Will I Ever Be Fixed?

In all of the time that we were TTC#1 with Stella, my cycles were completely fucked up. Before knowing there was an issue, I wasted a ton of FRER sticks because my cycles were between 49-118 days long and I was constantly thinking I was “late” and pregnant. After my PCOS diagnosis (and seeing that I had 25+ resting follicles on both ovaries, gah!), we tried Western meds, acupuncture, herbs, diet changes – and sometimes I ovulated, sometimes I didn’t. When my messed up PCOS ovaries actually decided to cooperate, ovulation usually happened somewhere between CD19-30, though my first clomid cycle was a CD50 ovulation.

All of this to say, I just want to know if I will be fixed.

My last three trackable cycles:

  • April 12, 2011 — I found out I was pregnant with Stella after a Clomid+Menopur+IUI CD17 ovulation.
  • April 28, 2013 — I found out I was pregnant with Harvey after an unmedicated CD37 ovulation.
  • March 25, 2015 — I got my period after a 43 day cycle (probably CD31 ovulation) during which I had a (non-hormonal) IUD and it was nearly impossible for me to get pregnant.

I know that my pregnancies won’t necessarily fix my PCOS hormonal issues, but I can’t help but hope it will kick start something and balance things out a bit maybe. I mean, I hopefully have decades of life left to live, and it’d just be nice to have a normal, healthy 28 day cycle for once.

How about you? Have your cycle lengths changed (or at least standardized) over time, either with or without pregnancy?

I just hate feeling like my body is still broken, even though I’m thankfully sitting here as a Mom of 2 now.

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31 comments

  1. I’m “lucky” in that I have regular cycles infertility notwithstanding. Ummmm my cycles are getting shorter. Like this one. I swear I’m ovulating on cd9. Soooo maybe yours will get shorter and feel “normal”? but I don’t know anything about PCOS. :/

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  2. Like Geochick, my cycles were always pretty regular, even though my eggs were apparently crappy. They returned to normal fairly quickly post-partum, too.

    However, I’ve had the Mirena IUD since May 2013, when my sons were 16 months old, and in all that time, I have not had a period. Which I love!

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  3. My cycles are 20 days long, and have been since I went off BCP when we were TTC#1. They didn’t get any better after my first successful pregnancy (but with diet, acupuncture, herbs and supplements I can stretch them to 26 days). That is better than not cycling at all, which is what I did throughout my 20s, but clearly it’s not a regular cycle. My RE said my short cycles are because of my DOR, so I guess that is the way they’ll be until I go into menopause, which evidently could happen in my 40s. Yay! (::sarcasmfont::) So nope, pregnancy did not fix me, but 2.5 years of BCP seemed to help me cycle, which is something.

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  4. I think what you’re getting at is the frustration of having unpredictable cycles and how it triggers all the bad memories from TTC. For that, I’m so sorry. It sucks that our bodies don’t behave the way they should. I know with PCOS, hormonal birth control can work wonders for regulating cycles. Though it’s a horrible option for me (clotting disorders and hormonal birth control can be a deadly combination), it may be worthwhile bring up with your doctor. I also have a copper IUD, but have hear good things about Mirena. Something to consider.

    Sending hugs.

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    1. Yep, exactly. I really don’t want hormonal birth control (I truly believe 10 years of that caused some of the issues in the first place)…. but it’s super frustrating to not be regular and keep wondering “what if?” We had a patient come into our clinic yesterday who had just found out she was pregnant WITH an IUD in – so most likely ectopic. That scares the shit out of me.

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  5. I’m so sorry, I really hate that. Like you said, even on the IUD I would have thought I was pregnant too with that kind of cycle. I hope you don’t always have to deal with this!

