Sunday, February 5, 2012

Polycystic what?

Alright, it's about to get personal up in here in the life of Kendal.  A good friend of mine said that some times it's good to let off a little steam of what's going on in your life because it may help someone else.

Now, Chris and I have been married for almost three years and in mormon time that's a long time to be married and not have like abajillion kids already.  I mean, the first year or two we were just wanting to get use to each other (I know sometimes a lame excuse) and at least have Chris finish school.  But we have been trying now for about a year to get pregnant and by trying I mean haven't been using any baby blockers, if you know what I mean.  However, we have been running into some problems.  A women does need to have regular menstrale cycles to get pregnant right?  Well, last year as in 2011 I had three.  Only three, and two of those were as a result of medicine.

I know three cycles is pretty darn AWESOME.  I'm not going to lie, it was pretty nice.  But not so nice when you're trying to start a family.  It got to about June and I hadn't menstrated for about four or five months so I decided it was time to go to the doctor.  During this time I was training for a triathlon and working out five days a week for about a hour to hour and a half.  I have been told that sometimes athletic women can have irregular periods.  Understandable, so Chris and I figured it was that.

But, I have always had problems with tracking my periods.  Honestly it changes ALL the TIME.  I go to the doctor's office and meet with a nurse practictioner.  She said that it's probably the exercising and that I'm basically putting my body into a metaposal state.  That just freaked me out because I'm 22 almost 23 and I should not be going through metapose for like 30 years!  So she put me on promedtrium which was to help we start.  I took it for about 10 days and then I started a few days after.  Called her up and said I started so she said well, let's just see if your body will go by itself.  Well, it didn't.

August came and nothing so I went back to see the nurse practicitioner and she put me on a month of birth control to get the necessary horomones my body probably needs.  After a month I started another period.  WAHOO... I called her again told her and she said well do you want to stay on it or do you want to just let your body try again.  I said let my body go because come on I'm trying to have a baby here.

It got to December and again no period.  Great... now what.  I called the nurse and told her that I was really concerned, especially since my husband and I were really wanting to start having a baby.  She said that the next step is to see a doctor.  I set up the appointment and went and saw Dr. Brown.  She's awesome and really cool.  We sat and talked about any symtoms I might have been experiencing.  I told her my history of irregular periods and that made her wonder more about it.  She didn't think it was the exercising and told me that it may be that I have too much testosterone, which is funny because in my mind I blamed it on being raised by my dad, HAHA.  So I got some blood work done... and lots of it.  I was at the Labcorp place for three hours.  They had to check my gluclose levels so they had to take blood every thirty minutes, on top of that I had more blood drawn for checking horomones and such.  Next, I had to go get an ultra sound as well to make sure all the parts are okay.  That was a weird experience especially since I wasn't pregnant but that proved to be the best thing.

January came and after I got back from Naples I met with Dr. Brown.  My blood work came back all normal however, the ultra sound showed that I have polycystic ovarian syndrome.  OKAY.... well.... that's cool.... FYI I'm horrible at the doctor I never know what to ask and really never have any questions.  So I told her I didn't really know what to ask.  She said "well you still can have babies."  I mean she knew I was wondering that.

So what exactly is polycystic ovarian syndrome? Well The Mayo Clinic Staff says: "Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. The name of the condition comes from the appearance of the ovaries in most, but not all, women with the disorder — enlarged and containing numerous small cysts located along the outer edge of each ovary (polycystic appearance). The exact cause of polycystic ovary syndrome is unknown. Early diagnosis and treatment may reduce the risk of long-term complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease."

Also, Doctors don't know the cause of polycystic ovary syndrome, but these factors likely play a role:

  • Excess insulin. Insulin is the hormone produced in the pancreas that allows cells to use sugar (glucose) — your body's primary energy supply. If you have insulin resistance, your ability to use insulin effectively is impaired, and your pancreas has to secrete more insulin to make glucose available to cells. The excess insulin might boost androgen production by your ovaries.
  • Low-grade inflammation. Your body's white blood cells produce substances to fight infection in a response called inflammation. Eating certain foods can trigger an inflammatory response in some predisposed people. When this happens, white blood cells produce substances that can lead to insulin resistance and cholesterol accumulation in blood vessels (atherosclerosis). Atherosclerosis causes cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that women with PCOS have low-grade inflammation.
  • Heredity. If your mother or sister has PCOS, you might have a greater chance of having it, too. Researchers also are looking into the possibility that mutated genes are linked to PCOS.
  • Abnormal fetal development. Some research shows that excessive exposure to male hormones (androgens) in fetal life may permanently prevent normal genes from working the way they're supposed to — a process known as gene expression. This may promote a male pattern of abdominal fat distribution, which increases the risk of insulin resistance and low-grade inflammation. Researchers continue to investigate to what extent these factors might contribute to PCOS.
I'm thinking for myself, probably heredity or excess insulin.  I'm not sure.  But it's interesting to me because it's more common in women who happen to be over weight and I'm not trying to brag or boast but I'm not over weight so I guess I just have an insulin problem of some sort.  Right now I'm taking MetFormin which is a type 2 diabetes medication to help lower insulin levels.  I have to take it twice a day for a month and then I have to get some blood tests because it has effects on your liver so they have to make sure my liver is okay and then I'll continue on it.  Once I DO get pregnant my doctor said that I'll continue to take it until I'm at 12 weeks.  SOOOO.... I guess I'm not this for the rest of my life???? Who knows but at least I'm very grateful for insurance that helps pay for some of it so this time it was only $4.  I was proud of myself because I did ask my doctor that since I'm basically at risk for type 2 diabetes, if when I'm pregnant am I at a higher risk of gestational diabetes.  She said yes but again, if I just keep my weight in check and eat right it shouldn't be to much of a factor.

