Wednesday, 30 June 2010


~ thinking out loud ~

I used to have a friend who also suffered from infertility. She was prone to miscarry, and had a couple of them every year. Even I cried for her loss. We were quite close. She was the only person I could really share my frustrations with. But last year she finally and successfully gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and I haven't heard from her since. Not one word, not a single hello, NOTHING!

I was a bit surprised by her attitude. She doesn't pick up my calls or reply my emails. I sincerely thought there was something other than infertility that bound us together. But looking back now, it seems that's all there really was to it.

Friendship should be mutual, based on shared values. I'd hate to impose on someone that is clearly no longer interested in my well being. Plus I'm not really the 'reach out to other people' kind of person. So, there goes that 'friendship'.


On a different note (or the same note), I vividly remember how we used to differ on the cause of our infertility. She fundamentally believed that she was being afflicted by sorcery... believing a jealous relative (mother in-law. Specifically widowed mother-in law. The bulls eye as far as finger pointing is concerned!) to be the cause, while I believed there had to be a scientific explanation for why I was not getting pregnant and why she was having recurrent miscarriages.

I'm not claiming to be better than her, because only God knows what's in our hearts. However when it comes to religious practices I am way more observant than she is, yet it's strange that I immediately looked to science for my solutions while she turned to the supernatural. We are both Muslims, yet my own faith gave me the conviction to seek a logical explanation. As a Muslim I believe nothing happens without the Will of God, and at the same time He has given us the knowledge to understand our bodies and how they function. In other words, you can't just sit there pointing fingers and praying for change without moving your arse!

If like her, I had accepted the 'evil relative' theory, I'd probably still be wallowing in foolishness, chasing shadows, partaking in exorcisms and damning myself to hell in the process. Yet here I am today, diagnosed with a genuine medical condition, receiving treatment and fully on my way to recovery.

I don't know why highly educated Nigerian women are still neck deep in stupidity and outdated shittery. I'm sure this mentality pervades in other societies where belief in the supernatural still holds sway. I know another woman whose mil advised her to seek medical help after a year of marriage without getting pregnant. Instead of doing the smart thing, she went to consort with - here, respectfully referred to as 'old school folks' - who effectively poisoned her mind; told her that the cause of her infertility was jealousy. And that her mum in-law was preventing her from getting pregnant through supernatural means.

Fast forward to two years later, she is womb-less and scarred for life. She had to have a hysterectomy because she had uterine fibroids that grew so large they had to take the whole thing out together with her womb. She almost lost her life in the process, needing massive blood transfusions. If she had gone to have herself checked out when her mil suggested it, she might have had a different story to tell today.

Situations like hers are all too common. Regardless of religion or ethnicity, there's a pervasive rottenness in our society that attaches a lot of stigma to infertility, supernatural shittery to be precise. Yet it is an irrefutable fact that  100% of sexually active members in a society cannot be 100%  fertile 100% of the time. There will always be a minority that need a little help with their fertility. Even among the majority, certain factors have to be in place before conception can successfully occur. Unfortunately, there will also be those that due to accident, injury, genetic abnormality, or some unexplained reason, remain infertile.

The sooner women realize that, the sooner they'll stop buying the bullshit being peddled, seek genuine medical help and get to the bottom of their affliction and stop consorting with 'old school' folks who literally go witch hunting whenever things go wrong. It's one thing to be diagnosed with unexplained infertility and quite another to not be diagnosed, at all!


Sunday, 27 June 2010

And The Best Period Goes To.....

I must confess, if I were handing out the Aunty Flo equivalent of the Oscars, it'll have to go to this one. This is by far the best period I've had in ages!! There is no quantifying how gratifying it feels to have a semblance of normalcy, and to know that all your hard work - all your exercise, watching what you eat, pill popping and guzzling down puke inducing concoctions - is finally paying off.

If you happen to be reading this and you have pcos or other girly problems, trust me when I say every little change you make pays off. It might seem insignificant at first, and you may go a while without seeing anything. But trust me, there IS something being 'changed'. I began my journey last December. I hadn't had a period in 3 months before I was diagnosed in January. I started trying to loose weight officially in February and here I am, 4 months later having a blissful period.

For the first time in years I don't have to go through two packs of pads! I can actually count the number of pads I've used so far on one hand. And this one doesn't seem to be malingering like my previous periods. I'm in day 3 and I've already stopped bleeding, just spotting. Unlike previously when it's always gushing around the third day. Also no cramps! Absolutely none whatsoever. No more doubling over because of crappy contractions.

