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Archive for December, 2013

PCOS and lesbianism

I asked Stacy, what causes PCOS anyway? She said high male hormones…  This got me wondering. Was the high level of male hormones in Stacy what caused her to be a lesbian? Is our life together based on a hormonal imbalance? Will treating this hormonal unbalance stop her loving me? *cue laughter from Stacy*

Seriously it has got me worried. Obviously something causes women to be a lesbian. High male hormones seem a likely cause don’t they?

A recent study concluded this:
We observed a significantly higher prevalence of polycystic ovaries/PCOS in lesbians compared with heterosexual women,” said Dr. Agrawal. “Our initial results are also suggestive of a significantly greater hyperandrogenism in lesbians compared with heterosexual women.

I was somewhat comforted by this:

It must be made very clear that correlation is not causation. This study shows a strong link between PCOS and lesbian women. It does not in any way infer that either one causes the other.  “Our research neither suggests nor indicates that PCO/PCOS causes lesbianism, only that PCO/PCOS is more prevalent in lesbian women. We do, however, hypothesise that hyper-androgenism, which is associated with PCOS, may be one of the factors contributing to the sexual orientation of women.”

So I think I am safe from losing my wife to a man for the time being 😉

For those that have been reading for a looooong time and have super dooper memories, they (my GP) thought I also had PCOS. I took Metformin whilst trying to conceive Charlie. I have bad acne and irregular cycles, and I am obviously overweight also. I had elevated testosterone on a blood test also, but it was never properly diagnosed. When conceiving Rosa I did nothing at all, no meds, so I wonder if I do have it or not.

We are going to chat to our GP tomorrow about starting Stacy on Metformin and losing weight. I am wondering if I should be doing this also? Does PCOS need treating if you are not trying to conceive??

The study ended by saying this:

As PCOS increases the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease including hypertension, stroke, coronary atherosclerosis and heart attack, it is important that PCOS be detected and treated.

My Dad had a heart attack, my Grandad had a heart attack, my Nana and Great Nana) died from a stroke, my Uncle has heart disease, my Grandmother had diabetes.

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A Rock and a Hard Place

We had our appointment at the fertility clinic yesterday. We left feeling emotionally drained and very upset.

First of all we were left waiting for half an hour before we were called. A nurse came into the waiting room and looked around. We were the only people in the room, she looked at us, and went back into her room. Another 20  minutes passed and a new couple came and sat down with us. After a few minutes, they were called in! We were convinced that the nurse had overlooked us as their next patients due to the fact this is a couples service and you must attend with your partner to be entitled to an appointment (the clinic is located within a normal surgery setting). We went and had a rant at the receptionist who was very dismissive and unhelpful! So at this point, We. Were. ANGRY!!

So when we eventually did get called in, we were all worked up and my heart was racing with adrenaline from having a go at the stupid receptionist. It turned out there were 2 clinics running and we hadn’t been overlooked at all….

He started by asking us who wanted to carry, and we said Stacy and then he looked at her form and said, oh you already have 2 non biological children? To which we said yes, that’s right. He looked at us and said, well you are not entitled to any treatment then (on the NHS). We said we knew this, that our GP had written to him to ask if we were entitled and how he had replied with the answer that we were entitled to help. He said, I did not know about these existing children, and then went back to the letter and read it again, apologised for having not actually read the f**king letter properly and reiterated we were not entitled to any help. We thought we were entitled to drug help (ie no IUI and no IVF) he said no.
He did say we were entitled to investigations. The clinic do not give out Clomid without monitoring and we are not entitled to monitoring. So I said ‘you are willing to spend money working out WHY someone is infertile, give them the answer and then not help them?’ Yes he replied. Ok. So he said ‘you can go private and pay for treatment.’

We said this is something we were willing to do. He said ‘but you will not be allowed to use your own known donor.’ Why ever not? He said it was unlawful, that they are bound by strict guidelines, that they can only use sperm of a partner or a husband. I said we don’t want you to ever have to handle any sperm! You just give us the drugs and do the monitoring and we will deal with all the sperm side of things and the inseminations. He said he KNEW we would be using a known donor and he cannot allow this. We were at stale mate, so we asked him to move on and carry on with his ‘investigations’.

