let’s get this party started…

Just called in to my gynecologist. Set up an appointment for November 5th for a consultation (I’m very happy she had an opening so soon, she’s usually pretty booked up). I’m intending to ask her to put me on Metformin. I’ve just recently discovered (as in, yesterday) that Metformin is a common treatment for women with PCOS. That would have been nice to know 3 YEARS AGO!! Not that I’m angry…it’s just that I’ve been going to a fertility clinic for almost 2 years now and this drug was never even MENTIONED to me! Forget the fact that it could have regulated my cycles, or had me ovulating on my own w/o shots, or even the fact that it seems every other woman diagnosed as PCOS has been prescribed Metformin…forget all that. What MOST upsets me is that this drug is also given to women with PCOS in their 1st trimester to guard against miscarriage. If I had been given this drug, if I had even KNOWN about this drug, my little Zippy may have been born this month, instead of dying in March. That’s what pisses me off the most!

Hopefully my OB/GYN will listen to me and agree that I should try Metformin. The hubby and I talked last night and seemed to agree that we could do the Metformin alone for a few months and if nothing happens naturally, try IUI on Metformin one more time at our fertility clinic. Either way, this is the first breath of hopeful air I’ve had all month and it feels good. Drowning in the darkness of depression is no fun. I much prefer the bobbing up and down in a sea of hopefulness – at least I’m not below water any more!

So – all you Metformin vets, I need your help! I’ve printed off the WebMD article that I linked to above, and also some articles that the blogger Birds and Squirrels linked to in her blog back in April (thanks again to Maybe Baby? for pointing that blog out).  This is all I have right now, but if there is any info you think would be helpful in pleading my case to my doctor, I’d very much appreciate it.  Even just your personal stories of using the drug and how it has helped you?  I’d take any advice/help you could offer!  Thanks!

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Katie
    Oct 23, 2009 @ 18:10:47

    Awesome!

    Do you know if when they tested you for PCOS if they found you insulin resistant? IR is a key factor in a PCOS diagnosis. If the doctor argues youd on’t need it because you’re not IR then ask for a re-test. I once showed up “normal” for it and later twice showed up as having it.

    A friend of mine did not have classic PCOS but the doctor put her on Metformin anyways and she conceived in four months. On average it can take six months for you to properly ovulate once you start Metformin but it varies person to person.

    I hope this is it for you. I CANNOT believe with a PCOS diagnosis they didn’t put you on Metformin that is the most frustrating part of the IF journey, that we all get different ways that our doctors go about doing stuff.

    I would do research on Metformin and look up benefits of it even if you don’t have classic PCOS since I imagine your doctor may argue this route.

    Reply

  2. meggomae
    Oct 23, 2009 @ 19:26:18

    Is there a test for PCOS? All they really did was a few ultrasounds and a saline ultrasound and then said, “Oh, well, you must have PCOS – let’s get you started with something”

    I’ve always felt they just kinda said PCOS as a default b/c they couldn’t find anything else. If there is a test, maybe I can get my OB/GYN to do the test then prescribe the Metformin?

    Thanks for all the help on this Kate – I want to go into this appointment with as much info as possible, since I’m laying all of my hope on this helping me get a baby!

    Reply

  3. Katie
    Oct 23, 2009 @ 21:06:02

    For me they gave me a blood test that found I was Insulin resistant based on a whole host of criteria which I don’t remember but I know they tested my glucose, they tested my thyroid and a bunch of other stuff. Also they did an ultrasound of my ovaries to see if I had polycystic ovaries. The important thing is your hormones vary with your cycle so make sure your OB knows that (my first didnt and pronounced me normal).

    You don’t have to have both [IR plus cystic ovaries] to get diagnosed with PCOS but it helps. Since you already have an official PCOS diagnosis you could just go with that and ask the OB to give you Metformin. If you want to be more thorough you could get the testing. So they never tested your blood for it, nor check your ovaries?

    Personally, if you are over your ideal BMI and despite great effort you can’t lose the weight like others can, if you have hair under your chin or below your naval where it shouldn’t be, if you feel sluggish and your cycles are funky monkey, you likely have PCOS with the full blown IR.

    It blows my mind that someone with PCOS would not be told about Metformin right away but someone on my blog left a cmoment saying they have PCOS and their doc said Metformin has no use. Well, you know what, that’s bull. I tried for over a year in VAIN and once I got on Metformin I conceived. BUT- for most women it takes Metformin + Clomid to actually concieve.

    My doctor’s plan for me was 3 months TTC on Metformin alone. then 3 months ttc with Metformin + Clomid. We never got to the Clomid stage.

    i’m excited for you. I really hope this is your magic pill as it has been for me.