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  6. Stephanie · · Reply

    I feel like we have had similar situations. I have PCOS and have been incredibly irregular my whole life. Got pregnant the first time on our first IUI attempt :). Got pregnant the second time, on my own, a bit of a surprise. After I was done breastfeeding the second one, my periods have come back and are incredibly regular!!!! What??? I can’t believe that my body is finally working the way it is supposed to. So, now, I am so hesitant to be on any sort of hormonal birth control…think that was part of the problem to begin with. BUT, I am too busy to track my cycles and it has only been a couple of months so I do have a bit of anxiety each month as I wait to make sure that I am not pregnant as we are done with 2 little babes. 🙂

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    1. That’s definitely kind of what I’m hoping for. I have a non-hormonal IUD right now, but if we ever tried for a third (or even if we didn’t) it’d just be so nice to have regular cycles.

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  7. I changed oral contraceptives and now I have this magical 28 days to the hour cycle and it weirds me out (and is exciting because there’s no mystery any more). My normal cycle was 32-37 days if I cycled at all so this precision is so weird. Aside from the lovely predictability, I loathe this particular pill and really want to change to something else BUT I had a lovely time today shadowing a women’s health provider and got some ideas.

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  8. Nope not fixed here! Even though I’m still pretty regular..I had my fsh tested in between my pregnancies just to see. I was still in the peri-menopausal range! And now after Lucy I’m sure I’m closer to full on menopause . My cycles are shorter in length and duration.

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  9. I’m still broken. I don’t think I’ll be one of the lucky ones who pregnancy “resets” their system. 😦 Even without the desire for future pregnancies I would really love to have a regular cycle.

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    1. Same here. We are pretty sure we are done having kids, but it would just be nice to have a regular cycle and know that my hormones are acting appropriately.

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  10. I think I’m going to do an iud until I know for sure we’re sone then vasectomy. I’m supposed to read over the info for copper iud and more a which has some progesterone and pretty much gets rid of bleeding altogether. She said there is likely breakthrough bleeding with the copper one. So it sounded to me like cycles would not be regular with the copper iud.

    being female is so complicated. My acne already came back post baby. I had the clearest skin when I was pregnant with Venture.

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    1. Sorry for all the typos. Late night feeding and one hand typing. I meant know we’re done and mirena.

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    2. No – the copper IUD is NON-hormonal; not supposed to affect your cycles at all. Some people have heavier periods on it (mine has been heavier flo for 3 days but not longer overall) and rarely people have breakthrough bleeding MID-cycle… but it shouldn’t stop your cycles at all. Mirena is the one that usually stops your cycles completely. http://bedsider.org/features/70-paragard-vs-mirena-which-iud-is-best-for-you

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      1. Ah, I get it! Thanks for the article, that was helpful!

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  11. I feel like my pregnancies have totally regulated my cycles. I don’t get how it happened, but before when we were TTC I’d go months with nothing, now I’m a regular every 28 day girl and I’d do anything to go back to the old days! No not really, but knowing my period is coming that frequently basically for no reason (again, just being dramatic) it’s annoying. I still track my cycles just because I like to have the information to look back on, but it would be nice to say F it all and be done completely.

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    1. Grass is always greener, Steph 🙂 If you were going months between cycles, you’d be worried something was wrong or that you were pregnant again!

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      1. I know there is a slight chance of it still happening, but JJ’s been fixed so the worry about getting pregnant is pretty much gone. I suppose I might be upset though that I couldn’t get my cycles to regulate.

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        1. Got it – i had forgot he was snipped. That would definitely decrease the pregnancy thoughts when you’re irregular!

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  12. Melissa · · Reply

    After my 3rd was born (May 2013) it took about 14 months for my cycles to come back and they came about every 60 days regularly! (for the first time in about 8 years) I decided to mess them up again by taking the mini pill. I bled on that for 3 weeks and then didn’t get a period but I did get a BFP…
    Sometimes pregnancy does reset the body, I don’t know how an IUD would impact things.
    Oh, and I also have PCOS, and had to see an RE to get pregnant with my youngest two so I honestly didn’t think I’d conceive on my own. I was wrong.

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  13. kaseypowers · · Reply

    I’m not sure I’m convinced that a 28-day cycle is normal (actually I’m pretty sure it’s not, it may be an average, but averages are nothing to an individual). I know I had wacky cyclcs for nearly 8 years before going on the pill, and then continues craziness for a year on non-hormonal IUD. PCOS sucks a lot. I’ve come to terms that I will likely never be “fixed”. Currently I’m on the minipill and will likely not have a period until I go off of it. The pill feels less permanent that the hormonal IUD and until I can say I’m done having kids and know 100% I mean it, it’s working for us. Sorry to be such a downer – I do hope for you that you get some “normalcy” to cycles.

