From a very young age, I had one fear, one. And looking back, given my age, it was an irrational fear at best and yet still a fear.
Now, more than a decade later, that fear is potentially being realized.
From the start of my menstruation cycles, I have always been fairly regular. I say fairly because sometimes my cycle would be off one or two weeks but I’ve always had that familiar friendly visit every month, yeah, you know, that one.
For 3 months that friendly visit just decided to up and quit. While most any female will tell you “That’s awesome”, I was concerned. Why? Every home pregnancy test I’ve taken came up as negative and I didn’t have any symptoms that would indicate a possibly false negative. Finally, I decided to bite the bullet and schedule an appointment with my gynecologist, so last Thursday we went in to see if she could shed some light on this particularly troubling situation.
As with most things, she had no answers for me. Instead, she sent me down to the labs to have some blood drawn in an attempt to look at my hormone levels1 to see if she could draw some conclusions as to why my usually regular cycle suddenly became irregular. I heard back from the medical assistant on Tuesday, advising me that there were some abnormalities in my thyroid, testosterone, and prolactin levels and she’d like me to come in to further discuss what was found. She did, however, reiterate that these things could be managed so I figured I shouldn’t be too concerned.
Cue “dun dun dun” sounding music.
Yesterday, I found out that it’s possible I have atypical PCOS2, which happens to be one of the leading causes of infertility in women. Colored me shocked. The reason it’s considered atypical is because PCOS usually presents itself in a very particular way: obesity, irregular menstruation cycles or none at all, high hormonal imbalances, just to name a few. Obviously, I don’t really fit those symptoms so now we’ve began the process of ruling out as many probable causes as possible. The diagnosis isn’t official but it’s still on the table of possible causes.
As of yesterday, I have started taking medication to help lower the level of my thyroid, as currently it’s around 3.69, which is generally normal but in women trying to conceive is high3. The hope is that by lowering my thyroid levels that will also cause my testosterone levels to lower as well and hopefully also lower my prolactin levels, fixing the hormonal issues I seem to be experiencing, which should then allow us to conceive.
In addition to trying to lower my thyroid levels, I have an MRI scheduled on Monday to rule out the potential for non-cancerous growth on my pituitary gland which could be causing the high prolactin levels. Lastly, she also suggested that R get a semen sample to rule out any complications with him and I should go in and get a hysterosalpingogram4 to rule out the potential of blocked tubes. Once we rule out all of the above, the diagnosis of atypical PCOS will become official and I’ll begin taking hormone treatments to facilitate the release of an egg each month for implantation.
While I know that it’s not impossible to conceive a child with this diagnosis 5, I still feel like I’ve failed my husband. This is the one thing I should be able to do right. I was built for this or at least I was meant to be.
I’m trying my best to remain optimistic but it’s hard. I feel like all the years I spent fearing this outcome has come barreling towards me and I stand helpless to stop it. R has been extremely supportive throughout all this and keeps reiterating that he loves me and that despite the cost, it’s worth it but at the end of the day, I’ve feel that I’ve failed as a woman, I’ve failed as a wife, but most importantly I feel like I’ve failed him.