    Reply

  4. Katie
    Oct 23, 2009 @ 21:07:04

    Well I say I’m surprised but really I’m not…. my first OB didn’t want to test me for PCos , he just wanted to start me on Clomid for 3 months and then jump to IUI. I guess they make more money that way. I guess that’s snarky of me, but there you go.

    Ify ou want to talk about it off-blog, you can e-mail me btw at twoweekwaiting@gmail.

    Reply

  5. 21reena
    Oct 24, 2009 @ 00:24:57

    Hi – I just found your blog today. I was diagnosed with PCOS 3 years ago and put on Metformin a year later (if you’d like you can read my blog). The best site I found about PCOS was the Mayo Clinic’s. I’m now on 150 of Metformin and Femara and waiting out the 2WW. My doctor told me I should stop taking the metformin if I got a BFP, that insulin has proven safer, so I would double check on what you heard about taking it while pregnant. I’d like to add you to my blogroll, please let me know if you’d like me to remove it.

    Reply

  6. barrenness
    Oct 24, 2009 @ 16:41:31

    I’m finally catching up and just wanted to tell you that I’m really sorry about the failed IUIs. I know it’s tough, but I’m glad to see that you’re trying to get up and brush off the dust. I’m thinking about you.

    As far as the tests and metformin, I was never “tested” for PCOS besides b/w that showed abnormal hormone levels during various cycle stages. I was officially diagnosed with PCOS during an u/s. I do have all the classic symptoms– overweight, hair where it shouldn’t be, irregular periods, etc. I was never tested for IR, but my dr. prescribed met to help me with weight loss. I’ve been taking it for about 3 years, and I think it helps. It obviously didn’t help me conceive, but it does help me with weight loss/maintenance. FYI – If your dr. prescribes it for you, I suggest metformin XR (controlled release). I’ve taken both the regular and controlled release. The XR gives me significantly less GI side effects than the regular, and I only take it once daily.

    I hope your dr. is willing to run the necessary tests to help you. Please let us know what your dr. says after you visit. Good luck!

    Reply

  7. Katie
    Oct 24, 2009 @ 17:23:23

    I did not need to tkae insulin shots beacuse they wouldn’t fully regulate everything. In some ways, Metformin for PCOS is a sort of off-label use since it does help more than just your insulin levels. There have been a ton of studies done on Metformin on pregnancy and no side effects have been found.

    Reply

  8. katery
    Oct 25, 2009 @ 02:13:07

    i’m glad to hear you’ve still got some hope and i hope the metformin works for you!

    Reply

  9. egghunt
    Oct 26, 2009 @ 20:45:56

    Oh i hope the metformin helps!!
    It sucks that it always comes back to money, it makes it harder because there are millions of people out there that get babies for free but hopefully you are on to a winner with the metformin. Good luck!

    Reply

  10. Lea
    Oct 27, 2009 @ 20:23:39

    I’ll be anxious to hear if they give you a prescription. I have PCOS and the tests have shown no IR, but I suspect they are wrong. I would love to try met. Maybe I’ll start hounding my doctors again! 🙂 Good luck!!!

    Reply

  11. birdsandsquirrels
    Nov 01, 2009 @ 02:04:47

    Hi there,
    Well, I think you already know that I’m a big fan of metformin! It is absolutely commonly used to treat PCOS, even if you are not technically insulin resistant. If your gynecologist won’t prescribe it, find a new doctor. Seriously. It is so helpful for many women with PCOS, but it does take a while (several months) to get the full effect. I hope that everything goes well with your appointment, and I hope that your doctor is open to prescribing it to you.

    About 5 years ago, I went through at least 4 different doctors trying to get them to treat my PCOS with anything other than birth control pills. Birth control pills make insulin resistance worse! I finally did find one who was willing to read the journal articles I brought in and she prescribed it, and it has made a world of difference. My ob/gyn was sort of on the fence about the usefulness of metformin, but I came in with my information and insisted on staying on it. The one thing I have learned is that you HAVE to be your own advocate, even if it means questioning your doctors or finding new ones. It sucks and it’s hard, but it is worth it. If I hadn’t pushed and pushed to try different things, I wouldn’t be 32 weeks pregnant right now.

    Also, if your doctor tells you to stop taking metformin once you get a positive pregnancy test, find another doctor. You should take it at least through the first trimester to help prevent miscarriage. If they are not aware of the research that shows that metformin drastically reduces the chances of miscarriage in PCOS women, they are an idiot are are not up on current thinking.

    Good luck!

    Reply

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