
@QueenOfSerendip: I have PCOS and have been on Metformin for like 1.5 yrs. Before Metformin, it was impossible for me to lose weight.
After being on it for a while, I tried to lose weight again, and have been very successful thanks for Weight Watchers Online (and the Metformin allowing my body to work properly). I’ve lost almost 30 lbs since the end of January and have more to go, but it’s steadily coming off.
My fasting levels are totally normal now and I feel like a NEW PERSON! I’m not married or TTC yet, but my OB-GYN says he will keep me on the meds through pregnancy.
Post # 10
@QueenOfSerendip: There are many, many women who have PCOS who have been able to have children (Posh Spice for a famous example!). PCOS is one of the most common causes of subfertility – estimates are that 5-10% of women have it.
Post # 11
@QueenOfSerendip: All carbs are not created equal. The short version is that the more complex the carb, the better it is for you, and the less processed the food, the better it is. Steel cut oats > white bread. Talk to a nutritionist, your doc should be able to refer you to one. A real nutritionist, not the “nutritional experts” in your local gym.
Post # 12
It’s nowhere near impossible to conceive with PCOS! It can make it more difficult, but plenty of women with PCOS can get pregnant and have healthy babies.
You might want to schedule a visit with a reproductive endocrinologist. They can test your horomone levels and decide whether to start you on medication (like an anti-androgen or Metformin) as well as address any pre-diabetic issues you might have.
Exercise is definitely important to help sensitize your cells to insulin. And studies have suggested low-carb or low-glycemic impact diets can help women with PCOS, too. Soulcysters is a great resource! It is tough to eat strictly low carb as a vegetarian, but there are other things you can do, like limiting white flour and sugar and getting most of your carbs from whole foods (whole grains, veggies and so on) that should help.
Post # 13
I have PCOS that was diagnosed just on bloodwork. I never had any cysts, but still have PCOS. It’s entirely possible to get pregnatn with it, as I have a 9 week old son! I did have to have some help, but there are plenty of women who can get pregnant without help who have PCOS.
There’s a book called the PCOS diet that outlines various meals and what not to help lose weight in a way that works with PCOS.
Post # 14
A good friend of mine with PCOS is about 7 months through her second pregnancy and her daughter just turned two. It is definitely not a permanently closed door when it comes to fertility.
Post # 15
I have PCOS and I was insulin resistant (sounds like where you are now) and not all that far off from being diabetic when I was diagnosed. I cut pretty much all processed sugar (now am processed sugar free), as well as all simple carbs (these are things like white bread, white potatos, white rice, because they turn into sugar in your body very very quickly. This is what causes the insulin resistance). With that and metformin, I have been able to lose 112 pounds (don’t know that you need to lose any weight, but I sure did) and get my PCOS under control.
I don’t have a success story yet because I have other issues (predominantly a septum and progesterone deficiency, but also Hashimotos, MTHFR mutations, and vitamin D deficiency), but PCOS didn’t affect my fertility. I’m one of the lucky ones that ovulates on my own regularly, and I get pregnant very easily. I hopefully am on the last step to my own success story.