Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

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Ob/Gyn with experience with PCOS

Feb 2011

Hello all - I was diagnosed with PCOS several years ago when we lived in another state. I live in the East Bay and have not found an OB/GYN who has any real experience with PCOS. Can anyone recommend a good OB/GYN for PCOS - preferably in the East Bay? BB

I know you prefer the East Bay, but UCSF has a very comprehensive multidisciplinary PCOS Clinic at their Mt. Zion campus in the city. They typically see you twice (for testing and evaluation) and will then make recommendations for your treatment. In other words, they don't follow you over the long-term, but they can refer you to an OB/GYN in the practice who is well-versed in PCOS. I found the evaluation and testing very worthwhile, especially as I was able to get pregnant with very minimal intervention thanks in part to their recommendations. (They got me on metformin to regulate my cycles.) In general, I found all the UCSF gynecologists/midwives very well informed about PCOS and would recommend treatment there if your insurance permits it and you don't mind the occasional commute. Fellow Woman with PCOS

Alternative Medicine for PCOS/Infertility?

April 2008

I am looking for advice and possibly a recommendation for alternative options to treat my infertility due to having PCOS. I\x92ve been infertile for nine years (age 29) and looking for something that is beyond the basics at this point. I tried Western Medicine from Metformin to Clomid and none of it has ever worked for me. I did try acupuncture five years ago and nothing came from it \x96 but I was only able to commit to three months due to a daytime work schedule. I am now able to successfully treat my insulin resistance, weight problems, acne and other symptoms through diet and lifestyle. Losing weight (from a size 14 to a 6) has helped me at least ovulate occasionally, but I still feel like I\x92m on an uphill battle. Has anyone ever successfully treated PCOS related infertility through alternative medicine? Young and Infertile

What a coincidence-I was just talking to a friend of mine today about how different my sister and I are in terms of how we take care of our PCOS symptoms. My sis was diagnosed at 16 but has never taken care of herself(overeating, smoking, drinking, no exercise or stress management). Although she was able to get pregnant (after giving up), she is now (at 38) obese and depressed, with a flat chest, lots of acne and hair growth. I was diagnosed at 32 after gaining 20 lbs in 5 weeks despite intense cardi workouts every day at the gym. My body had also started perimenopause. I went from doctor to doctor, most of whom thought I was depressed, imagining it, or lying. Finally, one of them agreed to test my hormone levels, and there it was!! Instead of bc pills and all of the other harsh(I think) meds, I opted for alternative therapies. I worked with Marc Halpern of the California College of Ayurveda, and he helped me find out my food allergies and get on a healthy eating plan for my body type. I did gentle yoga twice per week, as well as strength training and walking, but I stopped vigorous aerobic activity. I watched my sugar intake. I avoided any substance that messed with my hormones(bc pills, antidepressants, non-organic meats/dairy). I meditated. Within 6 months, I was well on my way to feeling ''normal'' again. The perimenopause stopped, I lost weight, I wasn't depressed, and I was pregnant on the first try 2 years later! Here's what I know about my PCOS:
-Stress, too much sugar, and lack of exercise will cause my hormones to freak out. -My exercise needs to be moderate and long rather than vigorous and short. I need to focus on muscle strength and flexibility. Once I feel healthy, I can add more aerobic activity. (According to my dietician, this is true for most women with PCOS. Our metabolisms tend to slow down when we exert ourselves too strongly.) -Acupucture, herbs, ayurveda,and vitamins have given me great benefit. -I need to eat a lot more protein than I think I do. -When I relax, things get much better for me.
Please don't give up-find a practitioner who will listen and help. Looking forward to Menopause!! dawn

Hi -- this isn't a non-western alterative, but I thought I'd share that I was diagnosed with PCOS 3 years ago and am now pregnant with twins at age 30. I used metformin and a no- sugar/no refined carb diet to go from a 14 to an 8. I also did acupuncture and meditation for stress relief. Clomid and injectables didn't work for me, but IVF through Kaiser (Dr. Telles) did on the first try. I know that it's expensive, but the odds of it working on people with PCOS who are young are very high. My doctor said I'd have about a 70% chance of success, so I decided to take the gamble. I responded well to the meds, and they retrieved 19 eggs. Only 5 fertilized, but they were all very high quality so she implaned two. They both took and now I'm 23 weeks pregnant! Best of luck. anon

Hi Young and Imbalanced. Congrats on making huge changes in your life! It isn't easy. Both of my sisters suffer from PCOS (identical twins). One sister didn't change anything about her lifestyle and after 5 years of trying was unsuccessful. The other sister, started exercising, eating well and a year later she started having regular periods. Now she is 34 weeks pregnant!

