Getting Pregnant <
Trying to conceive
21/06/2013 at 18:02
For those who don't know my story - at 15 I had only had 1 AF, I was diagnosed with ammenhorea (no AFs!) and they put it down to a hormone imbalance. I was put on the pill to regulate withdrawal bleeds and it was left at that, suggesting ageing and weight loss may help my hormones balance themselves.
I came off the pill in Feb, we aren't TTC yet but given my background I wanted to come off to give us a head start if I was still having problems with my cycles. I visited my GP to inform them / request my hormones to be tested again etc. They sent me for 21 day blood tests twice, both come back low progesterone, but they were both timed incorrectly for my cycles. I was then referred to a gynaecologist as they considered me high risk of fertility problems and wanted to get the ball moving.
I had my appointment today. Specialist suspects that I had PCOS when younger, and that my weight loss / ageing has cleared / improved the symptoms. But they can't be certain that it has gone completely etc. They have advised that after 12 months of TTC we will be referred to a fertility clinic given my medical history (that would be Feb 2014) and I'm likely to be put on Clomid or similar with tracking scans. In the meantime, I've been given a prescription for 3 months of Metformin and a blood test form so I can try and time my blood tests more accurately.
Since coming off the pill at the beginning of Feb I have had 2 actual AFs, which is a massive improvement in itself from when I was 15! As far as I'm concerned, things are looking more positive then they did before coming off the pill (I honestly didn't think I'd have an AF). Based on this, I'm not sure I want to rush into taking this Metformin.
I just wondered if anyone had any experience on Metformin - I don't know a lot about it. I've been given it to regulate my cycle - but will that only work for the 3 months I'm actually taking it? Or does it have a long term effect? How does it actually work?
21/06/2013 at 18:14
It works by making your cells more responsive to insulin (it is a medication for diabetics). This means that over time, your body needs less insulin for the Sam effect, so body produces less insulin. It is thought that excess insulin somehow affects your oestrogen and testosterone balance, and so by reducing the amount of insulin, allows your sex hormones to balance.
The cycle regulating was noted as a side-effect of Metformin because of the above. It became quite fashionable to be prescribed for ladies with hormonal problems and PCOS in the last couple of decades, however, at the PCOS conference in 2011, the UK's leading endocrinologist for PCoS said that it doesn't help cycles at all.
So the jury is out!
I I have been on it. It didn't help establish a cycle, or weightloss for me..
You need to take it for a prolonged period of time (I was told a year) before deciding whether it is of benefit to you. And yes, things will return to normal when you stop taking it (if anything changes!).
It has quite nasty side effects including nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, cramps and diarrhoea. These can be minimised by starting in a low dose and slowly increasing. But I still had upset tummies a lot.
As a side note, it is very safe so may as well have a go!
21/06/2013 at 18:27
Thanks Ducky. Prescriptions for 1 x 500mg for 1 week, then 2 x 500mg for 1 week, then 3 x 500mg for 10 weeks because of the side effects.
I think I want to give my body a few more months to see what happens 'naturally' first. I may try it Sep / Oct time.
I guess I'm dubious about pumping drugs into my body when they might not be needed. If I was having the same problems now as I had when I was 15 then fine, I'd take it!
Does it cause any interference? Like when I've stopped taking it, will it screw my 'natural' cycles up even more? Can you just start taking it on any random day of the month?
Appreciate your help, thanks xx
21/06/2013 at 18:29
You can stop taking it whenever, but if it did improve your cycle/hormones, then the benefits would also stop. They shouldn't get any worse than before though.
21/06/2013 at 19:12
Sorry, I can't really help but wanted to say hi MM xx
21/06/2013 at 19:29
I take 2000mg a day of modified release, I find I have no side effects and it really has helped my cycles! Good luck
21/06/2013 at 19:42
I think if you have high levels if insulin (insulin resistant) it does help, but if don't, it doesn't change anything.
24/06/2013 at 10:43
Do you think I've been prescribed it because she suspects I still have PCOS? I think I fooled myself that she was trying to help where as now I'm thinking its because she suspects I may have problems with developing normal cycles.
Just can't see why else - surely anyone with an OK medical history wouldn't be put on this when they've only been off the pill for 4-5 months and had 2 AFs in that time!?
24/06/2013 at 10:59
I imagine that is likely. Given that metformin is not liscenced for PCOS, and is prescribed off-label, your consultant must have had a fairly good inkling that he is treating a lady with suspected PCOS.
This is probably based on your current symptoms, most recent blood tests and medicla history/previous tests.
The pill is one of the best methods to stabilise whacky hormones with PCOS. It is often prescribed to regulate a cycle and help with moods and skin. It is often the case that things are they best they will be when you just come off the pill. As your pill-free body is free to do as it wishes, your cycles get further and further aprt and your PCOS hormones become more obviously imbalanced.
However, that is a question only your doctor can answer having seen your results!
24/06/2013 at 11:04
Good points Ducky. I'm showing no signs of AF arriving anytime soon - I had feared that when I come off the pill I may be fooled into thinking all was OK with a few AFs as the pill was still in my body, but overtime my problems from when I was younger would resurface.
I don't think my DR really knows what is going on so they can't answer a lot. All my tests have been fine - its just the Progesterone that hasn't been but I know that I haven't been able to time it correctly. Although I did notice on their records, that when I was 15 my Progesterone was say '7' (random cycle day - as I never had AFs!) and now its <0.5 or something! They didn't mention it - wish I'd said but I was a bit taken aback and wasn't sure if I had seen it correctly etc.
Other symptom is acne on my chin - but thats it. My ultrasound showed no cysts etc.
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