Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal issue affecting women during their reproductive years, causing irregular periods and lengthy menstrual cycles. It results in cysts containing immature eggs called follicles, which fail to release eggs. There’s no known cause, but early diagnosis and treatment can reduce long-term consequences like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Nkechi was aware that having PCOS, which she had dealt with for the majority of her adult life, would limit her ability to conceive. But that truth wasn’t realized until she got married and decided she wanted to start a family in her mid-30s. One of the most frequent undiagnosed reasons for infertility is PCOS. Nkechi and her spouse were instantly drawn into the realm of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Nkechi remembered that since she was a teenager, her periods never really followed a pattern; instead, they would appear whenever they felt like it. She once went for periods-free stretches of several months, even a whole year. In her mid-20s, she received her ultimate diagnosis.
Based on her medical history and additional symptoms such increased hair growth, exhaustion, pelvic pain, and vaginal dryness, her new Gynaecologist suspected PCOS. The ultrasonography provided proof. Cysts were all over her ovaries. To put her body on a timetable, they attempted hormonal birth control. Her cycle was more regular thanks to it, but there were severe side effects like anxiety and weight changes. She finally decided she didn’t need to put up with this and stopped taking the medicines.
Nkechi endured PCOS for many years by simply coping with it. After all, she reasoned, there is no cure. However, PCOS had an impact on her desire to conceive. The medical professional did warn her that she might not be able to have children of her own when she was first diagnosed. Nkechi was stunned by the information, but she wasn’t yet married or prepared, so it didn’t really sink in. It took her a long time to completely understand how PCOS might affect her ability to conceive.
Nkechi and her husband Chibisi began making preparations for a child as soon as they were married because they anticipated a lengthy procedure. They were able to skip the entire “try for a year” period because to the PCOS diagnosis. They were able to begin a fertility evaluation and therapy after trying for six months.
The fertility treatments consisted of a hectic schedule of appointments, prescriptions, injections, blood tests, and other procedures. Up to three times a week, they visited the clinic, frequently at 9 am so she could still arrive at work on time. They were corresponding back and forth with the doctors and nurses in between appointments.
Everything had to be completed in a very specific way. Taking an oral ovulation-stimulating medicine was the first step. Nkechi had many medication regimens. She would also receive an injection to trigger ovulation if they judged a follicle was ready to produce an egg. The following 24 to 48 hours required many sexual encounters. They would watch to see what would happen and begin from scratch the following month.
It had an impact on them. There was no longer any enjoyment to be had, and sex became a necessity. They were so exhausted from all the difficulties, her hormones were all over the place, and she was very emotional about everything. He fulfilled his part as required, keeping appointments whenever feasible, even though it was tougher on her than on him.
She started conversing at work after she ran into a coworker one day while waiting in the lobby of the clinic. With the coworker, Nkechi didn’t have to spend time explaining everything, they had been trying for nearly a year, and the next stage would be IVF (in vitro fertilization). Nkechi and Chibisi talked about maybe taking a break to reclaim their lives. Fortunately, that cycle the procedure was successful.
Exactly 14 days later, she performed a pregnancy test at home, and the results were positive. They returned to the doctor’s office in three days for a blood test, followed by another one a week later and an ultrasound the following week. When you find out that early, pregnancy lasts for 40 weeks!
It was thrilling but also quite strange, you know. They had a hard time accepting it as reality. All of a sudden, it ended and at the same time, was just getting started.
They continued to go to the specialist’s office for the first 12 weeks for monitoring. However, once she had completed the first trimester, they went back to her usual Obstetrician-Gynecologist. PCOS took its toll, but just as they were about to give up, the therapies began to show results. Just a few days past her due date, the couple had their daughter Amarachi around Christmas of 2021.