So he looked at her and noticed she has a lot of hair (upper lid, up to her navel on her tummy, legs, underarms etc..) so he did an internal ultrasound to look at her ovaries which were polycystic.


We had an ultrasound 3 weeks ago which said she was NOT polycystic. Blood tests she had previously had suggested she was NOT polycystic.


He said she would need Clomid to get her to ovulate. If we want to use Clomid we will not be able to obtain monitoring on the NHS nor privately. He said it would be a very bad idea to use Clomid ‘blind’

I started again on him as to why we could not just pay for drugs and monitoring alone, like any hetero couple would be able to do.
I said ‘you do drugs and monitoring for women who carry on just having sex yes?’ He said ‘yes they do.’ I said how is this different? We just carry on having ‘sex’ read ‘inseminations’ as we always did. He said no, he knows we are using a donor and that it is illegal for him to help with. He then sais that if we return with J as Stacy’s partner, he would be allowed to help. I shot him dagger eyes at this point and he quickly shut up.
So we said ok our GP has said she will give us Clomid herself. He said that was a very bad idea, that women with PCO will react very strongly to low doses of Clomid and that she could ovulate 6 eggs in the first month and we would have no idea that was about to happen due to no monitoring…..
But we can’t have monitoring without using an unknown donor.

See our problem here? Rock and hard place.
We left it with him booking her in to check her tubes for blockages.
Oh and she has a fibroid, which I suspected for a long time due to her heavy bleeding and blood clots. (this was again missed on the ultrasound a few weeks ago.)

Stacy had a little cry in the car as I drove her back to work. I told her I loved her as she walked back in. I wanted to keep her close and hug her for the rest of the day, but it was not possible.

I went to the supermarket and bought her a bunch of roses.

Her in-laws arrived before she came home, and that evening we went out to the theatre to see ‘The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain’ we held hands, we looked at each other with sighs behind our eyes. We still hadn’t had time to properly discuss what we were going to do next.

Today we opened presents, we had a roast lunch and we have played games. She handed me her kindle with research she has been doing. Lose weight is the first thing, ok we can do that. Metformin seems to be an option, we can look into that. Shall we stick to 2 children? Shall I have another one? Should she take the summer off work unpaid and have a cracking good summer? Should we try EVERYTHING we can before we give up? Do we want a larger age gap than the one we already have? Should we just be happy with what we have because lets face it, we have it pretty good. How will she feel in 10 years time when the opportunity has passed and there is no longer a decision to be made.

Shall we use Clomid anyway… blind.

So many options, I think it is going to be a very hard decision what we do next.

What we do know is this. We will never use an unknown donor, we will never use another known donor other than J. I will not have anyone else tell me the genetics I get to choose for my children. If we have a third child it will be to complete the circle not create a whole new circle of messyness. Can you imagine 2 children knowing their biology and one child not? What happens at 18 when said child is given the details of this unknown ‘father’ and heads off on a quest to find him and get to know him. Heartbreaking is the only feeling I can imagine here.

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Bunking off.

Last week my friend Emma asked me if I wanted to go and see the seals at the beach with her. I excitedly said yes! We often do day trips on a Tuesday together because that is the day Charlie is at playgroup all day and we have plenty of time.

Yesterday I thought to myself…I want to take Charlie with me. I made the decision to have him bunk off and come with us! I was so glad I did, we had a truly wonderful day. We walked along the beach in totally gorgeous weather, we spotted seal pups laying on the beach and we went and ate fish and chips!

My friends mother came with us and she gushed about how lovely and sweet my children were. She said to Charlie ‘what a lovely little boy you are!’ and he replied with ‘yes I am aren’t I. When I do a poo, my cheeks go red’ to which we all fell about laughing, and I am still laughing now!

 

I was glad of a day of distraction, because J visited this afternoon/evening. It was an ok visit, he didn’t say anything to upset me (although I did still notice his phone screen was a picture of Charlie) and we discussed our ongoing attempts at getting Stacy pregnant. Charlie admired his backpack, and Rosa talked to him about the Snowman.

We have a fertility appointment on Friday to discuss drug help. We hope to be able to get these before her next cycle begins (on Boxing Day) and have an insemination with a real attempt at success some time in Jan!

 

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