Fertility Network UK
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PCOS problem

Hi, I'm 27 and was told I had PCOS 7 years ago. I have been with my partner for 5years and we would love to find out if we can have a family (we have never had any luck so far). I got referred to local hospital today but unfortunately the doctor made me feel like I was wasting her time and told me to come back when we really wanted to try 😔 We don't want to plan something that might not happen and surely after five years of no contraception we could be taken seriously? Has anyone had this? Do we need to go private?

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I think that no contraception for five years tells you that you’re probably going to need help to conceive. That’s probably why she told you to come back when you’re really ready to start trying as having help means them actually doing stuff which may make you conceive. They’re not going to do this if you’re not sure you want a baby yet.

There are many many people who are infertile but it’s unexplained, and there are many women with pcos who need help to conceive. There are no easy answers in this game and no doctor is going to be able to guarantee that you are or aren’t going to be able to have children. I’m not sure if that’s what you were hoping they would do. It would have been helpful if the dr could have outlined the next steps for you!

Here’s some idea of what to expect based on my experience, though it can be different depending where you are.

First, actively try for a baby for a year- this means unprotected sex every 2-3 days. My dr also asked us about using ovulation tests and timing intercourse around ovulation.

If no luck, go to gp who will refer to sub fertility or do first round of tests themselves.

First round of tests is female blood tests to check for ovulation and various hormone levels, and sperm count for men.

If no problems found, expect to be offered a dye test to check your Fallopian tubes and an internal ultrasound to check everything else.

Many people are then offered clomid to encourage ovulation. After that, the next step would be a form of assisted conception such as IUI or IVF.

I hope this helps you. Xx

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Of course, that's their decision in the end. But I think they should move to the subfertility and not waste time on simple TTCs. 5 years is long enough already and nothing happens all the while even without the contraceptives - no point putting in another year to it. I know PCOS can be cruel to waste a few more years down the line. So, getting on with the actively trying might just compensate for the lost time.

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Hi there, sorry to hear about how you felt back at the clinic. It's sad some Dr and medical staff don't behave well - the least they can do is be optimistic as well. I had PCOS, though my attempts haven't been fruitful yet it's possible to get pregnant with PCOS. However, your scenario certainly needs clinical assistance. The best way to go for it would be, to begin with, the diagnosis part - you've got to know what else other than PCOS has been contributing to this infertility. I had a low AMH - so the quality of whatever egg I produce wasn't good either. Yes, you've got to make your mind and go for it, probably the casual approach won't work. I wouldn't recommend simple TTC since you've had no contraception for 5 years and yet didn't get pregnant - so DTD every 2-3 days won't make much difference. Start tracking your ovulation instead and consult your Dr for ovulation stimulants as that helps with the PCOS.

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Hi,

Your story sounds very similar to mine and we are similar age! I also have pcos- My partner and I had no contraception for 2.5 years as we knew it may take some time but we were just going with the flow, if it happened it happened! We then decided that we really wanted a baby so we went another 2 years of really trying and nothing. This year we have been through all the tests and everything and finally got our ivf referral for January. This month my partner was away for a bit so I didn't even think conception was a possibility as I thought he was away in my fertility window- so I stopped doing the ovulation strips and didn't even think for a minute it would happen..... this morning I tested positive. It just goes to show miracles do happen!! I had nearly lost all hope and was dreading ivf but the minute I stopped thinking about it it happened!! People used to say this to me and I would think it was a load of rubbish!! Lol but there you go!! Stay positive and have hope! Xx

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Hi Cl1489. This sounds a bit confusing to me. If you were referred by your GP for fertility investigations and possible treatment, then you should have at least had bloods done and a scan?? I think you need to go back to your GP and see what he/she thinks, so you can get back and have a proper consultation. Good luck! Diane

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Hi,

I agree with the above and with Diane too- any preliminary tests? Any other health conditions?

Are your cycles regular? Have you done any ovulation tests while TTC to see if you’re actually ovulating? (Otherwise clomid is usually given to help PCOS patients)

It sounds as if you’re wanting to conceive but are not in any hurry? I empathise with that; in my 20s I knew we’d have difficulty but I wasn’t ready to go all gung ho into treatment ....

1) So whilst you’re having tests and appointments arranged I would ask your GP to check your baseline bloods.

2) PcOS is often linked to insulin resistance and a host of other things- so diet and lifestyle are really important to prime your body- a lot of PCOS patients are given metformin ( a diabetic drug) which has shown to help with insulin resistance, ovulation and other hormonal changes required for conception.

But adopting a low carb diet is a really good start (similar to what they recommend for diabetics) whilst you’re waiting and increasing gentle exercise (swimming’s a brilliant one for PcOS)

3) have your thyroid checked !! TSH and free t4 at the very least (t3 if they will agree to it). Thyroid issues often coexist in PCOS patients and one of the main reasons why people can’t conceive or have miscarriages and yet it’s not always tested! You ideally want a TSH of below 2.5, especially if you later have IVF

Hope this helps a bit in meantime and something you can do not just while TtC but also for general health with PcOS

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You can self refer to a fertility Clinic!! funding depends in CCG criteria! where are you in the world are you in the UK? can your Gp do some tests such as a Trans Vaginal scan, day 21 bloods. This GP is dreadful!! the NICE Guideline's suggest you should be referred to ACU unit. Keep us posted

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It is surprising to hear you would be brushed off like this as PCOS is widely recognised as one of the main reasons for fertility problems. Don't take no for an answer and ask to see another consultant. Just say you were not satisfied with how the first doctor dealt with the situation. I am pretty sure they will take your request seriously. Keep fighting and don't worry about ignorant doctors who don't know what they are talking about. You have as much right as anyone else to have access to NHS funded treatment. Keep your chin up, you will get through this. Good luck from a fellow PCOS sufferer xx

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