Last but not least, and this is the part that I used to hate most: no more passing blood clots. I'm not talking of tiny chunks of blood, I'm talking mega clots. I used to actually feel those monstrosities making their way out of my cervics, down my vag and 'pop'... I would have to rush to toilet and gently let them out otherwise they tend not to get soaked up, instead they roll around when I walk and then make their evil way out and soil me for the whole world to see!

I'm probably the happiest woman on her period right now... I mean, I was happy when I finally had my period after many months... but now, I'm happy because they're normal. And I really should stop complaining about it being late because ever since I've had periods they always come two to three days later the following month. I guess a 36day cycle is what's 'normal' for me. *sigh*

Big BIG Woot for me! Huge pat on the back! You go girl! More fat to your boobies! Etc... etc....etc.... now I'm off to force down some broccoli/cauliflower/cabbage/ginger concoction. Yuck! But I seem to be acquiring a taste for it... except for the farts though. OMG! Ordinarily I can stand my own farts to an extent, but Almighty Lord of all things Green and Holy! These bad boys are so potent I want to get the hell away from me.

Can't over do it though as I've read cruciferous plants are also goitergenic. Sheesh! Even the good stuff can be bad for you too... I sometimes wonder if it's better not to know, I mean would one be better off floundering in ignorance?

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Hormone Disruptors


Source: Original article can be found here.

Hormone Disruptors

The effect of endocrine disruption was first noticed in wildlife, but is now being observed in humans, for example, in the worldwide decline in sperm count.
Over 100,000 synthetic chemicals are now in widespread use but this is still very recent in terms of evolution.
It has been more than 70 years since toxic chemicals such as PCBs and DDT were introduced. The first generation of children exposed to these chemicals in the womb has recently reached reproductive age, and we are seeing more and more hormone problems and infertility. In fact, most people have been exposed to dangerous chemical toxins throughout their life.
Our waterways contain residues of birth control pills, antidepressants, painkillers, shampoos and many other chemical compounds. Pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) are entering rivers from sewage treatment plants or leaching into groundwater from septic systems.
Most of these substances are not checked for their effects on health, including fertility.

Examples of Chemicals that act as Hormone Disruptors
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) – now banned, but traces can still be found in pesticides, electrical transformers, hydraulic fluid, compressors, varnishes, inks, flame resistors, carbonless copy paper and even some cosmetics.
  • Heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, nickel) – present in cigarette smoke, paints, plastics, batteries, water pipes, dental fillings, fluorescent lights, large fish, cosmetics and treated pine.
  • Organochlorines and many other pesticides - including insecticides, fungicides and herbicides.
  • Parabens – found in deodorants.
  • Butylated hydroxyanosole (BHA) and alkyl phenol ethoxylates -present in many foods as well as paints, plastics, toiletries, cosmetics, some medications, cleaning products, spermicides, polystyrene and PCV, herbicides and pesticides.
  • Dioxins – by-product of chlorine bleaching from industry (pulp mills, etc) and present in sanitary products and disposable nappies; linked to endometriosis.
  • Bisphenol A, DEHP (di-ethyl hexyl phthalate) – plasticizers present in flexible plastics e.g. PVC and polycarbonate plastics, cellophane, cling wrap/cling film, plastic bags, drink bottles, take-away containers, linings in food cans.
  • Other phthalates - present in seatbelts, hose pipes, plastic dental fillings, moisturisers, hairsprays, insect repellents, solvents, coatings on time-released medicines, soap, shampoo, detergents.
  • Car pollution.
  • DDT.
  • Other – chlorine bleaches, petrol combustion by-products, dieldrin, atrazine and methylchlor.

