While I certainly could discuss, ad nauseum, my dysfunctional digestive track, you all have heard it before. Also, through the years, I’ve come to realize that most people are generally more reticent about their bowel evacuations. So, for a couple of new readers, I will provide a synapsis: Metformin=Ovulation=Diarrhea. Daily. The latter, not the former. It has been awful.
I met with the midwife at my new practice yesterday, and I loved her. She also is infertile. She also has PCOS. We get each other. When I told her I was 12 weeks exactly, she challenged it based on the dating of the ultrasound. I told her I was basing it on ovulation, and she totally got it. There were no ridiculous questions about how I knew when I ovulated, or when the last day of my menstrual period was. She simply said, “Oh, well you definitely know exactly how far along you are.” Yes. And thank you for the validation midwife lady.
The NT scan went swimmingly with a nuchal fold measuring 1.25 mm. Phew. One more obstacle behind us. Our fabulous midwife felt pretty comfortable with this measurement, noting that in all her years of practice she has never had a normal nuchal measurement that resulted in a trisomy. And vice versa. We then got into a interesting conversation about the medical literature where she, again, didn’t doubt or question my knowledge on the topic. Love.
She then sat and answered a whole slew of questions. The first on the list: Can I quit the metformin. “God, yes!”, was her response. She also had the upset stomachs and the chronic diarrhea. Enough, she said. I can’t help but agree, especially since we had a toilet incident last week that we dubbed “Poop-gate”. Enough. Perhaps I will have to revisit the metformin in a month or two. Perhaps I will have to test my blood sugar with a home monitor. Fine. Give me a respite from this nasty, pernicious drug, please.
Things went so well that I am a bit sad that we probably won’t deliver with her. Whether or not we move to Sacramento, we probably will not be here in August. Wherever we go, I’m not taking the metormin with me. Begone!
On CD 11 I had a positive OPK. I was also scheduled for an ultrasound that very day, which revealed that my follicles were still small and had a ways to go. Two days later I had a lead follicle at 17 mm, but lining was really thin so my RE cancelled the cycle.
I didn’t give up hope at this point. Based upon my OPKs, I knew that my body wasn’t quite ready for ovulation. I was certain that I would get a positive and ovulate in a couple of days. Closer to CD 17 or 18, which is a typical cycle for me. Prepared to catch the egg, I armed myself with OPKs, Pre-Seed, and my thermometer.
Cue hormonal disregulation.
PCOS Hormonal Disregulation.
As you can see, I’ve now had three positives. These are dry, so you will have to trust me that the tests were positive after five minutes. My chart is a mess. My cervix is open and closing like a jack-in-the-box. It is moving up and down like a possessed elevator. And it is softening and hardening according to know known logic. My mucus was great until yesterday when it became tacky and sticky.
I haven’t had this discordant of fertility signs since before I started taking Metformin. That was in May of 2011. To exacerbate the issue, Big Guy has decided to start waking up at 5:30 in the morning. This means that my temps for the last two days are a full hour earlier than normal, and my BBT is pretty sensitive to time. I have two theories:
Theory #1: I ovulated on CD 17. My temps for Tuesday and Wednesday are borderline ovulatory temps, and they are suppressed due to the early morning call. This positive OPK today is a fluke or simply indicative of hormonal disregulation.
Theory #2: I haven’t ovulated yet.
I don’t want this to drag on forever. I had a 17 mm follicle six damn days ago. I have a trigger shot I could use to make this damaged and broken egg pop, but I don’t want to burn the $80 dollars if I’ve already ovulated. I’m calling in all charting and OPK experts. What the fuck do you think is going on?
This week has been quiet, and I’ve been working hard to keep it that way both emotionally and mentally. As it turns out, though, I do not have a quiet mind. The Circle + Bloom series has been useful exercise in stilling the chaotic voices in my head clamoring for attention. Babies! Job! PCOS! Hot! Moving! Agh! With that said, I’m working on it. I try to be gentle with myself and simply acknowledge my straying thoughts and move back to quiet. It seems easy when described in such a fashion. I think I might be particularly awful at it. Continue reading →
By the powers vested to me by the infertility god, I do hereby declare BFN Day as Carb/Dairy Day.
Once upon a time, this naive woman thought she could control her PCOS through diet and exercise. She fully believed that this would result in a lovely conception and a simple pregnancy. Well, she is me, and that didn’t work. I switched up my diet and went gluten and dairy free for five months. I also drastically reduced my carb intake, primarily focusing on complex carbs high in fiber. We all know how that story ended. That was over two years ago. Continue reading →
It’s the stuff in our personal care products, and by “stuff” I mean chemicals. Phthalates are also in flexible plastics, conventional cleaning products, vinyl, and, well, really they are kind of everywhere. The effects of phthalates are disputed but preliminary evidence reveals that they may be endocrine disrupters, carcinogens, and they may even disrupt the development of the male reproductive systems en utero. 60 Minutes did an extensive investigation into phthalates and it is available online.
What does this have to do with fertility? Well, an scientific article newly published by Environmental Health Perspectives showed a correlation* between elevated levels of phthalates and diabetes (including insulin resistance).
I may be jumping the gun here, but this is bad news for women with PCOS. We don’t need more chemicals disrupting our endocrine system’s ability to process insulin! Argh! This is especially onerous when it is so difficult to remove them from our environment. The Daily Green has a short blurb about how to remove them from our environment, as well as links to learn how to eliminate PBA’s (another endocrine disruptor), and to learn more about phthalates, generally.
Man. I’ve been fighting this PCOS fight head-on for nearly two and a half years. I’ve done almost everything in my control to eliminate endocrine disruptors in my life. It is disheartening to discover more and more environmental factors that may affect my body’s ability to process insulin. I emphasize “may” here because I understand that these studies aren’t conclusive, but when it comes to my reproductive system I like to adopt the mantra, “Better safe, than sorry.”
Phthalates, be gone!
* It is important to remember that correlation is not causation. They didn’t determine that phthalates cause diabetes or insulin resistance. They just found a relationship between the two.