My name is Kristin and I am 37, from Scotland and this is my story…
” Fast forward to today and I am 47lbs lighter. My BMI is now 28.3 and I feel so much fitter and confident.”
When I was younger I had irregular periods and was put on a birth control pill (Cilest) by my doctor. I was on this from age 17-20 but suffered from really bad migraines and mood swings. When I was in my late teens I was diagnosed with IGA naturopathy and in my early twenties, I had really high blood pressure as a side effect. The consultant at the renal hospital suggested that I take the mini pill Cerazette as this would help to control my blood pressure. So from the age of 21-30, I took this pill. Looking back now, I can see that the side effects of taking this were detrimental to my body both mentally and physically.
Now, with this pill, I never had a period for the whole time I was on it. That was almost 10 years of my life period free. At the time I thought this was great but, in hindsight, I wish I could go back and shake my 20-year-old self and tell myself not to do this to my body. I also suffered from low libido and mood swings. I could go from the happiest person to the Hulk in seconds! When I was 30 I decided to come off hormonal birth control altogether. It took me two full years to have a natural period. I think because I hadn’t had a period for so long, I didn’t realize that my periods were not regular and that this would later lead to further problems.
I met my amazing better half when I was 35 and we decided that we would love to try for a baby. After a full year of trying and getting nowhere, I went to see my doctor to see what I could do. My doctor suggested that I get a progesterone test on day 21 of my cycle to see if I was ovulating. This was very time consuming as my periods were so irregular and I could go up to 90 days without a period. When I finally got this blood test it confirmed that I was not ovulating. I was devastated by this news and I’m not afraid to admit that I burst into tears in the doctor’s surgery. The doctor said that he would send away a referral form to the infertility clinic.
Here in Scotland, the waiting times for appointments to the infertility clinic are ridiculously long. My referral was sent away in December 2017 but my appointment didn’t come through until October 2018. I remember feeling so positive on the morning of my appointment to the infertility clinic. I thought that I was going to go see a specialist and everything would get ‘sorted’. How wrong I was!!!
I was instructed to take three passport photos, proof of address and a list of medications. The paperwork seemed endless. There was also a huge list of rules and regulations and if you don’t meet any of the desired criteria then you are not offered help (at this time). I would like to state at this point that I do not have an issue with the NHS or any member of staff that I encountered. I think that they do a wonderful job often on very tight budgets.
I was weighed, measure and so was my other half. I was then given a transvaginal scan and the consultant mentioned that she saw shadows on my ovaries. I didn’t really know what this meant so didn’t give it a second thought until we had our consultation at the end. The consultant stated that I had polycystic ovary syndrome (this would later be confirmed by a blood test) and that I should try to lose weight.
Now, as I mentioned before, the rules and regulations are pretty serious when getting help from the infertility clinic and unfortunately I didn’t meet the desired criteria. My Body Mass Index (BMI) was 36 and the regulations state that it has to be under 30 before help can be given. Therefore, I was sent away to lose weight within a year or I would essentially be removed from their system.
I had no idea what PCOS was. I have always really struggled with my weight and never for a second thought that there was something going on inside my body that I couldn’t see. I was at an all-time low. My quick fix solution was not going to happen and I felt so deflated and alone.
Together, my other half and I decided to Google PCOS and find out as much information as we could. I discovered loads of really helpful social media pages and used these as a basis to change my lifestyle and diet. My other half is the cook in our house and I could not have gotten to where I am without his support. He created gluten free, dairy free, sugar-free, low Gi carb meals. I started to enjoy eating meals again.
I started changing my lifestyle seriously in December 2018. I introduced whole foods into my diet, healthy fats and low Gi carbs and loads of leafy greens. I did not eat any sugar, gluten or dairy. In my first week, I lost 10lbs which was all water retention and bloating. I was walking more and feeling less tired. By February I had lost 30+lbs and I was feeling and looking the best I ever had. I noticed that my hair wasn’t falling out as much and that I had much more energy. The best news EVER was finding out I was pregnant and it happened naturally. We were so happy and I was on cloud nine most of February.
In March, I had a miscarriage at 12 weeks and I felt like my world had ended. Who knew that one of the side effects of PCOS is that miscarriages are very common! I did find things really difficult and reverted back to my old ways until I had a wake-up call!
In April, my other half sat me down and he told me how amazing I was and that he was so proud of all the progress that I had made. He made me see that throwing away all that hard work was not going to help me achieve my goal of conceiving.
Fast forward to today and I am 47lbs lighter. My BMI is now 28.3 and I feel so much fitter and confident. I have introduced some exercise into my daily routine and I am enjoying this. I have been in contact with the infertility clinic and they are going to see me again in July (just before my year was up).
I still have the daily struggle and ups and downs. I have also become obsessed with tracking my Basal Body Temperature (BBT) and Ovulation Predictor Kits(OPK) in the hope that I will ovulate again. I am blessed that I could get pregnant once and I am focusing on that little nugget of happiness as I battle on in my journey to reverse my symptoms of PCOS.
This was Kristin’s story, if you have yours to share please comment below so that I can get in touch with you. My goal is to motivate all PCOS Survivors with PCOS stories to take life as beautiful as it is and to live it to the fullest!