Safeguarding yourself from hormone disruptors
Apart from drinking filtered water and eating organic food, there is not a lot we can do in terms of avoidance. The best advice is to regularly detoxify your system of these residues.
  • Purify all drinking water with a good quality purifier, including water used to wash fruit and vegetables and water boiled in a kettle. Hormonal residue from the urine of animals and women taking the oral contraceptive pill makes its way, along with most of the other substances mentioned, into our water supplies.
  • Buy organically grown and fed foods, as animal fat is a reservoir for these toxins.
  • Avoid seafood that is not from the river or the coast (especially crustaceans and other bottom dwellers) as these may be exposed to industrial or agricultural run-off.
  • Also avoid large fish such as swordfish, as these are at the top of the food chain and may be high in heavy metals, especially mercury.
  • Store food in glass, ceramic or stainless steel containers (or even rigid, non-flexible plastic), especially if hot, fatty, liquid or acidic.
  • Don’t microwave!
  • Avoid using pesticides, toxic paint and bleaches. Use only environmentally-friendly cleaning products.
  • Don’t apply deodorant immediately after shaving.
  • Replace amalgam or plastic teeth fillings with porcelain or even gold. There are also some plastic fillings that don’t contain phthalates.
  • Replace bleached tampons and sanitary pads with cotton/hemp reusable pads, or even organic tampons (though these should be reserved for high-need occasions, as restricting blood flow may have implications for endometriosis).
  • Avoid sanding back old, lead-containing paints or treated pine.
  • Test for heavy metal contamination (through hair analysis, electro-dermal or urine). If found, use high-level antioxidants e.g. selenium, zinc, Vitamin C, humic acid and liver support to detoxify and chelate heavy metals.
  • Avoid drinking hot drinks from Styrofoam cups as they are a potent source of Bisphenol A.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Still No AF And Some Good News

Three days on and still no AF. Since yesterday morning all I've been having are brown chocolatey stuff. I don't have those crampy feelings that normally accompany a period. I'm not sure what having a flu has to do with AF. I just want to have it and done with before I start worrying whether I'll be able to ov next month. To be honest I'm not in the mood for a dodgy period, not after all my efforts of the past 6 months!

Just goes to show how much of a bitch PCOS can be. And just when you think you've got things under control, something else goes and messes up.

Meanwhile, Dh had his sperm analysis and all his swimmers are in perfect order. Good news on that note. At least there's only one factor to worry about now. I would have been gutted if it turned out that we both had problems. It's a little easier when it's just one person. I feel better knowing he can give me the strength to do what I need to do for us to have a baby. He will be my pillar.

Having the flu still sucks, I think I've reached the peak though... should hopefully, start feeling better by tomorrow.

Speaking of ov, non existent AF's and babies, I haven't gotten to the stage where I can't stand other people's happiness, i.e., when other women have babies. Which is a natural consequence of wanting something desperately and seeing them acquire it very easily. And I pray to God I never get to that point in my life where I'm bitter and angry that I shut out the world because I didn't get what I want, instead of being thankful for what I am blessed with. I have my moments, don't get me wrong. But they're fleeting and I quickly recover and channel the negative into something positive that I can do to help myself along.

May the prayers of those of us seeking children be answered. Amen!


I'm going to buy a water filter as part of the efforts to reduce the oestrogenic load in my system, also later today. I plan to start eating more cruciferous vegetables. I used to love cabbages, then I stopped. Can I manage one serving of it every day for the next one month? Am I up for a daily dollop of cabbage?

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Still Waiting And Other Changes

I'm still waiting for Aunty Flo to show up. I am a little disappointed that I didn't get it sooner because I hoped that my periods were regulating and getting shorter. It's been progressively getting shorter over the last three months anyway - 12 - 17- 19- next one was supposed to have been yesterday 21 or at least 19th, but no show. I'm still waiting.

Meanwhile I'm down with the flu. When my nose started running some days back and I started sneezing all over the place I thought for a second that I was having allergies... though I normally don't, but things have been all weird lately one doesn't know what to expect. I hope I get better by the end of today. I also hope I get my darn period too... the suspense is killing me!


Okay, in researching the possible causes for my PMS, I've been looking into how the chemicals in common household products can leech into our body and cause hormonal imbalance. These substances, also known as xenoestrogens, have been known to cause disruptions in our endocrine system. They are present in practically everything, food plastics, skin care products, detergents, canned foods, preserved foods, rugs and clothing. 

Needless to say I didn't like what I read. So I've been making some changes to reduce the amount of chemical pollutants in my life. Here are some of them.

- I've stopped buying canned foods and pre-cooked foods that are packaged in plastics. The tins are often lined with plastics a lot of which contain bisphenol A, similarly plastic containers, plastic bottles, food wrappers - practically anything that's made from plastic is bound to contain this chemical which has been scientifically proven to be an endocrine disruptor. I wish I could get my milk in bottles too, but those are very hard to come by. 

- I plan to discontinue using skin care products that contain endocrine disruptors. Again after scrutinizing all my facial cleansers, lotions, creams, hand wash, etc., I didn't like what I saw. It's tricky trying to find less chemicalized and cheaper alternatives because I can't fork out the cash for organic skin care products. For me they are not a necessity, unlike food, which I don't mind forking out the extra pennies for. But, I'm sure I'll figure something out. I'm already thinking of baby products. They are not as harsh as the adult ones which frankly, contain a lot of crap!

