The timeline of our story:
March 2016: Come off the pill after five years. Start trying to conceive immediately. Both Sam and I are under 30 so assume we will get pregnant quickly.
April 2016: It takes 37 days for me to get my first period. A little disappointed I didn’t get pregnant the first month but happy I have my period and my body is functioning post-pill.
September 2016: Erratic cycles after the first. 49 days, 29 days, 38 days. On day 40 ish of the final cycle I go to visit the gynaecologist for a smear test. Mention that I’m trying for baby and my cycles are all over the place. Gynaecologist offers to do some blood tests
Later in September 2016: A call a couple of weeks later from my gynaecologist. Bloodwork looks normal except my Anti-mullerain hormone (AMH) is extremely high (23.6, a normal result is between 1-2). This is indicative of Polycycstic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This comes as a huge shock as I am lean and do not have any other symptoms, e.g. no acne, other than irregular periods. I also used to have regular periods before going on the pill.
October 2016: Referred to reproductive endocrinologist, Dr M. Dr M does an ultrasound and confirms my ovaries are full of cysts. Day 60 something and still no period. Advises that I am the perfect IVF candidate as I have lots of opportunity, but understands because of my age I may not be ready to jump straight down that route. Does more blood tests, no other issues. Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) clear.
November 2016: Begin treatment, letrozole and Gonal-F injections. Respond very fast on injections. Daily ultrasounds. Medication is reduced but I overstimulate. 14 follicles over 16mm and 4 or 5 over 17mm. There was even one at 21mm. Cycle is cancelled. Given Luepron injection to avoid ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome. Once my period arrives begin taking the pill again for two weeks to shrink my ovaries back to normal.
December 2016: Back to Dr M who is game to do another cycle with less medication but thinks it is very likely the same thing will happen. Decide to wait until the new year to do anything. Start researching natural ways to help with infertility. Start taking Myo-inositol and following low GI diet.
January 2017: Back in the UK, see local GP. They do blood tests including glucoses and insulin resistance. No issues with blood sugar. Do uncover high testosterone, usually found in PCOS women. Testosterone is over 5, normal is around 1-2. Referred to gynaecologist but have to return to the US. Will have to wait to see UK gynaecologist until we move back to the UK later in 2017.
February 2017: No period since pill induced period back in December. Currently on day 88 of cycle. Followed low GI diet very strictly in December and January but no change. Trying licorice root and white peony. Decided not to return to see Dr M due to costs and the treatment being unlikely to work. Will continue to try naturally until we move back home to the UK.
March 2017: It’s been a year since Sam and I began trying to conceive. This time last year I had no idea about the PCOS/infertility rabbit hole I was about to fall down. Carrying on trying to conceive naturally but I’ve had no period since 1st December 2016. Continuing with Licorice root and white peony, considering starting myo-inositol again as well.
Feeling off later in the month. Take a pregnancy test, and its positive immediately. Doctor informs me I’m already 6 weeks pregnant.
May 2017: In the beginning of my second trimester. Still can’t believe I’m pregnant.
Winter 2017: Our beautiful, healthy bundle of joy arrived.