I am a wife and expectant mother who has PCOS. I'm sharing my journey living with this autoimmune disease.
My menstrual cycle began when I was twelve years old. I remember panicking and running to my mother when I saw the bright red spots in my underwear. My cycle was considered normal and didn't raise any red flags, which I believe continued throughout adolescence. I wasn't sexually active, so I didn't pay particular attention to when my period came each month. Because of this, I can't say for sure if I skipped months or not.
I Had a Miscarriage
I got married at 21, as a virgin. Four months after getting married, I started experiencing abdominal pains. After running some tests, I found out I was pregnant. I was elated, and my husband was overjoyed; we were both looking forward to starting a family.
My abdominal pains continued and at six weeks of pregnancy, I started bleeding. I was rushed to the hospital where an ultrasound scan was conducted, and I was told I had a cyst on my left ovary that was responsible for the pain I was feeling but was not responsible for the bleeding.
I was given some vitamins and placed on bed rest until the bleeding stopped. For two weeks, all I did was lie down and sleep, but the bleeding continued until I eventually lost the pregnancy at eight weeks. A D&C procedure was done because it was an incomplete miscarriage. It was one of the most painful experiences in my life both physically and emotionally.
For two weeks after the miscarriage and evacuation, I bled. The following month, my period came at the right time, which is 28 days later. Two weeks after my period, I started spotting. The blood was dark red, almost brown, and really sticky. I spotted for three days and then it stopped. Two weeks later, I had my period, and I bled for five days which is the normal length of my period.
The following month, my period did not come. After 35 days, I thought I was pregnant and did an at-home pregnancy, but it was negative. I decided to wait another week to take a test again—it was also negative.
My husband and I went to the hospital and saw a general practitioner who told us the delayed period was a result of the evacuation and that I should give my body time to heal. My period eventually came after 48 days.
I Had an Ultrasound Done and Saw a Specialist
The next cycle, pretty much the same thing happened. When I didn't see my period after 30 days, I decided to wait till it got to 50 days before taking a pregnancy test.
The test turned up negative, and I went in for an ultrasound scan. During the ultrasound, the ultrasound technician told me my ovaries had little cysts which might explain my missed periods. He encouraged me to see a specialist and gave me a report of the scan.
My husband and I went in to see the specialist, and he recommended hormonal profiling. He didn't explain what it was or what he was investigating. My husband was unconvinced and decided not to proceed with it.
After 68 days, my period came, which lasted 72 days. We visited another hospital. The doctor tested my insulin levels and did some urine tests, which showed nothing abnormal. He concluded it was a hormonal imbalance and placed me on primolut N for two cycles.
During those two cycles, my period came at the right time but as soon as I stopped the medication, my next cycle lasted three months. My husband and I changed hospitals again and saw a new specialist.
After talking with the specialist, he told me I had PCOS. I was 22 at this time. My husband was dumbfounded, and he argued with the doctor that I was too young to have a condition like that. The doctor smiled and calmly explained that PCOS is not related to age. He recommended a series of tests that I was to start as soon as I started a new cycle.
After that appointment, I waited for a long time for my period to come, but it never came Eventually, after 100 days, I went back to the hospital and was given Provera to induce my period.
Tests, Tests, and More Tests
After my new cycle started, I went back to the hospital for the tests I've shared in the table below. Tests were done to test my Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), prolactin, and progesterone levels. I also had a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) done, which is a kind of scan that is quite invasive and a tad bit painful.
I waited two weeks for the complete results to come back before seeing the doctor. Thankfully, the scan showed that my womb and ovaries were healthy; there were no cysts on my ovaries, and my tubes were open.
However, the hormones showed an imbalance consistent with PCOS. So even though my ovaries were healthy, I still had PCOS. The doctor said it was possible for me to become pregnant without any assistance but because we were in a hurry, I would be placed on Clomid.
I was given a seven-day dosage of Primolut N to induce my period after which I would start taking two tablets of Clomid once a day for six days. After the Clomid, I went back to the hospital every two days for a transvaginal scan which the doctor used to monitor the eggs.
My ovaries produced two eggs but only one matured enough to be induced. On day 15, I was given a trigger shot of Hcg. Apart from fatigue and swollen painful breasts, I didn't have any other reaction to it.
FSH, LH, Polactin
A Positive Pregnancy Test
Three weeks after the injection a pregnancy test was positive. There has been slight bleeding, but the baby is healthy and doing well.,
To every woman living with PCOS, know that you are not alone and that you can get through this even though there is currently no cure.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.