- I have suspended the use of my microwave oven. No particular reason for this. I just want to eat as close to nature as I can. So I only cook what I need to eat. Even when you think you're eating healthy the convenience of popping things in the oven makes mistakes easier. I must admit, I thought it would be difficult. Resisting the temptation to pop my oatmeal into the oven for three minutes instead of spending five minutes cooking it. It's not that bad really and I CAN actually live without it. 

- I plan to have at least one raw food meal daily and two days of pure raw food diet per week. This is in addition to guzzling several cups of green tea every day. I was never really a fan of detox because I thought it was ridiculous the idea that you can eat all the crap you want then drink juice for one week and somehow reverse all the effects of gluttony. Of course I was looking at it from a simplistic perspective. Even if you're the most conscientious dieter, these chemicals can still find their evil ways into your system. I think a diet rich in micro-nutrients will help the body along in purging it of filth.

Being the scientist that I am, the plan here is to significantly reduce my exposure to these chemicals - in terms of foods I ingest and products I apply to my skin - to see if there'll be any changes to the severity of my PMS.


Well, that's that for now. I'm looking forward to Aunty Flo and recovering from this flu so I can get back to work. When you work for yourself you can't afford to take too many liberties. 

PS. If my period is delayed it'll be because of Metformin... then I'll start seriously considering if I should start considering stopping it and trying to conceive naturally... at least for the next three months... give my body time to heal itself before I start pumping it with drugs!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The PMS Factor

I started having PMS symptoms this morning. As always it starts with a mild pain on the right sides of my boobies. They get progressively worse over the next five days and just when I think I'll poke my boobies with a skewer and let out all the air because the pain is driving me crazy, AF comes by.

I never used to have PMS. As a matter of fact, about when I started having PMS was when my hormonal shenanigans started. The first time ever I had PMS some months after I got hitched. I sincerely thought I was pregnant. Then all my hpt's came back negative, my period was a month late. When it finally came it was heavy with a capital H and full of clots.

From then on they came irregular and crampy. Then I had the mother of all periods the following year when again it was delayed for 3 months and after that I bled for 3 months straight. I ended up in the emergency ward and was told I probably had a ruptured cyst. I was put on Provera to stop the bleeding and induce a period.

At this point I began to look in to PCOS. When I suggested to my doctor that I may have it, he brushed it aside, saying since my ultrasound scan didn't show anything unusual, it was unlikely that I had it. Yet he couldn't explain my irregular periods or why I wan't ovulating. None of the 3 different doctors I saw could give me a valid explanation, I kept asking them why now, why all of a sudden, what triggered the hormonal imbalance. No answer!

Anyway, ever since that first incident, my PMS has come to stay. It makes me worried that I may still not be ovulating. Because when I didn't have PCOS I didn't have PMS. And PMS is after all, a sign of hormonal imbalance.

In any case, all my speculations and theorizing will be put to rest once Dh get's back and we start Bd'ing on a regular basis. I'm more determined about BD now that there is a higher probability that I could get preggy. Henceforth I'll be the one tackling him to the ground. Previously I had zero interest... but that's another post for anther day. Bottom line is I can't wait to get back in the sack and I pray everything goes well.


I found this interesting video about the female hormonal cycle. And the little I gather is that my particular PMS could be caused by high oestrogen levels. Anyway, it's worth watching if you want to understand your cycles or if like me, you're plagued by PMS and want to understand its precursors. The good news here (and Thank God there is one!) is that according to Dr. Anderson, about 80% of hormonal imbalances is caused by disturbances in the blood sugar; either it being too high or too low. And that rectifying that would likely restore normalcy in the system. Phew!

Enjoy, :)

Friday, 11 June 2010


I've been feeling under the weather lately. To be precise, since I started taking the Metformin. I don't mind the side effects of farting, and rushing off to the toilet every now and then. But this lack of energy, lack of enthusiasm and general shittiness seems to be doing me in.

I wake up tired and sleepy. No creativity. No passion. I'm a walking vegetable!

The last time I felt this was was when I was at my heaviest. Back when I was sleeping more than 15 hours a day and wolfing down carbs like my life depended on it.

I'm depressed. I've been depressed for the past week. So many other things going on on the side besides PCOS. Sometimes I just want to scream loudly on top of my lungs. I wish I could squeeze my eyes shut till it hurt, and when I open them all those problems have melted away.

