So, some of you noticed the new ticker. Yes, it’s just down there, on the right. Yes, I have totally put my current BMI on it. Oh, come on, you all knew I was fat. I’ve been whining about being fat since I started the blog. And all I’ve managed to do about it is scramble from Really Fat down to Quite Fat, with the odd back-track and sit-down-for-a-rest.
Admittedly, Satsuma appreciated the lifting of just that tad of lard from her work-space, and has set-to with a will now she has the elbow-room.
But, yes. I want to be Not Fat At All. BMI Absolutely Normal So Shut Up Doctor.
And why? Well, because my ovary and fallopian tube are not blocked, or otherwise embuggerated, and because Cute Ute, despite being a monstrous bloated excrescence, has a nice interior (just like the Royal Festival Hall in London (which also contains the Saison Poetry Library, which is one of my favourite places on Earth)). Therefore the causes of the infertility/miscarriages are either a) the PCOS, b) the endometriosis, c) my age, or d) unholy trifecta. (Not forgetting the bonus-ball clotting disorder).
Let me elaborate. You like it, really:
PCOS – as we know, causes hormonal and blood-sugar imbalances, which makes ovulating that much harder, and implantation that much trickier, and the delayed ovulation means higher levels of FSH and oestrogen, which can damage the DNA of the maturing egg, which also leads to fertilization problems, implantation problems, and miscarriages. However, as I now tend to ovulate less than a week later than ‘normal’ (ie day 14), the lateness of the ovulation is probably not a huge factor any more. And my hormones can’t be that deeply enfucked, if we’re all getting together to do the egg-tossing-dance on time on first try every month. A tad enfucked, as evinced by my shortish luteal phase (which is allegedly ‘not short enough to be an issue’ but I don’t trust it), yet not utterly enfucked. At this point in time, all I can do about the PCOS and any remaining hormone/blood-sugar problems, is go back on the low-carb diet that works for me (well, it works for me because it lets me eat cheese, and because I lose weight on it when I don’t cheat, and also it facilitates going gluten free (but see below)), and get my weight down to Normal, Thank You. Hence, ticker.
Endometriosis and probably adenomyosis as well because OK, adeno may be the red-headed step-child as far as research and support goes, but it’s basically endometrium in the wrong sodding place too – Well, the first thing I did on getting my attention-span together was google treatments for endometriosis that didn’t involve Mirena coils, lupron, hysterectomy, going on the Pill, etc. I.e., treatments that would keep me fertile (hahahahahah fertile, oh, May, you card). Oh, yes, I could get pregnant. Apparently pregnancy and breastfeeding are in no way a cure, but they do give you a year off, as it were, which is nice, and some women have fewer symptoms afterwards. Some women. Only some. Anyway.
The other thing that kept bobbing to the top of the Ocean of Woo was gluten avoidance. Coeliac sufferers are well known to be more prone to miscarriages, a tendency that ameliorates considerably when they avoid gluten. More recent research shows that full-blown Coeliac Disease is not the only form of gluten intolerance, and there seems to be a connection between gluten intolerance and endometriosis. They are, after all, both variations on the theme of inflammatory auto-immune disease, it does not startle me that there is a link. And my entire family are cursed with auto-immune disorders (Crohns disease, asthma, eczema, arthritis, ankylosing spondilitis, cancer, type 1 diabetes, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, psoriasis, sarcoidosis, Sjögren’s syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and, oooh, oooh, I know this one! Endometriosis!), so the fact I too have (another, I have eczema (also more common in women with endo (did you know men can get endo? Usually after hormone treatments. So bollocks (haha) to the ‘retrograde menstruation’ theory))) auto-immune disease makes me go ‘Huh. Figures’.
As to the effect endometriosis is or is not having on my fertility, all the reading I did came up with two main schools of thought. School A thinks that endometriosis is only an issue if it’s actually covering the ovary and tube, directly interfering with ovulation and blocking fertilization and making ectopic pregnancies more likely. After all, women with endo get pregnant all the time. In which case, my Voyage to Woo is about my (increasingly parlous) quality of life. School B, however, thinks that endometriosis, being an inflamed and inflamatory condition, creates a sort of puddle of toxins around the reproductive organs even when it’s nowhere near the ovaries and as the poor egg floats from ovary to fallopian tube it effectively gets poisoned, leading to an increase in failed conceptions and miscarriages.
So I am giving up gluten. It might help. If it doesn’t help, I will be Very Cross.
Oh, and some people with gluten intolerance find it makes it very hard to lose weight, and suddenly lose pounds and pounds when they go gluten free (though, honestly, this may be due to the non-consumption of Cake and Biscuits and Pasta and Bread rather than the metabolic regulation of avoiding a toxin). Hence ticker.
Because endometriosis makes, might make, getting pregnant so much harder, and staying pregnant so much harder, IVF is back on the table.
After all those doctors telling me, visit after visit, month after month, that IVF was pointless in my case and would be of no use to me.
Yes, I know. It’s a fucker, especially after all the times I went to bat for my doctors and claimed that they must know what they are doing, when they say IVF is pointless for the likes of me, in the face of many commenters here who kept telling me it was The Only Way, but there it is. We didn’t have all the facts. Now we do. IVF is back on the table. First person to say ‘I told you so’ will make me cry, second person to say it will make me hurl furniture about.
So, I need to lose weight to do IVF, should it come to that. Hence ticker.
Also, I am 36, and though I technically was granted an NHS-funded IVF cycle a couple of years ago, back-burnered for when I lost the weight etc., the NHS, like all publicly run institutions in Britain at the moment, is being bent over a barrel and done viciously in the rear by the current government, who seem to think that if you can’t afford to pay for it you’re sub-human anyway. My funding may well have evaporated, and now I am 36, and over the ‘official’ age the NHS funds IVF up until. The least I can do is not be overweight as well as fucking geriatric.
You peeps do know I was 29 when I started trying to get pregnant, don’t you? 29. That’s not old for a first baby. That’s sensible. Damn it all to hell.
Anyway. There’s the ticker. Just in case knowing the internet is watching helps with the ol’ willpower. Especially as it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
(I hate Christmas. I’ve managed two miscarriages around Christmas in the past couple of years and this year we’re Doing Family).