February 07, 2010,
S.J. asks from Cherryville, MO on February 05, 2010
Getting Pregnant with PCOS (Polycistic Ovarian Syndrome)
Any moms out there with PCOS who have been able to get pregnant fairly quickly? I am trying for baby # 2 and need some advice.
Baby #1 was a surprise and came when I was taking metformin on and off, but was also born 6 and 1/2 yrs ago when I had better eggs!
I really would like to hear your success stories and suggestions for getting pregnant. I don't have regular periods so it is difficult to detect ovulation, and ovulation kits don't work for those with PCOS because it constantly reads that we are ovulating. Other than irregular periods and slight hirsutism, I really don't have many other symptoms. I am at a very healthy weight of 127lbs (height is 5'6"). I do work out regularly (2 times min per week) and eat fairly healthy.
I also have a question....since I don't ovulate regularly (or may not), when I take metformin that forces me to ovulate, will I ovulate at "odd" times? In other words, I won't be ovulating at "day 14" like a "normal" woman would, correct? I could get pregnant literally at any time? How do I work with timing while taking metformin?
So What Happened?™
I have tried ovulation kits, and I always get a positive reading, no matter what. And I understand that not all women ovulate on day 14 - that isn't what I meant....what I was asking pertained to my taking metformin. If I take that pill that is forcing me to ovulate instead of my body doing it naturally, I could very well ovulate 2 days after my period, or can I? That was my question.
I have normal blood sugar, normal everything else per my result of extensive blood work.
S.T. answers from Kansas City on February 06, 2010
One more vote for low carbing as well as 1500mg/day metformin. Monitoring ovulation with www.fertilityfriend.com is a huge help! While we were trying, I assumed my ovulation would be late, and it was. We started around day 14 or so, trying to get some swimmers in there every other night, and my ovulations were evident on fertility friend somewhere around day 25. Very good luck to you!
K.F. answers from Dallas on February 05, 2010
I got pregnant two weeks after I started Metformin for the first time, and we weren't even trying. It was a total surprise! If it worked for you before, it might be worth trying again. You're doing everything you're supposed to as far as exercise and weight is concerned, so the Metformin might be what you need to help regulate your cycles. If it doesn't work, there's always Clomid.
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S.W. answers from Kansas City on February 06, 2010
I was on Metformin when I got pregnant with my first child. I thought I had found the cure and then we tried for another year for baby #2. My RE suggested that I have a test done called an HSG. He said that even if I did not have blockage, the test generally opens your tubes up more for a few months, which could increase your chances of getting pregnant. I only had a small blockage, so nothing new was discovered. However, I did get pregnant on my next cycle and now we have baby #2.
M.R. answers from Kansas City on February 05, 2010
After a MC and trying to get pregnant for over a year we finally saw a Reproductive Endocrinologist. She put me on Metformin, (1) 81 mg aspirn per day, we used Letrozol (similar to clomid, but less chance of multiple eggs, your OB can prescribe) and then 1 injectable to make egg release. Can't remember the name, and then interuteriune insemination. We were fortunate it took the first time. and then I used progesterone once pregnancy confirmed. My weight and height are very similar to yours. Not your typical PCOS sufferer. I too found it difficult to predict ovulation with temp taking and kits. Have you tried checking cervical mucus? We were pregnant recently after trying only 2 months and being on only metformin and aspirin, but lost the pregnancy at 7 weeks ;( Not sure if we will have to go fertility route again. What I have found is this whole getting pregnant gets pretty complicated when it doesn't work as planned. PM me if you would like some info on reproductive specialist.
A.B. answers from St. Louis on February 06, 2010
First, check out the website www.soulcysters.net -especially the "infertility and trying to conceive" sections. It's a website/message board just for PCOS'ers. You'll see that pretty much everything and anything has been tried there with a lot of success stories.
It's a myth that women ovulate on cd 14. It's perfectly normal to ovulate a few days sooner or few days later.
Also, it's not always necessarily true that ovulation tests don't work for PCOS'ers. Have you tried them? They have worked perfectly for me. (And I confirmed them by temping and my doctor did a blood test to double check.) Just be sure to buy them online because they are a lot cheaper and just as effective as store tests.