Wish there was someone I could talk to. My friend, K, has her own shit to deal with. There's my BF who's shit is spilling out the sides of her bowl, I won't find an empathic ear there. Can't talk to my mum 'cuz I don't want to get her bp up. Can't talk to DH either, 'cuz if I break down, that will break him down. I just feel so frustrated. Being all alone in this house doesn't help. I feel trapped.

Yes, I know it's a chemical thing. Because I was fine before I started taking the Met. Even then there's no escaping it's effects. I try to cheer myself up. Read and watch things that make me laugh. But it's temporary, and artificial.

I can be patient though; for what I want I don't mind a thousand depressions to get it. And I can see some positive signs, so I'll hang in there.

The only reason I'm hanging on is because of you,
The 'you' that is not yet born,
You'll never know what I went through,
You'll never understand when I'm harsh with my love,
For to have had you, I had to dig deep, really deep inside
To find the strength I never knew I had.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010


I felt a fluttering in my tummy yesterday. Last night I noticed some CM after going to the toilet but it wasn't much. Then this morning on my way to the hospital for my blood test I felt a pain in my ass, literally. It's a pain I've always had in the past whenever I'm ovulating. An ass pain that makes it hard for me to sit down, sneeze or fart.

As soon as I got home I did an OPK test and got a BFP! 

Sorry about the wee bit of wee on the tip. I still couldn't believe my eyes, so I did three tests and they all came back significantly positive! I know this time there is definitely an LH surge FOR SURE. Whether or not my ovaries actually mature an egg is another matter. The OPK's only confirm an LH surge but not actual ovulation. 

My journey is only half way there. But I am so happy, so thankful to God that my body is responding to treatment. If Dh were around, we'd be doing the BD by now! But he's travelled, but there is hope for us this year. I pray he gets back soon so we can 'experiment' to make sure my tubes are open and his little swimmers are healthy. 

I'm also a bit worried about LPD. My last period was on the 19th of May. My next one is expected to start on the 21 of June. It's been two days apart for sometime now. If I'm ovulating on the 9th/10th of June, then my estimated leutal phase is roughly 11 days, which is considered not long enough. The average length of time between ovulation and the next menstrual date should be at least 14 days. Anything less than 12 can result in early miscarriage. Thankfully that can be remedied by taking vitamin B6 or applying progesterone cream. Phew!

Even then, there's so much stuff to worry about. God help me!

In the meantime, keeping up my weight loss. 8.8kg more to go to hit my target BMI. My hope is to be pregnant by the time I get to the end of my weight loss journey. 

I'm also taking a cocktail of herbs aside from my Met. 

Higher Nature Dong Quai and Agnus Castus
Evening Primrose Oil to alleviate PMS symptoms
Vitamin D supplements 


CM - cervical mucus, indicative ovulation
OPK- ovulation prediction kits
BFP - big fat positive, signifying a positive result
BD - baby dance
LH - leutinizing hormone, released in high amounts immediately before ovulation
LPD - leutal phase defect, when the time period between ovulation and menstruation
BMI - body mass index
PMS - premenstrual syndrome

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Feeling Shitty!

I've been feeling shitty lately. I occasionally wake up with headaches, which aren't serious enough to warrant paracetamol, but for the past three days it's been noticeable - banging away on my head. This morning I had to drink a cup of tea to perk me up because I couldn't muster the energy to work. Normally I don't take anything with caffeine.

I also feel sleepy during the day and hardly want to sleep at night. I can't concentrate for long and my depression is back. I was depressed all day today. For no particular reason, just out of the blue, smack! I start feeling like shit.

Could I be suffering from low blood sugar?

I don't have an appetite since I started taking met. I started craving sweet things, but other than that, I don't generally feel like eating. I have to force myself to eat, and I only eat when I remember that I haven't eaten, not because I'm hungry.

I'm seriously considering going off met for a while and see how my body reacts.

I was already on a low-GI diet before I started taking met. I was also loosing weight steadily. Now that I'm on met, I'm putting on weight and feeling like shit that has been left to dry in the sun.

Monday, 7 June 2010

What The Heck is Going On???

I've been happily loosing weight now for the last four months. I'm getting towards the end of my weight loss journey and now for some inexplicable reason, I'm stuck!

My weight has been stuck for the past 3 weeks even though my waist and hips are getting smaller. I seem to have put on a kilo between this week and last week. That's after not loosing anything last month from when my PMS started until my period ended.

It sucks! Things have been going so well, wtf is going on?