The first thing you have to do is get your periods regularly. I recommend 'The Infertility Cure' by Randine Lewis. She takes you through a Traditional Chinese Medicine approach including how to diagnose and treat yourself with herbs and acupressure. She is a leading expert on getting women pregnant. Her site is very helpful: www.thefertilesoul.com (go to the PCOS page to learn more about your condition)

I wish you all the best! K.

I was diagnosed by 3 endocrinologists six years ago with PCOS when I was trying to get pregnant. I was told fertility drugs was my only option to get pregnant, but the doctor was not supportive due to a preexisting medical condition and I did not want to chance multiple fetuses so I gave up on my dream. Instead I concentrated on just getting my cycles back and balancing my hormones. I quit drinking soda and excess sweets. Reducing carbs was not hard because I am not into much bread or pasta, and increased my intake of high quality proteins and greens-essentially the PCOS or insulin resistant diet. Its funny because I'm not overweight but have many aspects of this syndrome. I continued with acupunture, but my cycles did not return regularly until I began sleeping on magnets. Even though my cycles were regular this did not mean I was ovulating, and I was not in the mindset of testing and going through the emotional roller coster of trying to get pregnant. I also began wearing the Q-link pendant and really believe energetically both the magnets and the Q-link helped my body shift to become pregnant. I believe the Q-link balanced my energy and made it more resistant to EMF, stess, and hormonal fluctuations which allowed my body to use the nutrients from a healthier diet to regulate my metabolism more efficently. The magnet pad allowed for better circulation and sleep to facilitate healing and blood flow to places that were stagnant. I used these items for about two years before I became pregnant.

I was so in such denial when I took the pregnancy test and it came up positive I made my doctor do a blood test. Throughout my pregnancy I wore the pendant and kept sleeping on my magnetic pad and had no morning sickness, foot swelling, or severe breathing problems. My doctors still cannot believe I went full term. I urge you to hang in there and do not give up. Feel free to contact me and I will share with you the additional testimonials. You can get the Q-link at www.qlink.com. You can read about my pregnancy journey at www.nothingsbychance.blogspot.com. My baby is a healthy 14 month old and sleeps on a magetic pad. He has slept through the night since he was 5 months. I am so grateful to have this technology you will not believe. I am happy to share more with you.

Wishing you all the best, M.

I have been struggling with diagnoses of PCOS over the past 8 years as well, and am also 29. Every doctor I went to recommended Clomid, but I was never comfortable with taking that or Metformin. Two years ago, I went to an integrative chiropractic practice--Upaya Center with Dr. Eileen Karpfinger-- for several months. After the first visit, I got my period a week later. Unfortunately, my second period was delayed--mostly because my lifestyle was geared toward dieting and excessive workouts--and after 10 weekly visits, I had to stop going due to insurance limitations. Just last year, in late fall, I went to the Pacific Fertility Center in San Francisco. They are a great place to go and very reassuring, but in the end, I was subscribed Clomid. I was about to take it and then decided to take 4 months ''off'' of trying to get pregnant because I was planning on a trip to Europe. I say ''was'' because I immediately got pregnant 2 weeks after that decision. This long story is to suggest that what really works is a relaxed feeling within, where you are not stressing over getting pregnant, losing weight, working too many hours, or working out obsessively. (I was doing all of those things on and off for years.) Once you really give your body a chance to relax and heal, as well as your mind, it WILL start to work for you. I suggest trying the Upaya Center or something similar because of the treatment's ability to relax and calm your body. Plus, I really like Eileen Karpfinger and her husband, who are the primary practitioners. Good luck and if I can be of any help, let me know. Sarah

I am in my mid twenties and pregnant after a battle with PCOS and infertility. I had great experiences with acupuncturist Bethany Richardson and everyone at Nest Acupuncture in SF, and I have heard amazing things about Leslie Oldershaw in the east bay. Maybe you could commit to 6 months of herbs and acupuncture before trying anything else? It would certainly strengthen and nourish your body. In regards to western medicine I had a better response to letrozole instead of clomid, but I eventually got pregnant through IVF after doing acupuncture for a pretty long period of time. At your age, doing IVF after preparing your body through herbs and acupuncture would probably bring you very good success rates. pregnant and still loving acupuncture

The main alternative treatments for PCOS/Infertility are low glycemic-index diets and daily exercise.

First, keep blood sugar and insulin levels low by watching the glycemic index of foods you eat. Second, reduce percent body fat to 20% by restricting calories. Third, exercise daily to keep blood sugar and insulin levels low. Fourth, include at least 30 grams of fiber in your diet every day. Fifth, if you experience binge eating, see a registered dietician to try to eliminate this behavior.

