Medical conditions: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and Thalassemia Minor (not related to my infertility). Sperm count on the lower end.
PCOS is a common hormonal disorder affecting 12-18 per cent of women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may not ovulate (release eggs). There are several symptoms that can be present and you don’t need to have all of them to be diagnosed. These symptoms include:
- irregular menstruation or amenorrhea (no periods),
- excess facial and/or body hair,
- hair loss
- ovarian cysts
- insulin resistance putting you at risk of developing type 2 diabetes
I had my first period quite late at age 15. I always had irregular cycles that were initially 6 – 12 months long. My GP put me on the pill at the age of 17 which masked my PCOS symptoms while regulating my cycles. I was on a variety of different pills over the course of about seven years before deciding to take a break to see if I could have a natural period. Months and months passed with no sign of my cycle. I had heard it could take a little while for your cycle and hormones to return to normal after stopping the pill but to this day, it hasn’t come without medical intervention.
In the years that followed, I had a laparoscopy to check for endometriosis which thankfully came back all clear. I was referred to an Endocrinologist who put me on Metformin to improve insulin levels in the hope of regulating my cycle, but I had no luck. Four years passed and still no period. My Endo did a whole range of testing and came to the conclusion that when we were ready to start a family she would send me straight to a fertility specialist at Melbourne IVF (MIVF). Since our wedding on 25 April 2015, we decided that it would be worth giving it a shot for a few months to see if we could get pregnant naturally.
Approximately five months after our wedding we went to a MIVF seminar where we heard from a number of Fertility Specialists (FS), dietitians and doctors. This is where we first heard our FS speak. Both of us knew straight away that we wanted him to be my FS. The next day I called MIVF and booked an appointment to see him. He has been so amazing every step of the way from our very first appointment and we couldn’t be in better hands. I want to stress how important it is to feel comfortable with your FS and have that ‘good feeling’ about who you choose to share your journey with. It’s personal and invasive and you never know how long the road will be.