Could it be the Metformin? I've heard a lot of women complain that it made them put on weight. Could it be the same with me? Should I go off it for a month and see if I loose weight? But then, if I do, I may not ovulate on my own? What then?


If met is the culprit I need to start looking at other ways to reduce my IR. I've always had an aversion for prescribed drugs. Because all drugs have a side effect, and taking a particular drug over a long period of time can cause more problems on the long run. If it were up to me (not my darn body) I would do everything naturally. But obviously in life we don't get everything we want. *sigh*

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Nutrition Intervention for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

By Heather Wnorowski 

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrinologic disorder that can appear in women of reproductive age. It is the leading cause of fertility and affects 6-10% of women of childbearing age. It was not described until 1935 by Stein and Leventhal. PCOS can also be referred to as Stein-Levanthal syndrome. It is referred to as a syndrome because it contains many symptoms. These symptoms include obesity, hirsutism, acne, infrequent or abnormal ovulation, amenorrhea, oligominorrhea, hyperandrongenism, an elevated utilizing hormone to follicle stimulating hormone ratio, chronic pelvic pain, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, type II diabetes, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. These symptoms can get worse with weight gain. The onset of the disease can be as early as puberty, but usually begins in adolescence. The cause of PCOS is unknown. Some literature suggest it is genetic with autonomic dominant mode of transmission. 

To diagnose PCOS some of the symptoms must be present and some test must be performed. The test may include glucose tolerant test (GTT), cholesterol levels (total chol, LDL, HDL, trig), testosterone levels, utilizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, and androstenedione levels. On occasion an ultrasound will be done. Women with PCOS have an increased risk for developing type II diabetes, high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, cardiovascular disease, endometrial cancer, and insulin resistance. Of these disease the most common is insulin resistance and type II diabetes. 

About 35-50% of obese women with PCOS go on to develop impaired glucose tolerance or type II diabetes by the age of 30. Insulin resistance is when the cells don’t respond to insulin. The insulin builds up in the body, which is hyperinsulinemia, and causes ovarian cells to secrete androgens and decrease sex hormone binding hormone globulin (SHBG). The interacting of insulin and hormones lead to symptoms of PCOS. The International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination says “Insulin resistance that is common to PCOS may play a role in weight gain and the difficulty in losing any extra weight.” Studies have shown that the distribution of body fat is important with insulin sensitivity. They say the more fat stored the worse insulin resistance is and the hungrier you get. High levels of insulin can lead to carbohydrate cravings. Intense carbohydrate cravings and not feeling full are common in women with PCOS. Evidence shows that the western diet )increased fat and refined carbohydrates, and low fiber) can precede obesity and induce insulin resistance. Insulin sensitivity can be influenced by dietary modifications such as a low glycemic index diet. The glycemic index of a carbohydrate is a measure of its postprandial effect on blood glucose. The lower the glycemic index the less the carbohydrate affects postprandial glucose and insulin values. Martha Mckittric RD, CDE, Medical Advisory Board Member for PCOS Support Association usually prescribes a balanced diet with protein and heart healthy fats at every meal, but also recommends foods with a low glycemic index. She has found most women have less carbohydrate cravings on low glycemic diets. So she encourages whole grains and minimizes processed carbohydrates. 

There are natural remedies to control insulin and blood sugar levels. Cinnamon (½-¾ teaspoon) with every meal can help keep insulin and blood sugar levels under control. It contains methyl hydroxy chaconne polymer (MHCP) which improves cellular glucose utilization and sensitivity of insulin receptors. Studies show that high fiber diets can decrease weight and increase insulin sensitivity. Fiber reduces insulin secretion by slowing the rate of nutrient absorption after a meal. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) can keep cell membranes flexible. Flexible cell membranes have more insulin receptors which improve glucose metabolism. Chromium (200 mg) per day can improve insulin resistance symptoms. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 1200 mg of D-chiro-inositol daily has many beneficial affects in the treatment of PCOS. D-chiro-inositol is part of a phosphoglycan that has been shown to mediate action of insulin. In patients with type II diabetes the level of D-chiro-inositol is decreased. Studies have suggested that women with PCOS may have insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia due to a D-chiro-inositol deficiency. 

The role of the dietitian is key in the treatment of PCOS. A balance of the food the patients eat is an important part of treating PCOS. One of the most important treatments for obese patients should be weight loss and exercise. A 5-10% weight loss has shown significant biochemical and clinical improvement. Studies have shown menstrual cycles and fertility have improved with weight loss. Also androgen production and hirsutism has decreased in weight loss. 