A registered dietician who specializes in diabetes should be able to help you with PCOS since it's related to insulin resistance, binge eating, and diabetes. With PCOS, you'll have to be extra careful to watch your blood sugar and insulin levels even after you're pregnant, due to the high risk of gestational diabetes. Natural Health

I have had several of the presenting physical symptoms of PCOS for the last couple of years. I've been told that it is one of the most common diseases in women and that it diminishes after menopause.

My symptoms (skin and hair) drove me to research it and I ran into this: ''Dr.Nancy Dunne'' newsletter [at] ovarian-cysts-pcos.com. I am just another lay person so I have no idea what her reputation is, but through her I found out that Saw Palmetto (an herb) works much like finastride and blocks the uptake of androgenic hormones that causes PCOS women so much trouble. I've been on Saw Palmetto for the last couple of years and my presenting symptoms have diminished, though they are still present. If anyone else has anything more on the subject of Saw Palmetto, I'm interested in learning more. Unfortunately, all the studies I've seen with Saw Palmetto only involved men and benign prostrate symptoms. I am curious as to what the long term effects of use might be. in the boat, too

ObGyn with knowledge of PCOS

July 2004

Hi, I've checked the website for previous recommendation, and all the responses for this recommendation are out of date (phone numbers don't work etc). I am looking for a doctor/endocrinologist/OBGYN who knows PCOS intimately. I have seen at least 3 doctors, been diagnosed, and then sent on my way being told it was not serious and didn't need treatment. Now I have read 3 in-depth books on the topic (as my symptoms have gotten pretty out of control lately), I have become very worried about my health. I know the things I can do myself such as the low Glycemic diet for the insulin resistance, but need to see a doctor to get the hormones under control. I don't have the time or money to waste anymore with useless appointments, I desperately want to find someone who knows what they are doing and (dare I hope), open to both traditional and natural treatments. I am hoping to find someone in the East Bay (Oakland/Berkeley), but am open to travel an hour or so radius from Oakland. Also, I am interested if anyone knows of a local support group for PCOS. I've been on all the support websites, it seems much of the info is outdated for groups. Thanks so much! :-) monica

I have PCOS and see Dr. Kathryn Drinkard in Berkeley 510 848-7977. I don't know that she's a specialist, but she's very knowledgeable on most everything, and what she doesn't know, she'll look up and then email or call me. She's also a really great doctor overall. I'm sorry I don't know of any support groups, though. Good luck! Jill

I am replying to my own request to add to the database! In my recent research, I discovered that there is a PCOS clinic at UCSF. They provide a multi-faceted approach to healing PCOS. I saw a ObGyn, a Dermatologist, an Endocrinologist and a Nutritionist all in one appointment, and am also going to see a Geneticist and a Psychologist. Then they all as a group are going to determine a treatment. So far it seems like the most in-depth treatment I have found in the area. http://www.ucsfpcos.org/ (415) 885-3675 2356 Sutter St., 3rd Floor San Francisco, CA 94115 Monica

ObGyn with knowledge of PCOS

July 2004

I am looking for a doctor in the Oakland/Berkeley (or even) San Francisco area who has knowledge of PCOS. Someone who has knowledge of alternative treatments is a +++ but not requirement because I know that is rare. Most doctors I have came across dont know about PCOS or simply dont care. Others, can only offer fertility services. Any information is appreciated!


  • Sara Mandel SF Kaiser
    Other advice:

    I work at San Francisco General, and they have a special consult clinic for gyn-endocrine issues, which includes menopause and PCOS. I wonder if you could inquire of your gyn for MDs with this specialty. iris

    A friend of mine had excellent results controlling PCOS naturally with the diet from The PCOS Diet Book by Colette Harris. She recommends steering away from any foods high on the glycemix index, eliminating white flour and using supplements like the Female Toner tea with nettles, red raspberry, etc. Also, speaking from personal experience, it seems like having a baby straightened out a lot of my PCOS issues - sort of a drastic, if natural, treatment!

    PCOS and Conception

    October 2003

    This week, after trying to conceive for a year with no success, my doctor diagnosed me with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This hasn't come as a surprise to me. In the year and change since I stopped taking the pill, I've only had my period four times, so I've known for a while that something was probably wrong. In researching what could be preventing me from ovulating, I came across information about PCOS. It's symptoms fit well with what I've been experiencing so I've known for a while that this could be coming.

