PCOS/Insulin Resistance Support - Pregnancy Disappointment/Possible PCOS? (LONG!)

04-11-2013, 07:03 PM
I'm posting this for 2 reasons - to vent - and to hopefully get insight from those familiar with PCOS. Sorry for the long post, but bear with me...

So I had a son in 2008. I was told I had to pick a birth control which they'd administer to me or write a prescription for on discharge day. After asking many questions (with incorrect answers from the nurse) I chose the depo shot, because of my fear of forgetting a daily pill. I would have never chosen it had I known what it does to your body and fertility.

So for the next 2 and a half years my body mimicked pregnancy symptoms. I would get sore breasts, cramping, and spotting. Every single time I thought I was getting a period, I'd grab a tampon or pad to find that nothing else came after an initial bit of blood. 100 pregnancy tests later, always negative, I was so disappointed. I then started to figure a lot of it has to do with my weight. I was always heavier but I gained A LOT while pregnant and after having my son.

I was heavy (maybe a little smaller than now) as a teen. I lost a lot of weight (not sure how much but went from a 24 or 26 to a 12/14.) and then I got my first period. So since that was when I was 15, I'm starting to think it had less to do with being a late bloomer and more to do with my weight.

So the past year I haven't really had anymore pregnancy like symptoms. Until recently - I have had moving sensations in my stomach, headaches the same time of day for a week straight, light cramping. Because of the movements I thought maybe I got pregnant during one of the recent times I lost a little weight, and I ovulated once before gaining weight back. Just took a pregnancy test - and yet another negative. It never stings less even when you've seen it a million times.

I mean realistically, I want to be healthy before another pregnancy. I know I should lose weight first and significantly reduce complications. But for those couple days I really did get my hopes up, and its so disappointing when you know you're not any closer to having a baby.

Okay so let me start this other part by saying I have not seen a GYN at all. I know, I know - I should. Something always came up. My fiance and I are not married and I never had benefits until my most recent job. Just as I set up an appointment for the next month (soonest they could take me) I lost my job an d insurance before that date. Financially we're stable on my fiance's income, but the cheapest GYN I could find for just a standard appointment (even though I know biopsies and whatever else will be done) was $150. So I just haven't gotten around to it, and we just moved out of state as well.

Anyways the reasons I think I may have PCOS - Persistent facial hair on my chin - stubbly and thick. I have to pluck everyday (so embarrassing). I'm in the morbidly obese category. I get sharp pains in my sides. I had an ER visit 2 years ago from rectal bleeding and when they sonogrammed my stomach, a large cyst was on one of my ovaries. I haven't had a period in 4+ years. I know you all aren't doctors but just wondering if anyone has experienced anything similar. And if not, thank you so much for listening (reading) it is so nice to vent. I keep all of this inside because its embarrassing and I don't want to worry family and friends.

Arctic Mama
04-11-2013, 08:47 PM
It is entirely possible you have PCOS, or at least a degree of the hormonal imbalance and constellation of symptoms (I don't have PCOS, for example, but suffered many of the common complaints from it when I was at my high weight).

Obviously a GYN or Reproductive Endo really should be a visit you make in the future, but for the time being I highly recommend adopting a diet that controls the symptoms of insulin resistance, if you don't already. That is a key way many Cysters manage and improve their symptoms. On one of the low carb message boards I frequent, many of the gals attest to low carb being what helped them get pregnant (finally!).

I'm so sorry you're suffering due to depo, too. I have only been on hormonal birth control for two months of my life and will never go on it again, for understanding the massive complications that can be associated with it (not to mention the increased prevalence of cancer). Depo is among the nastiest of them, too :(. I'm wishing you the best in conceiving and hoping there are no roadblocks beyond just managing symptoms. Big hugs!

04-11-2013, 09:16 PM
Depo is nasty. :( I got one shot & it kept me from getting pregnant for 2 freaking years!

I will never do a hormonal birth control again. At one point my doctor said he was positive that I had endometriosis & would need a hysterectomy. Right before the exploration surgery, I magically felt better & cancelled my surgery. I happened to be pregnant which they said can cause remission. But, whenever I take birth control pills, the same symptoms come right back. It really is just the pill messing with me. :(

I am very sorry for you having to go through all of this. I hope that the diet suggested by Arctic Mama might provide you some relief if you try it.

04-11-2013, 09:25 PM
Thank you both so much. I will definitely try the recommendations, couldn't hurt. I mean we weren't exactly trying because I havent had a period in 4 years I assumed I just couldnt get pregnant. And I really do want to be thinner and healthier before getting pregnant - but the thought of me actually being pregnant made me so excited. I am hoping and praying it's nothing that will prevent me from ever conceiving. For now, I will just keep working my butt off and hopefully it will pay off in the end. :)

04-11-2013, 10:09 PM
I have PCOS.. and I know this wasn't the advice you were asking for.. BUT.. I have been able to get pregnant TWICE following a low carb type diet.. (basically.. nothing fancy just cutting out all sugars/white bread/rice/flour, etc)..
Not only does cutting out all that stuff make me fertile but my hair loss stops, my acne and oily skin improve and my cycles come regularly.

04-11-2013, 10:16 PM
True but you are also a lot smaller than I and were at your start weight. I'm not doubting it works, just wondering if it will work for me when I am so heavy. Will definitely give it a go though! Thanks :)

the shiv
04-11-2013, 11:05 PM
No pregnancies here, but I have had a very nasty experience with the depo shot, so I can understand that part! Essentially, I had a 9 month period from one shot. HORRIBLE. That was a couple of years ago, maybe a little less, and my cycle settled back down under a year ago. I can't get the pill right now because I have to get shot of another 10-20lbs before my doc will prescribe it, but no way am I jumping headlong into another semi-permanent method of birth control without knowing what the specific hormones will do to my body first.

I don't have any advice, I just wanted to send you this :hug: and say I hope you find a way to make the weight loss work for you. And that you have my sympathies at being another person who's had so much trouble with depo :(

Arctic Mama
04-12-2013, 01:07 AM
Some of those gals on the other forum were definitely able to get pregnant in the 250+ pound range, even with PCOS. As soon as you control your metabolic syndrome symptoms your hormones begin regulating themselves in a manner much closer to the normal pattern, and the more weight you lose the better this is.

Really - something like Bernstein, Atkins, Nutritional Ketosis - these are all plans in the low carb spectrum and not only should take weight off of you at a good clip but I'd expect a gradual and obvious improvement in the symptoms you listed. It's not a cure, inasmuch as PCOS is something you'd always be prone to flaring if you have it, but the proper diet can manage the condition to the point of being essentially non-existent.

There's some great support boards on this site and the Internet, in general, relating to PCOS management. Check them out!

04-12-2013, 07:06 AM
It may be that you have PCOS, it may not be. I think a visit to a gynecologist and possibly a followup with an endocrinologist is your best option. Although we can give you our experiences with PCOS, we are not doctors and getting medical advice from the internet is ill advised.