PCOS is also associated with a high incidence of eating disorders including binge eating and fasting. Eighty percent of people with PCOS practice binge eating. The first step in weight loss treatment is to learn to be mindful. Katrin Kratina, MA, RD, LD developed a food journal to help identify hunger and satiety cues. The food journal also teaches about your nutrition needs and your eating habits. Brenda Bryan RD, LD/N a nutritionist for PCOS women at the Center for Applied Reproductive Sciences, uses the Food Pyramid and American Diabetes Guidelines of reducing calories by 250-300 per day from saturated fat and carbohydrates to counsel women with PCOS. 

PCOS is treatable but not curable. It is generally treated by medications and changes in diet and exercise or a combination. Some of the medications used in treatment include; insulin sensitizers which reduce insulin resistance and many other symptoms and also aid in weight reduction, medication that induce ovulation, combination oral contraceptives (COC) which regulate menstrual cycles and control acne and hirsutism, Antiandrogenism and insulin regulating agents can control hyperandrogenism and aid in weight loss. Sometimes on special occasion surgical treatment is used. 

There are many issues to still be explored in PCOS. The biggest challenge is making permanent changes focused on good nutrition. The patient should chose a dietitian with experience in type II diabetes and gestational diabetes because they will be knowledgeable in insulin resistance and special diets. The most successful counseling is education the patient on PCOS and insulin resistance and by allowing the patient to make self set goals in order to ensure long term success. 

Saturday, 5 June 2010

I Want Triplets!

Or quadruplets! Doesn't matter which, I just want to have a lot of babies at once.

Before we got married Dh always said he wanted twins. It's good that he's completely relaxed about the idea of having multiples. Twins run in both our families you see, and we both want to have a large family with at least 4 kids. The probabilities of us having twins is up there. So I'm hoping his prayers will be answered in that regard, if I get pregnant naturally. I want to take it a step further though. I would like to have multiples. Lots of 'em!

Actually what I really want is to have a lot of kids at once and be done with it rather than waiting for four years between each child because of PCOS. Only a sufferer can understand the psychological torture of waiting, stalking your periods, sleuthing every change that occurs in your body and having different people poking around your lady bits every now and then.

I also don't plan on doing any family planning, or child spacing or any of that crap. Can't afford to, again not with PCOS snapping at my heels. I don't care if I get preggy again while one baby is still attached to my nipples. My mum got preggy with me while my brother was just 5 months, and we both turned out okay. The little suckers will have to deal with it. Ha!

Most ovulation inducing drugs often put a warning there that your risk of multiple births are higher. Bring it on, I say. Who wants one, when you can have three at once! I realize for this to happen we'll need help with fertility treatment. Again I pray that I can get pregnant on my own without needing to. But if we ever have to, I really hope we get three, or four for the price of one.

Yeah, the risks also get higher as you carry more babies. I know that. That's why I'm working out like a mad woman. By the time I'm done with my body, it'll be fit enough to carry ten babies!

PS. I'm not preggy. Bummer. The struggle continues!

Friday, 4 June 2010

Fertile Friends

My best friend just told me she's preggy. I suspect another friend is also preggy, but feeling weird about telling me. Whenever someone I know gets preggy I genuinely feel happy for them and at the same time I get a pang of sadness on the upper left side of my chest. I know these feelings are irrational. Because other people's ability to conceive is independent of mine. There is no logical correlation between their fertility and mine, but even then I still feel sad. Sad that my own longing for a baby has not yet been fulfilled.

Lately I've found myself drifting away from friends with children and they from me. Envy has nothing to do with it, rather it seems we have less and less in common as their kids are growing up. They are all full time mums whose daily lives are consumed by their children. And whenever I call them up that's all they seem to talk about. Which is weird for both of us. And whenever we get together I'm always sidelined when they get into their 'motherhood caucus'. These days we've found fewer reasons to call each other up. 

At the beginning of my fertility journey I promised myself not to dwell on things I cannot control or make a pathetic mess of myself because I can't yet have children. I vowed to stay focused, zero in on what is within my control and grasp tightly.

For instance, I cannot control my erratic hormones, but I can control my weight which helps to keep them in check. And I cannot control when I will become pregnant, but I can keep healthy, take my medications and prepare my body for when that time comes thus reducing the probabilities of having a miscarriage. I may not have total control over what my body does, but I do have 100% control over my attitude. Only my attitude can determine whether I'll be miserable or happy with myself should it turn out that I can't have any children (Yes, I've thought of that too). I should be thankful for the things that are going well for me as opposed to the thing I don't have. And I am! I have come a long way since being diagnosed in March. 

