Finally, I'm Trying a Better Diet after Poor Luck with Pills
by Natalie F
(Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
My two beautiful children!
I have always had irregular periods. When I was 14 I got my first period and then one year later - I got my second! It was horrible going through high-school never knowing when you would get your period. So much for white pants or skirts!
I told my mother about it, but she did not seem to be too concerned and she told me that my aunts where often period skippers and that some people where just like that. I guess I was just like that and never really thought more about it.
I was basically on a 2 to 3 period a year basis up until I became sexually active. I then started to take the pill. Of course I had to wait until I got my first period to start the cycle, but eventually I did and was regular for about 3 months.
Regular but mentally and emotionally I was ALL over the place. My mind did not seem to handle the effects of the pill at all. When I returned for my 6 month check up I had stopped taking the pill because I was just to crazy! The doctor then told me to try a different type of pill, that had less hormones and would probably be better.
(On a side note : I have to mention that I am not sure how they test to see which pill is good for you - they never "tested" me with anything other than giving me different dosed pills. You would think that they would give you a blood test or something...)
Either way, I ended up bleeding for a month and a half straight with that one. It was persisted with vomiting and constant nausea, until one day I figured it was the pill and I should get off. So needless to say my birth control pill adventures stopped there and I returned to my same old period skipping cycles as I was used too.
I am now 27 year old and was first diagnosed with PCOS when I was 21 and pregnant for my daughter. During my ultra-sound the doctor said I appeared to have cysts in my left ovary and not to think too much of it at the time since I was pregnant and well, not much could be done until after the birth. So I dismissed the idea.
After having my daughter, PCOS was the LAST thing on my mind. My role as a mother had become the focus of my entire universe. After we weaned from breast to bottle and I started to reclaim my body, I was surprised to see that my periods had become regular!
This was the first time in my life! I was regular! Well I'll be! I could not believe it - my mood swings ceased (or were at least only lasting for a week) I was skinnier than even before becoming pregnant and over all I felt fantastic!! I looked good and I felt good.
About a year and a half later I was pregnant with my son. I was thrilled that it did not take too long to get pregnant. The first month we tried! There was not a mention of any cysts this time during ultrasounds, but the worse was yet to come.
After giving birth to my son, I started to develop sharp pains in my stomach, that would come randomly and not last for very long . At first the nurses told me it was probably my uterus shrinking due to the birth of my son. So I ignored it. But then the pain started getting worse and would last longer.
Soon enough I was getting pain almost monthly and would need to lie down in the fetal position for about an hour to make it go away. The pain would start in the abdomen and would shoot up through my back all the way into my shoulders. I tried watching what I ate to see if it was related to food allergies, but nothing seemed to ever create a pattern.
I had started to see a significant change in my facial hair and even started to get little skin tags on my neck. I thought maybe it was a reaction to my pregnancy and started to do laser for the facial hair. Nothing seemed to work.
After 9 sessions (and over 1000$) the esthetician told me that we should stop because she thought it was not going to get any better. Angry at the money I spent but frustrated and depressed with the results, I continued with a different type of treatment which is seeming to help but not entirely.
My weight had fluctuated like crazy. I gained 40 pounds in less than a year, without really changing my diet or my exercise habits. I was even still exercising 5 days a week. But my weight kept going up and up and eventually the sweet craving began.
My periods were on a pattern of once every two to three months and every time I was about to get my period, I had symptoms of pregnancy. To the point where I have had milk in my breasts. Needless to say I spent lots of money on tests even though I KNEW my husband's vasectomy had been successful. Nothing else could really explain it.
It was times where it felt like for 3 weeks I was PMS-ing and in those days I was tired, sluggish, HUNGRY like you would not believe (eating more than my husband - and the sweet cravings UNCONTROLABLE! Really I would try and try but I could not resist!!)
Every time I would get a period I would lose 10 pounds. 10 pounds! That is some frightening water retention. So you can just imagine how depressing it can be.
I eventually decided to consult my gynecologist who had first diagnosed me with PCOS. He got me to take blood tests and ordered me to take the pill. Since my husband was vasectomised I had never really thought about taking the pill after having my kids. I took it for about a week until my husband said that I was acting very strange and kind of crazy. I could feel it as well. So I stopped taking it.
Between Gynecologists appointments, and on vacation with my husband for the first time in 4 years - I woke up on the morning (we had sworn to sleep in at least once!!) at about 6 am with horrible - horrible pain (the same as always) but this time it was worse, I was sweating, I felt sick, I felt light headed and nothing I could do would make it go away. So after about 30 minutes of silent suffering I woke my husband up to take me to the hospital emergency.
They immediately took me in and this Wonderful Doctor told me she was certain she knew what was wrong. She got an ultrasound done and sure enough I had a 7cm cyst on my left ovary that had ruptured! I was surprised at the size (which I later found out is big but not huge!) and she prescribed pain killers and a consult with her personal gynecologist.
I met with her gynecologist about a week later. After the second ultrasound they said there were particles left but most of it was gone. The doctor swore that we would come to an end with this disease and find a solution for my problems.
So far I have re-tried the pill with no luck - even the lowest dose of hormones makes me really intense! I have tried Metformin - no luck there - still skipped periods. I then tried Progesterin (a hormone with Progesterone) worked for the first two months and then I skipped again and gained 10 pounds. So now I am on a waiting list for the ovarian drilling operation.
Even though I am not trying to conceive (the docs all say I am lucky to have had kids without any significant difficulty getting pregnant!!) I found your site, book, information and diet very, very useful. I read all the notes from women on this site and am happy to see that I am not alone in all this.
I am going to follow your guidelines and try some of the guidelines of the women who posted on the site, hopefully while waiting the surgery, I can lose some weight and maybe get a period (going on month 3!) and then continue with this adapted diet and lifestyle to optimize my surgery results.
That is my experience with PCOS! I hope it will relate to someone out there!