It’s not a club you want to be in but nevertheless, I was in it. In 1998, I was diagnosed with PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, a condition that made it difficult for me to have children, despite previous success. Some of the symptoms were unwanted facial hair, multiple and painful cysts on my ovaries, excessive menstrual bleeding and a racing heart-all of this on top of the heartbreak of infertility. Since I was also diagnosed with Hashimoto’s around this time, the PCOS wasn’t detected at first. Once we discovered the condition, it was emotionally draining.
I was 29 in 1997 and in reasonably good health, besides the hypothyroidism. My husband was 32, healthy and active. We tried for over a year to have a baby with no results, then on into the second year and finally the third. In the third year, I had to deal with unusual bleeding. The excessive bleeding made it impossible to even think about having a baby. I bled three weeks out of the month and was so tired by the fourth week, it wasn’t possible.
After a few months, I was diagnosed with PCOS. I had cysts covering most of my ovaries and the condition prevented me from ovulating. I went for tests and ultrasounds just to verify it but there it was. Now I was faced with a choice, I could give up on the hope of having a baby and have the ovaries removed or I could make some lifestyle changes that might improve my chances and hope for the best.
I wasn’t giving up. I enlisted the help of my prayer group and then my husband and I worked together to make some changes to our lifestyle.
Here’s what we did: We gave up the processed foods and cut down on the sugar. Next, I agreed to take fertility medication that would increase my chances of pregnancy. My doctor prescribed Clomiphene, a prescription medicine that would help me ovulate. I took the treatment for about six months with no success. I was extremely discouraged to say the least.
I considered a procedure that my gynecologist suggested called “ovarian drilling” but at last, we had success! After losing weight and getting healthier we heard the fantastic news that we were pregnant! Now, I have a healthy 14 year old son and everytime I look at him I am reminded of what a miracle he is. I feel truly blessed.
To anyone struggling with secondary infertility I say keep up the fight. Do the things you can, like eating better and working out more. At the end of the day, all you can do is what you can. Chances are you’ll be successful.