Health · PCOS

PCOS Update

The summary of this update is: I’ve been to the doctor twice now, run a bunch of tests, have some answers, but not the answers I was looking for, and am in a waiting pattern for medicine to kick in.

Now, the longer version.

For my first doctor visit, they took a bunch of blood to run tests, and gave me a prescription for Provera to try and knock my cycle back into submission. The layman’s terms are that my body is confused for some reason, and can’t decide what it should be doing. Personally, I would rather it be confused about something else rather than bleeding, but hey.

The tests confirmed, again, pcos. Both my testosterone and my free testosterone are high, out of the normal range. My regular testosterone is 72 – the high normal is 48, so it’s pretty up there. Everything else, interestingly, is pretty dog gone normal. My A1C is pretty great, and my blood glucose level is lovely as well. My FSH is on the low end of normal, but given that we don’t know where in my cycle I’m supposed to be, it’s hard to gauge what that number really means.

I had an endometrial biopsy done to rule out cancer – let me tell you, that is an uncomfortable test. It takes them “about ten seconds” to get the tissue they need and it is an incredibly long ten seconds. At any rate, no cancer, yay, but my lining is considered “disordered”. That’s not bad, just a reflection of my hormones being out of whack. My uterus is a hormonal battlefield. The Provera did help to thin the lining out, which is good.

Now, the Provera was supposed to stop the bleeding – which it did – but then it came back. You’re supposed to have ‘withdrawal bleeding’ several days after you stop taking it, but that was not what happened. If the Provera was a time out, my body went right back into an all out brawl with itself, smashing bottles and breaking chairs over heads. After messaging the doctor’s office about it, they gave me the green light to do two more rounds of the Provera, while we wait for the other meds to kick in.

These other meds are Metformin and Spironolactone. I’m on a very low dose of the Metformin, given that I don’t have obvious blood sugar problems, and I don’t think I’m on a high dose of the other, either. Initially, I wasn’t going to bother with the Spironolactone, because my acne and hirsutism is very mild. But in the end I decided just to go full Rambo on this. Let’s throw everything possible at it in an attempt to get it under control, and then reassess.

Fortunately, despite almost everyone I know having bad things to say about the side effects of Metformin, I have been very lucky. Metformin, it seems, is the one drug that doesn’t make me sick to my stomach, and because I’ve been eating fairly well, I’m not really having other undesirable gastrointestinal issues either.

All that to say, I feel like I’m on the right path. I have a follow up in three months to run new tests if we need to, and see how things are going – though if I continue to struggle in the meantime, I may be back in there sooner.
I was really hoping that something in my blood work would be the red flag, the thing that the doctor could point to and go “AHA! This is why you are bleeding!” but unfortunately, that hasn’t happened. It’s PCOS related, but why my body is manifesting symptoms in this particular way isn’t known at this time.

I have okay days and I have less okay days. I’m trying very hard to take great care of myself, to get this under control. I would like to exercise more, get into a good routine there, but that seems to be a lot more difficult to do than incorporate more veggies and keep my blood sugar stable. It’s a really poignant lesson in not waiting until circumstances are perfect to make changes, because that may not happen, or you may have to make the changes first in order to better your circumstances. Unfair, but seemingly true.

I’ll update this particular topic when I have something meaningful to say, otherwise, I’ll just be hanging in there and going about life in the pandemic version of normal.

Stay safe and healthy, wherever you are.

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