The Diagnosis

In October of 2010 I married Cloudy, the most amazing man I have ever met. I was 30 and Cloudy was 38 so we decided once we were married that we wanted to start making babies right away. Ok in all honesty, I was excited about the babies part and Cloudy was excited about the making part. Regardless, we had reached an agreement. We were going to make babies, two at a time if we could pull it off! All of our friends and family knew this and were constantly asking about the twins and when we could all expect them to come around. After pulling the proverbial goalie I realized that goalie was protecting a goal with a brick wall in front of it and we probably didn’t really ever need him. You can read all that I knew about my reproductive health in my birth control post. I had made it very clear to my body that I did not trust it to run its hormones on its own accord and it needed me to take pills or injectables to “control” it. In high school they make it sound like all you have to do is have unprotected sex one time and bam! you’ll be holding a screaming needy baby in 9 months flat. But my experience is that it is not as easy as they make it sound. Even the super fertile still have infertile days, so best case scenario you are still looking at a timing issue. Anyway, I am not the super fertile, I have not accepted the title of infertile yet but I would have to raise my hand if someone were calling out for the fertilely challenged. I didn’t know much, but I knew that if I wasn’t having periods it was probably going to be hard for me to get pregnant. A quick Google search could tell me it probably meant I wasn’t ovulating. Unless I’m missing something big, you need to ovulate to get pregnant. So like most honeymooners freshly off the pill I decided to just give it a few months. Much to my surprise I actually had a period six weeks after my last pill induced period and I was pretty psyched about that. This is only the second time this has ever happened for me and the first time, was my first period. I’m not really sure why it was turning around but I like to think it has something to do with Cloudy’s pheromones.

Amazing as that one period was, it was the only one. Three months later and one week after my 30th birthday, I decided it was time to get some information about my body and what was going on. I turned first to google and looked into some possible causes for anovulation then I bought some Vitex and made an appointment to see a reproductive endocrinologist the following week.

On the day of the big appointment Cloudy and I were hopeful that we would find a simple problem with a simple solution. We discussed our history and were told that we were most likely dealing with poly cystic ovarian syndrome. The guy did an internal ultrasound and let me tell you, those are not so fun, it’s even worse when your husband is standing there like a nervous wreck because he never thought he would have to see another man get anywhere near your parts let alone go probing around in there. Cloudy was doing his best to be supportive but I could tell he was also fighting off some carnal urge to hit the guy. I was doing my best to fight off my own urge to hit the guy and my urge to laugh out loud at Cloudy. It was a pretty awkward and entertaining scene I’m sure. Once we all got a little more comfortable with what was going on the doctor was able to show me my ovaries on the screen and they did in fact have the classic pearl necklace pattern of cysts. Both ovaries had about 12-14 of the little bumps and put that together with a lifetime history of amenorrhea and I had a PCOS label. He said that this condition is caused by estrogen dominance and that my body was to blame. At this point the doctor told me that my only options were to go back on birth control or if we wanted to conceive right away then I should be put on a regimen of clomid and glucophage. REALLY? I’ve been pumping my body full of fake estrogen for 12 years and you think my body is estrogen dominant because IT doesn’t work right? And the answer is more artificial hormones? Thank you western medicine I’ll be going now.

There is one area where I think western medicine deserves a lot of credit; diagnostics. They really do have a good grasp on what is supposed to be happening and how to spot what isn’t working right or what is going on in a person’s body. It really helped me to know the cause of my problems and to be able to seek a more personalized treatment once I had a diagnosis in hand. I also think they are great with acute trauma. If I break a bone I am more than happy to have them set it for me. If I am bleeding, than please stitch me up. In my opinion, where western medicine falls flat is in the treatment of long standing, chronic, poor health and dis-ease. Doctors want to take over for the body’s short comings and force the result they’d like to see. There is never any true healing or encouraging the body to learn to fix itself or have long term success on its own.

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2 thoughts on “The Diagnosis

  1. Yep – that is one of the biggest things (about medicine) I learned during our TTC journey — that there are benefits to both the eastern and western ways of doing things. After our initial PCOS diagnosis by my OB, we tried a couple of rounds of clomid (which finally caused me to ovulate 3 of 4 times – but still really late and with no BFP), and then took a break for a long time – still TTC, but changing diet, going to acupuncture and yoga (both of which I loved!) and trying things more ‘holistically’ I guess. For us, that wasn’t enough to “fix” things – My cycles slowly regulated a bit, but I still rarely ovulated before CD30+, and even with timing sex pretty well thanks to BBT, we never saw the elusive BFP without turning back to western meds again. I hope for you the story is a little different (though still with a baby at the end!) since you’re hoping to avoid western meds. For me, using a combo of the two is what worked for us!

    Have you read “The Infertility Cure” by Randine Lewis? Awesome book about Eastern Medicine’s way of looking at the reproductive system. It was the bible for my acupuncturist and myself. 🙂

    • Thanks for all the comments. I have read the Infertility Cure and as it will come out later I actually was fortunate enough to go to a weekend retreat with Randine and she was super cool. She is still very passionate about helping women with their bodies even though she has seen so many of us with these issues. I loved her and me and my acupuncturist use her book and her advice too!

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