I am thankful that my body is responding to weight loss
I am thankful that my periods are regular and predictable
I am thankful that I no longer have any outwardly symptom of PCOS

It's all good really and everyday brings me closer to that elusive double line. I should get a grip. Stay focused, for whatever has been written for me is what will come to pass. 

"To Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills. He bestows females (offspring) upon whom He wills, and bestows male (offspring) upon whom He wills. Or He bestows both males and females, and He renders barren whom He wills. Verily He is the All-Knower and is Able to do all things" - Quran, 42: 49-50

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Happy & Hoping

I'm quite happy with my life, thank you. I don't know what I want to change in the next 21 days. Except maybe my nefarious tendency to procrastinate. I feel so overwhelmed sometimes I don't know where to begin so I end up doing nothing and putting off the little I could have achieved. *sigh*

The only thing in my life so far that I've been able to sustain is my baby-driven-weight-loss. 14.5kg down 9.2kg more to go. And that's because of the life-changing pay-off in the end. Plus I want to keep healthy, so my PCOS doesn't 'do me in' for the rest of my life.

Speaking of babies, I've never had any double lines on any ttc test I've ever taken, until three days ago. My opk came back with two lines. I know I wasn't crazy, because I used two different tests from two separate manufacturers with different sensitivities. The second line was fainter than the control line. Although according to the test instructions if you get a fainter line than the control, there has not been an LH spike. At this point I'm also having some doubts because my calculated ovulation date falls on the 4th of June. 

I repeated the same test the following day, also with the two different strips and they came back negative. I'm not exactly sure if I ovulated, but it is more probable that, scientifically speaking, if two separate tests came back positive, I did. We did bd the following day, with the help of some egg whites (slippery bastard!).

So that's that for now. Even if I don't get preggy this month I'm still VERY HAPPY that I am ovulating and all my efforts at weight loss are paying off. As long as I'm ovulating getting a bfp is only a matter of time. Dh will be travelling for about 2 months. As soon as he gets back, we'll start bd'ing again. And hope something happens within 6 months so I don't have to see the specialist again. 

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

The Rewards Of Self Love

Had this inspiring article forwarded to me from which I am subscribed to. Thought I'd share it. The original article can be found here.
An important rule of success in life is to learn to love and appreciate yourself.
You are worthy of all the world’s riches, whether financial, physical, emotional or spiritual.
To be able to have anything in life, you must first believe that you are worthy of it. If you do not believe you are worthy of living the good life, you will unconsciously sabotage yourself and your efforts.
It's well known that we strive to prove ourselves right. As Richard Bach said, "Argue for your limitations and they will be yours."
Have you decided you don't deserve what you really want in life? Maybe that was the message that your parents gave you or maybe you just picked up that belief from your environment.
But here's a question: How is this belief serving you or your family? What will this belief cost you in time and lost opportunities for fun and enjoyment? Is this belief really worth hanging on to?
Do things daily that improve your self-esteem. An excellent way to improve your life is to expose yourself to information every day that reminds you of how worthy you are of having whatever you are willing to create for yourself.
The power of your mind is the instrument of your success or failure, and happiness or unhappiness in life.
Don’t associate with others who dwell on the negative. Stay away from negative newspaper, magazine, television, and radio information that drags you down and makes you focus on what is not working.
Get out of old ruts of thinking, acting, and behaving. A rut is a living death.
For the next 21 days create a new routine for yourself. Do things differently. Simply changing your habits will give you the opportunity to enjoy new things. Allow yourself to see new opportunities and you will recreate the spark in your life that makes life fun again.
It's sad that most people go through life unconsciously. They get up at the same time every the morning, eat the same breakfast, drive the same route to work, eat lunch with the same people, talk about the same worn, tired subjects and then go home and do the same thing night after night.
These are the same people who say life is no longer fun. They complain there is nothing to do and that life is boring. Their relationships are dying on the vine from lack of stimulation.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life, so do something different!
Try changing your routine -- experiment by wearing different outfits, trying new foods, going out to eat in a new place, shopping in a different part of town. Invite a neighbor over whom you’ve not really gotten to know before. Go to a museum or the library and read books on subjects that you've never read before. Try a new haircut.
Just do something different every day for next 21 days and discover how much more alive you have become!
I think I'll give myself a 21 day challenge, starting now! Lets see how this goes...