Did you catch the poll going in the Cyster Talk Community this week?
The question was: If you could only solve ONE PCOS issue, which would you pick?
Infertility, weight gain, hair growth/loss, acne, etc.
*drum roll please*
The results as of last night showed that infertility won by a landslide…
I get that.
When I was first diagnosed with PCOS after spending time trying to get pregnant only to see “negative” month after month, I was devastated.
- I felt like less of a woman.
- I felt like my body only had one thing it was required to do and it couldn’t even do that.
- I felt like a failure.
- I felt like I hit rock bottom.
That was when I was determined to beat this PCOS and not let it stand in my way of a family. I was going to figure this thing out once and for all.
Can you relate?
So, what is the first step you need to take to get pregnant?
You MUST figure out when you are ovulating. If you are not ovulating, there was no way you can get pregnant.
Easy peasy. Let’s just pull out one of those ovulation tests and we will have it all figured out. Right?
Not so fast…
A few days ago, one of your fellow Cysters posted the following in the group:
“…I took the (ovulation) test around 10 o’clock p.m. Today when I got home from work I took another test just for curiousity at about 6:30 PM and that one also came back positive. Is that normal or is something else wrong or did I just catch the beginning and the end of my surge? I am just super confused because my cycle is so long right now and these are new strips. Also do we BD again tonight or do I wait till tomorrow night or do we BD tonight and tomorrow night? Just super confused and clinging to hope that I might actually be ovulating even though it is day 50! Any help would be super great thank you so much!”
The ovulation tests are not always a reliable source for us cysters.
It is more important to understand your periods and then you can use that information to determine when you are ovulating. I will cover the information you need to calculate when you are ovulating next week, but for today…
Here’s the deal about your period with PCOS.
If you are having irregular periods, you are less likely to be fertile.
A normal cycle is anywhere from 23 to 35 days for most women. Some can go as far as 40 or more days between periods, but they are still regular.
If you are taking a birth control pill and having “regular” periods, it doesn’t mean you are ovulating. Birth control pill prevent you from ovulating so you won’t get pregnant.
When I am talking about irregular, I am referring to you cysters who never know when your period is going to show up.
Do you have…
- Long gaps between your periods?
- Long gaps between your periods and then when they do come, you have very heavy bleeding?
- Long stretches for a few cycles followed by some short stretches between periods?
- Continual bleeding for a few weeks or spotting between periods?
If so, you are most likely not ovulating. If you aren’t ovulating you aren’t going to get pregnant.
This is what is going on with our cyster from the above post in the Cyster Talk Community. Having a period that is 50 days is not typically a normal period. If you keep in mind the 50 days of this past cycle as you look at her previous cycles, you can get a better picture. If her previous ones were 32 days, 17 days, 72 days, 38 days, and 25 days her periods are not regular and she most likely is NOT ovulating.
So, how do we fix this? Are you just destined never to have “normal” periods so you can have children?
There may be lots of reasons besides PCOS that can be causing your periods to be crazy. Let’s start with things you can control: your lifestyle.
- Are you struggling with some extra stress right now?
- Are you experimenting with a new diet?
- Are you restricting your calorie or carb intake?
- Are you traveling a lot right now…especially air travel?
- Are you exercising too much or too little?
- Are you sick right now?
All of these can contribute to whether or not your periods are regular.
Your body is just trying to help you out and let you know it is feeling kind of lousy.
Here are the three areas I would deal with first when trying to get your periods back on track.
Stress is Enemy #1
Start with your stress levels. When your body is stressed out, it releases the stress hormone cortisol. Remember, all your hormones are connected. When one is out of balance, it can affect all the others. So, if you have high cortisol levels, you may have a hard time balancing all those PCOS hormones.
Take some time to identify what is stressing you out.
Have you recently had a major life event such as a death of a family member, a move, or a job change?
Think of ways you can manage your stress levels such as exercise, walking, or a spa day.
Paleo, Keto, Low-Carb are Enemy #2
Reign in those diets. You don’t need a strict diet like low carb, Paleo, or Keto. By choosing a diet that cuts out healthy whole foods such as grains, fruit, and beans, you can actually be cutting out fertility boosting food.
Stick to a whole foods diet based mainly around 100% whole grains, beans, vegetables including green leafy, cruciferous, etc, fruit, nuts, and seeds.
This will minimize all those processed foods, artificial flavors, trans and saturated fats, and preservatives. It will give you the most enzymes, nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber.
Grab my PCOS Diet Cheat Sheet to make sure your diet isn’t getting in the way of you wanting to start a family.
Exercise is Enemy #3
Exercise, but not too much. This is very important to balancing your hormones. Your hormones are connected to your metabolism. Exercise is one of the best ways to help your metabolism since the more muscle your body has, the faster your metabolism.
So, an effective exercise regimen would include cardio and strength training. Yoga could help your relaxation efforts. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. You don’t need more than that. When you exercise hard and for long periods of time, you are going to stress out your body.
Remember what we said above? Stress = Bad for your fertility!
Grab my PCOS Exercise Cheat Sheet to make sure you are doing exercise the RIGHT WAY so you can boost your fertility.
Take care of your body. Love on your body. Treat it like a diva.
Still having trouble with irregular periods after a few months?
Check with your doctor to rule out any other conditions such as thyroid issues, infections, fibroids, or other illnesses such as endometriosis you may not know about.
In the meantime, exercise is one of the biggest stressors you can place on your body if you don’t feel any major life event is stressing you out right now.
Get the lowdown on how to exercise for PCOS the RIGHT WAY so you aren’t doing too much or too little which will mess up those crazy hormones:
Here’s my PCOS Exercise Cheat Sheet (+ I’ll be letting you know when my ovulation calculator is ready for your to download next week via your email inbox).