While metformin can work, it's purpose is to regulate your hormones, that can work, but doesn't always. Clomid has much better success rates and research has indicated it's better for inducing ovulation than metformin and therefore should be the first course of treatment. While it does have a 10% risk of twins, it's usually pretty unlikely for a PCOS'er- we need a boost just to ovulate one egg, much less two. My mom has pcos and conceived me on her first round of clomid, and then a couple years later my sister on her first round.
On that note, I have some good news for you. Research indicates that PCOS'ers fertility gets better with age instead of worse. (If you check out the soulcysters website they have a link to the study.)
Anyway, back to the medications talk, if you want to get pregnant faster, I would probably look beyond metformin. For me, metformin did nothing except make me sick. On soy isoflavones (available at Walmart for about $6 for a whole bottle)-I took 80 mg on cycle days 4-8 and ovulated on day 23. Now I'm trying clomid- just 50 mg days 3-7, and I ovulated on day 16. Still waiting to see if I'm pregnant or not. But they both worked to get me ovulating a lot sooner. Soy works like clomid to trick your body into ovulating, but is without some of the potential side effects with clomid...the multiples risk isn't really known...but it's considered not as strong as clomid, so maybe a little less.
I highly recommend charting- taking your temperature when you first wake up in the morning can be a pain, and confusing at first, but you will find that you get in the habit soon and it helps confirm ovulation and know what is going on with your body. Also, keeping an eye on your cervical mucus can help you figure out your fertility signs and when you are about to ovulate. I HIGHLY recommend the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler for a lot more info on this and just fertility in general. She also has a good website where you can keep your chart for free for now www.tcoyf.com. Another charting website that is frequently used is www.fertilityfriend.com.
J.B. answers from Atlanta on February 05, 2010
I don't have PCOS, but a good friend does. It took her almost a year the first time around even though she was taking the melformin, but the second time (at age 37) she took the drug and got pregnant the first month of trying! Good luck!
M. answers from Cleveland on February 05, 2010
Honestly, I had to take Clomid to get pregnant with my second baby. We tried for about a year and think I had about 3 periods in that time. If we decide to have another one, I will definately just go straight to Clomid just so I son't stress out about my cycle (which probably made it worse!) Good Luck mama, I hope to read you are pregnant soon!
M.O. answers from Chicago on February 07, 2010
I have PCOS too. I didn't know I had it when I conceived my son teh first cycle off BCP. I found out that I had it after trying and trying to get pg for 8 months with no success. My doctor put me on Metformin and Clomid. I got pregnant the first cycle on those with twins! I'm currently 15 w pg with the twins.
K.S. answers from St. Louis on February 06, 2010
I too have PCOS and just found out this week that I'm pregnant...after16 long months. So while I can't address the fairly quickly part, I can tell you what eventually worked for me. My problem wasn't just lack of ovulation but also not developing large enough eggs for fertilization. For my first child (four years ago) I took clomid (150mg) and it worked like a charm. This time, it did nothing. So I tried Clomid coupled with Follistim (or Bravelle) and that did nothing. After a couple of months, the specialist I was at wanted me to go to IVF. Aside from the cost, it's just not something I wanted to resort to yet. I asked him about Metformin and he didn't believe in it. So I got a second opinion. He put me on Metformin and started again with the shots. Still didn't do the job so he started me on Femara (similar to Clomid) at the beginning of each period. I guess it took some time for my body to adjust to the medication because after a few months of being on Metformin coupled with the Femara, I no longer needed the shots - I was growing my own eggs. We tried IUI three times (taking a trigger shot to ovulate) but all failed. We took a break over xmas then in January took Femara. The Thursday before my schuduled ultrasound (to see if we had a viable egg), I could tell I was ovulating. I guess all the times I had taken the trigger shots, I just learned what it felt like. So we got busy just in case. I went in for my appointment Monday and sure enough, I had ovulated. All by myself. After all we had been through I did not think I would be pregnant off just regular old sex, but was still thrilled my body was finally responding! So needless to say I was shocked when I got a positive test this week. At the end of the day, i don't think there is any one way to get pregnant fairly quickly - especially since we all respond differently to different things. But if I were you and didn't want to mess around, I would consider going to see a reproductive endocrinologist (insurance is more likely to cover this as it's not always considered fertility treatment). So you can at least understand what is going on with your body. Otherwise you may be making numerous futile attempts not knowing what if any issues you have. I'm in St. Louis and have an AMAZING doctor and nurse staff. Let me know if you're interested to know more.