I'd like to share a little about our journey up until referral to the Fertility Clinic. I remember before all this happened I came across lots of couples on my Instagram account that were asking questions on how this process worked, so here's my experience:
When we got married in September 2014, we were deliriously happy & about to set off on our honeymoon. In terms of babies, we hadn't given it a thought as we were so focused on the Wedding, but that day changed everything… it was like we suddenly had licence to be carefree. We always said we wanted to get married before children, but within moments of saying "I do" that became our status… married; and so having protected sex became less of a necessity.
Several months went by, not entirely unprotected nor intentionally trying to conceive, & come March 2015 I was experiencing a lot of discomfort during my day to day life. I felt exhausted for one thing, dizzy, headaches & most of all, I started to feel pains in my lower abdomen – around my pelvis area. My boobs seemed to hurt all day every day & I came to the realisation that I may be pregnant. I was not. This happened for a couple of months. Feeling a bit concerned I went to my doctor & she sent me for an ultrasound. This was done at a morning clinic at the local hospital & it was like waiting at the meat counter… take your ticket & wait in line. I'd never had a transvaginal ultrasound & was very apprehensive of what to expect… but it was all done very discreetly, in a darkened room with a big sheet of tissue paper covering you. It didn't hurt, it was just mildly uncomfortable. I remember the nurse saying "ah, here we go, you've got Polycystic Ovaries!" I wondered what on earth it meant. She briefly explained & said I may have difficulty having children, but it's a very common thing in women & most don't even know they have it. So, of course I dashed home & consulted my good friend Dr Google. It all started to fall into place… the symptoms, the mood swings: classic PCOS.
After a couple of weeks I went back to my Doctor who ran some blood tests & confirmed I had PCOS. She told me my oestrogen levels were "through the roof" & discovered a mild iron deficiency. As most do, she advised me to become a little more active & focus on a well balanced diet. I started thinking about the foods I was eating & introduced exercise into my life, starting with the 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels.
The months ticked by & nothing came of it. I generally felt better in myself & in a lot less pain, but my focus had fixated on becoming pregnant… which wasn't happening. I was getting increasingly stressed & felt an enormous amount of pressure on my shoulders, entirely my own doing of course! Without going into the emotional side of things, basically we weren't getting anywhere. For a few months my Doctor did some progesterone tests to see if I had ovulated & it suggested that I was. A semen analysis was carried out & Hubs was thrilled to be achieving a fantastic amount of 76 million swimmers, when average they look for as a healthy number in the UK is 15 million. There were no problems with his 'batch' so the pressure mounted even higher on my shoulders.
In March this year my Doctor referred us to our local Fertility Clinic as we had been trying for over two years. The referral consisted of a written request from my Doctor, full bloods from myself taken within the first few days of my period & bloods from Hubs… oh & a bunch of forms for us to fill in. Within 6 weeks we had an appointment & found ourselves sat in a posh little waiting room watching goldfish swim round in circles in their tank. It was all a bit surreal…
The Consultant was a friendly lady, however it was a lot of information to take in. She had all our medical history & even thought that due to my fantastic blood results that I didn't have PCOS… but when she carried out a transvaginal ultrasound she saw just slightly more than average dormant follicles on my ovaries – which are commonly incorrectly referred to as "cysts". In her opinion, it was a bit of a head scratcher… so she suggested a more thorough investigation to look at my uterus, fallopian tubes & check for signs of Endometriosis (where layers of tissue that should grow inside the uterus can grow on the outside ). There's an agonising 12 week waiting list for something I really don't want done… but I have to be realistic, I'm not just doing this for myself. In addition to this, we walked away with 6 months of Clomifene (Clomid). I was instructed to take 50mg on days 2 to 6 of my cycle & phone for a day 12-14 scan to see if my body responds.
After the appointment, in all honesty, we felt a bit numb. We were expecting a definitive answer & we kind of felt we had nothing. However, I am currently in the middle of my first cycle of Clomid (which I'll do a post about when the cycle is complete) & feeling very positive… so, fingers crossed!