I'm just so happy and blessed to know what the problem is now.  I just have to eat right really.  Chris was saying how he thought it was interesting that a about a year ago I really started to eat better and cut a lot of stuff out and more recently before I knew all about this, I have been impressed to really review the word of wisdom again and follow it's council and command. 

Anyway, thanks for reading.  I have been meaning to blog about it... I have been going back and forth about telling people  but like I said at the beginning, sometimes it's good to let things out.  Hopefully, sometime this year I'll get pregnant but I know that it is in the Lord's time, so patience is required.



  1. Whoa, that's alot to have been going through in the last year. I know its super hard when you feel ready to have a child and then for whatever reason, can't. Just remember that we all have our own pathways in life, it's hard, but try not to compare yourself and Chris to the other families having kids and ask why not us? Heavenly Father will send them to you at the right time, and ya'll are going to be awesome parents! With some stinking adorable youngins! AND I really like your haircut, very Gennifer Goodwin-ish. You're a brave woman to be able to cut it off like that. Props to you!

  2. I've been meaning to talk to you about how everything was going. I think sharing your experience with it is definitely going to help others, and having support when you're going through something like this is so important.

    Your patience and perseverance is amazing! Just call me anytime if you need to talk/vent about it. Love you!

  3. 3 things you must know-
    1) You are awesome
    2) Your attitude towards everything is an example.
    3) Call me if you need anything :)

  4. as you said- it's all in the Lord's hands and now you have done your part :)

  5. Kendal,
    You are darling. And I'll keep you guys in my prayers. A few thoughts I had while reading your post:
    1) I'm glad you're not going through menopause yet.
    2) Your haircut is darling - very gutsy!
    3) I miss you both!

  6. Kendal, I think Shelley hit the nail right on the head. Whenever we were told we had such a small chance of having babies, I think aside from the fear of not getting to be a mother, the hardest thing was comparing myself to others and wondering what was wrong with me...even though I knew in my heart of hearts that wasn't the right way to think, and it wasn't the way my Father in Heaven would have me think. Don't let Satan plant those thoughts in your head...they're simply NOT TRUE! Heavenly Father knows you and loves you SO much and knows which trials will help you to grow and stretch and reach your ultimate potential and help prepare you to one day stand before Him. You are amazing...your spirit just shines. You seem to have such a good head on your shoulders, and I know you have such a good and Chris both. And I know that you two will be parents, like Shelley said, to some SUPER adorable kiddos! :)

    I think it's awesome that you decided to share your struggle because it will provide comfort to others who are dealing with similar issues. It's so nice to know sometimes that you are not the only one. I remember! I will keep you and Chris in my prayers<3 Good luck, Kendal! And your haircut is so cute!

  7. thanks for sharing your story kendal. hang in there! now that you know what it is and you have a game plan you must feel much better! heavenly father definitely has a plan for you!

  8. ditto to what everyone else has said! kendal, i just think you and chris are amazing and when that time comes, you guys will be such great parents!

  9. Kendal I'm so sorry you are having to go through this. I hate enough going through it myself, but I am living proof that is so very possible to conceive with PCOS. It isn't always easy, and it can hurt so bad some days to deal with it, but you are a strong woman!
    It is rarer to be what is known as a "Thin Cyster" in the world of PCOS, but it's actually a lot more common then people realize. Metformin can definitely help, so keep on it, I will say though that there are two schools of thought on it during pregnancy. There are the doctors who say to stay on it until 12 weeks as it decreases the risk of miscarriage (which is higher with PCOS), and then there are those that keep you on it the entire pregnancy as it reduces your risk of gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and it increases your chances at breastfeeding successfully (unfortunately that too can be problematic). The latter is based on more current research, but some doctors are still reluctant since it's a newer routine.

    I'm always here to talk if you want to!

    Oh and my favorite reading on PCOS is called The Ultimate PCOS Handbook by Colette Harris and Theresa Cheung. It covers all sorts of things from diet, to handling various symptoms, to trying to conceive. I learned a ton from it. ((Hugs))

  10. You are AMAZING!!! You are going to be a wonderful mother!!

  11. Wow, so I'm pretty behind, but I had to put in my own two cents too! Everyone pretty much covered my thoughts - hang in there and it will definitely work out. Preston's mom and sister and grandma all have the same issue and his sister is constantly wishing she could have more kids. It's always hard to hear because there's not really much to say or do. . . just keep praying and know that lots of people love you and will support you with whatever! Good luck with everything! Thanks for sharing!