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    1. Oh ya – I don’t care if it’s 28d necessarily – just REGULAR.

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  14. My cycle is EFFED UP and I am taking hormones to manage it. I think I have reached a state of detente with it. I should be worried that something is very wrong (because what I have going on is NOT normal) but they can’t find anything…so I just keep renewing my meds and the months fly by. I am positive it is a symptom/cause of my overall shitty health, but what can I do? With everything that has gone on in the last 8-10 years regarding my lady parts, I am ready to be done with them. When they first suggested a hysterectomy, I was AGHAST. Now? I am thinking about it. BUT, that wouldn’t solve the hormonal issue… Exploring alternative treatments is the last avenue of options, but I’m not willing to go off my meds and go back to where I was to get a new baseline…

    GAH. I guess I have more EMOTIONS about this than I thought at the beginning of this comment. When the goal is no longer BAAABEEEEZZZZ the perspective sure flips, doesn’t it. I just want to be healthy. It sucks being broken.

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    1. Yep, I just want to be healthy. Exactly. I wonder how much of my belly fat issues are hormonal based vs. beer based, you know? 🙂 I’m sorry your lady parts are still giving you such troubles. If I was bleeding like that you can bet your bottom dollar I’d be back on hormonal birth control right now!

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      1. I just learned that belly fat is testosterone based and hip, butt and leg fat is estrogen based. I totally didn’t know that! Learned it on the Jillian michaels podcast. That’s why you don’t really see men with pear shapes. So you may be onto something, since pcosers usually have more testosterone. Interesting.

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  15. mcmissis · · Reply

    I was on birth control from age 17 to just before 26. The first eight months off it, my cycles would be six-ish weeks long. Then I got pregnant with Gracie. After her, I had two complete sixish-week cycles, then got pregnant with Lyla. Then one complete sixish-week cycle and got pregnant with Poppy. Now, I had one period, six weeks later had another, five weeks later had another, and now a couple weeks after my last started, I’m having weird suuuuper light spotting. I thought about six weeks was my normal, but who knows.

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    1. Yeah, I’d be okay with six week cycles too. Just to be regular would be nice. As it is, it’s such a mind fuck to think “could I be pregnant?” I know with IUDs it’s very rare, but we just had a girl come in yesterday who was 6w pregnant and had an IUD. We did an emergency removal of it, and now it’s a wait and see game to see if the pregnancy is viable or ectopic. Gah!

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  16. Um. Yeah. I have so very often thought to myself, “Just WORK, body.” And I feel very much “broken” despite having two wonderful, healthy children; despite having two easy pregnancies and two relatively easy births; despite having abundant milk and easy breastfeeding experiences. Despite all that, the lack of regular periods makes me absolutely feel broken. I detest the waiting and wondering. I am like you, back pre-Stella, randomly testing whenever the mood strikes, because I have no effing clue what is going on. No, that’s not true. I KNOW what’s going on, and it’s obviously the PCOS. But it sucks. I have a script for baseline blood work, just so I can KNOW. And I am excited for a transvaginal ultrasound next Monday just to KNOW. It’s a stupid, effing mindfuck. And I wonder how long I can go on, wondering, pretending like there’s a tiny chance I could be pregnant… UGH.

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  17. jesicabrennan · · Reply

    I know pregnancy definitely “fixes” me for a short time. But as I discovered between the 2 pregnancies, it’s only fixed for a few months and then the cycles get longer and longer again. I wish they fixed them indefinitely but that didn’t seem to be the case. At least I was ovulating but at the last cycle before I tried Clomid again it was on CD48, eek! I have no hope that things will ever be normal when it comes to my cycles, pregnancy is just a temporary fix.

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  18. […] every single day of my life. I’m proud of that fact, and slightly in awe that my messed up broken body cooperated and did a fantastic job of growing and nourishing my […]

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