What is PCOS?

Today is September 4. Though I don’t know the exact due date, I know that I would’ve been expecting a child this week, if not for PCOS.

On Christmas Eve 2008, on a whim I took a pregnancy test. I was always irregular, so I wasn’t too worried about a slightly late menstrual cycle, but I took it anyway. I was shocked when the test was positive! Matt and I had been married for 15 months and we weren’t planning a pregnancy, but we weren’t preventing either. So I, in my romantic holiday-loving personality, decided Christmas gifts to announce the pregnancy were in order. My parents had 6 grandchildren at the time, so I got an ornament with 7 kids and put “Baby Hurley coming soon” on the seventh baby. For Matt’s parents, this would’ve been their first, so I got his Mom a Brighton charm bracelet with a Baby charm. They were so thrilled. We shared the news with the grandparents, siblings, everyone in the family, but did not want to share outside of the family and close friends. However someone posted it on Facebook and so it was out. People I work with found out and at the time, I was okay with that.

Two days after I found out, I started bleeding a little bit. I was in Tallahassee with Matt’s family and so I called my mom. She said most of the time its ok, but rest a lot and if its still happening on Monday, go to the doctor. I was scared and I read that sometimes its ok and sometimes its not. Most books say “a lot of bleeding” is bad, but no one defines “a lot.” I couldn’t decide if it was too much or if it was ok and I was so scared.

Monday morning, I called my doctor and told them what happened and asked to come in for an emergency appointment. The nurse actually told me that I had to go to the ER, they couldnt determine anything in the office. My sister-in-law had gone in when she bled in her pregnancy to the same doctor’s office and they ran tests and everything in the office, so I know that was not true. When she refused to see me, I found another ob/gyn who had high ratings in my mom’s book and went there. I am so glad I did. Dr. Barron saw me immediately and ran a pregnancy test- it came back negative. He wanted to do a blood test to confirm the miscarriage and then he wanted to see me again in a few days. That was on December 28.

I went back on Friday and met with Dr. Armas, the leading practitioner in the group. He specializes in hormone issues. He said I needed a D&C to complete the miscarriage and sent me to the hospital to Dr. Watkins right away, to beat the Friday night rush at the hospital- I didn’t even know there was such a thing. Dr. Armas looked at my hormone levels and said my progesterone was low and that could’ve caused the miscarriage, or it could be a result of the miscarriage, we don’t really know he said.

I didn’t even fully realize that I was pregnant before I started bleeding so it never really set in that there was a baby inside my belly. It didn’t really set in that I was miscarrying until after the D&C and I was back at work. The people I work with that saw on Facebook that I was pregnant- they were congratulating me and asking when I was due and all that. It was so hard to tell them “It didnt take” and try not to cry. Dr. Armas told me to wait 2 cycles and then I could try again and I planned on trying again as soon as I could.

Dr. Armas wanted to test my hormones during my cycle to see if that could tell what went wrong. I got my blood taken on Day 3 and 23 of the cycle and then met with him to find out the results. When I met with him on March 30, he said I had PCOS- Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. Despite the name, its a hormonal imbalance stemming from insulin imbalance. They’ve only recently been able to do research and really figure out the causes and effects of PCOS, but one of the effects was miscarriage. Basically, the body doesn’t absorb carbs properly, which causes the body to release extra insulin (which is a hormone) and the extra insulin causes the other hormones to get out of whack. The imbalance in the hormones causes:

– irregular ovary release cycles which lowers your chances of pregnancy

– miscarriages and repeat miscarriages

– extra weight gain especially in the midsection- I’d gained about 30 pounds in 4 years, after I LOST 15 pounds in my freshman year of college

– hair loss- my husband constantly complains that my hair in the drain is so nasty

The doctor gave me a book, What to do When the Doctor Says its PCOS, and I started reading that every day. It talked about how to limit my carb intake, what type of diets to eat, and other life changing things.
More of the story to come on another post…

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Meagan said,

    Wow, I’m glad you posted that info. I was looking around at craft blogs and happened on your’s by chance. After scrolling down, I started reading. I’m glad you shared because my sister has had a lot of miscarriages and doesn’t know why. Her doctor isn’t as aggressive as your’s. Our family has lots of ovary issues. My sister even had a cyst the size of an orange that had to be taken out. I’m going to tell her about your story. She’s always discouraged and thinks she’ll never get pregnant and stay pregnant again.

  2. 2

    Stephanie said,

    So sorry to hear about your miscarriage and diagnosis, Deanna.


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