Get Your Uterus Checked, Gurl!

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

I have had a number of women contact me since announcing my pregnancy about how they were in a similar position to me and are trying to get pregnant and my post had given them hope. With each message I cried. Most of the women had PCOS and were told to lose weight to get pregnant or were overweight and told losing weight would assist in falling pregnant so they were/have turned to weight loss surgery to help. I feel both of these sides because I was pretty much told the same thing.

Diagram from The Period Blog

I was given a run around by a number of doctors and specialists saying yes I do have PCOS and no I do not have PCOS. I couldn't get a straight answer. At one point I was told that I borderline had PCOS but the doctor said she would say that I did due to my weight.... Uh what. PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

An extract taken from


Women who have PCOS my experience:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles - menstruation may be less or more frequent due to less frequent ovulation (production of an egg)
  • Amenorrhoea (No periods) - some women with PCOS do not menstruate, in some cases for many years
  • Excessive hair growth and acne - possibly due to increased free testosterone
  • Scalp hair loss
  • Reduced fertility - (Difficulty in becoming pregnant) Related to less frequent or absent ovulation
  • Mood changes - including anxiety and depression
  • Obesity

Now when it came to my own situation most of the symptoms seemed to relate to me at first glance but no one cared to keep digging a little more.
  • Irregular menstrual cycles - I told my doctors I had long cycles. The 'normal' cycle is 28 days but mine were about 32 to 33 days long. They saw this as a symptom, BUT IT IS NOT. My periods were regular, they were just longer than 'normal'
  • Excessive hair growth and acne - I'm European. I have darker hair on my face and have dark arm hair too. That's genetics, NOT a symptom. 
  • Mood changes - It was listed in my medical history that I once had depression but have been completely fine and off any medication for 3-4 years. My irrelevant medical history is NOT a symptom
  • Obesity - I am visibly fat therefore it is always assumed something is wrong with my health. I can assure you, my fatness doesn't impact my health and even the doctors have a look of shock on them when they check my blood test results each time. My fatness doesn't tell you jack shit about my health and whats going on inside my body. My fatness is NOT a symptom.

I finally was told to get an ultrasound done. It showed some cysts on my ovaries but nothing major. I had something like 16 small cysts on each ovary. One doctor said up to about 15 cysts is 'normal' and another said normal ovaries shouldn't have any cysts. Again, what?.. The ultrasound also showed that I had ovulated in the last few days which was excellent timing because it showed that I could in fact ovulate. The bit that threw everyone was that I had cervical polyps. They technically fall under the category of a tumor but they're mostly non cancerous and are a bit more like a skin tag but in your cervix or uterus. I had one basically blocking the entrance to my uterus as well as a few in my uterus, so I needed surgery to have them removed.

I ended up seeing a 'specialist' to see when I could have the surgery and she was ok but I wasn't 100% about her. Then when explaining what would happen in the surgery she said that she would have to take a sample from the side of my uterus to do further tests and make sure everything is ok. I thought that was completely reasonable but then she went on to say that theres a possibility that she could puncture my uterus while doing that... 'but dont worry, it will heal and you wont have any issues later on'... Again...WHAT?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ALL THESE DOCTORS FFS?!

I found another specialist and am happy to say he is the fricking bomb dot com! His name is Dr Samuel Soo and he's based in the Melbourne CBD at the Epworth Hospital. If you're in Melbourne and need a Gyno, he's your man. I went to him and told him what all the doctors had said and he was one seriously no nonsense guy and told me straight up why they may have said those things and why they were wrong about it all. I had my surgery with him and it went really well (obviously coz I'm pregnant haha).

Now, I know my situation is different to you ladies that do have PCOS so I don't want to say 'if you potentially have PCOS its going to be all good', because everyones situation is different but I do want to make sure you all get yourselves thoroughly checked and have a doctor you can trust on your side. If you don't feel what a doctor is telling you is correct, go to a different doctor! If I hadn't have kept insisting that I didn't think I had PCOS and just tried to lose weight and hope that would help, I wouldn't have found out that I had something completely different and fixable. 

My main tips for anyone in a similar situation are:
- Keep track of your periods and get one of those period tracker apps where you can see how long your cycles are and how regular your periods are.
- Keep track of any symptoms you may be having that are out of the ordinary for you
- PERSIST. Do not be afraid to see multiple doctors because doctors aren't always right.
- Try and get an ultrasound of your uterus and if anything should be off, see a reputable gynecologist. 
- If you don't have private health insurance, start trying to save money for the surgery (If you may need surgery to remove cysts or polyps). It cost me about $6,000 for surgeon/hospital fees. If you go through the public system you get put on a wait list to get it done for free but you could be waiting over a year. 

Also, please remember if you are choosing to lose weight to assist in your situation, that weight loss may not necessarily be the answer. Weight loss can sometimes assist in balancing your hormone levels and increasing fertility but if there is something underlying that hasn't been discovered yet, the weight loss wont have contributed to anything except for you losing weight. So please, if you're losing weight but still aren't falling pregnant it probably is not your weight,  so don't beat yourself up about it and just get your uterus checked, gurl!

As always, if you have any questions don't be afraid to ask or email me.

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