    Since my diagnosis, I've been doing more reading about PCOS and I'm becoming more and more depressed about my chances of conceiving. All the articles I've read so far have had throw away lines in them that say things like ''One of the most devestating effects of PCOS is infertility,'' and then they go on to talk about other symptoms like acne and excess hair growth at great length. It's very frustrating, and instead of alleviating my fears about infertility these articles have only served to intensify them. What I want to see is a paragraph or two with statistic about the percentage of women with PCOS who do eventually conceive. Since I was a little girl, I've just assumed that I would have children some day and it never really occurred to me that something could prevent that from happening. The possibility of years of fertility treatments is just now beginning to sink in and the thought that I may never have a child is too scary to even consider just yet. Because my husband and I want a child so badly, we will pursue every option available to us to become parents but I hate this feeling of hopelessness that has come over me. I know I need more time to deal this information but it would help the process along to have a better idea about the reality of my situation. I guess I'm not really asking for advice here -- I'm just curious to hear from people who have conceived after having been diagnosed with PCOS. How long did it take you to conceive? What treatments did you try before something worked? Thanks!

    Can't tell you a success story, as I'm still trying to conceive, with PCOS. Two things I can tell you is that Colin Smikle of Reprodctive Science Center is something of an expert in PCOS and conception (although there are many fine RE's in the area, so if you have one you like, you may not want to change) - and some of the best info on PCOS I got was from the National Women's Health Network. Their info packet was $8.00 and very helpful to me - http://www.womenshealthnetwork.org/clearinghouse/healthinfo.htm

    For others with PCOS who may want to conceive in the future - one word of advice - don't assume (as I did) that if you are getting periods regularly that you are also ovulating regularly, or won't have difficulty conceiving.

    Wish I'd Started Trying Earlier

    Hi there. I was in the same boat about 3 years ago...now we have a 17 month old girl! My story is kind of long and involved to post here but the good news is that once we got on the right track, time to conception was actually pretty quick. I think the key is doing the research and making sure you are 1) informed and 2) ready to advocate for yourself. PCOS is a poorly understood syndrome and my experience was that different doctors tended to have strong ''beliefs'' about what would work rather than necessarily considering all the evidence. In particular, I ran into trouble with my infertility doc because I wanted to try what was then a relatively new and controversial therapy (but is now considered pretty standard, my Kaiser OB/GYN tells me). Anyway, there's lots of hope out there for you and increasingly women with PCOS are experiencing success without having to go down the road of much more expensive and complicated treatments such as IVF (which we did not have to do, by the way, & I had been someone who only ovulated 1-3 times a year). A great website is: www.soulcysters.com. I would also be more than happy to talk further with you. Best of luck! Lorelei
    I don't know what the statistics are on incidence of pregnancy for women with PCO, but it was not a big problem for me, so I wouldn't worry yet, if I were you. Here's my story: I have PCO (diagnosed 20-some years ago) and I also have 2 children, 12 and 9. My periods were always very irregular (i.e., once early in my 20's I didn't have one for 2 years!). So, I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to get pregnant, and also started somewhat late (35-ish). Like you, I was not able to get pregnant for a year. After several diagnostic tests (endometrial biopsy and making sure fallopian tubes weren't blocked) my ob/gyn put me on Clomid, which I think you take for 5 days then stop, and you check daily for the next 10 days (urine tests) for ovulation. The first time was a low dosage (50 somethings a day) and it didn't work, so I did another round at the end of my next period (90 days later), and on the 10th day I ovulated, and got pregnant with my first child. Between a year and 2 years later, I got pregnant twice and both times had miscarriages (but had at least gotten pregnant which was heartening). Six months or so later, I was just about to start clomid again, but got pregnant and that was my second child. Since my pregnancies and after I was done breast-feeding, my periods got much more regular, and now are every 4-5 weeks. When infertility is mentioned as an effect of PCO, the definition of infertility is probably ''inability to conceive in the first year of trying'' or something like that. So, I urge you to keep your hopes up - I'm sure you'll be successful! anon
    I have PCOS, and was able to get pregnant, with the help of injectible fertility meds. I don't know the percentages, but it definitely is possible. I recommed you go to http://www.pcosupport.org and search there, and also post to the iVillage PCOS board at http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv- bhpcos Jennifer R
    Get a copy of ''Taking Charge of Your Fertility,'' by Toni Weschler. I was also diagnosed with PCOS after trying to conceive for about two years, and was prescribed Clomid. But before I could take the Clomid, they (I was with Kaiser at the time) tested my husband's sperm count and found out that he was infertile too. Needless to say, we were both very depressed when we found this out because we had basically gotten married so that we could have children together. My husband started doing accupuncture and researching what type of diet and vitamins would increase his fertility. And I immersed myself in Toni Weschler's book. It teaches you how to check your cervix, cervical fluid and temperature every day to find out when you are ovulating. Because even with PCOS you may still be ovulating - I was. I just needed to be able to read the signs. I charted my cycles using Toni's methods for a few months, and the next time I was ovulating it was extremely obvious. The next thing I knew I was pregnant. No drugs, no in vitro, no fertility nothin'. Now we have two boys.

    Oh, one other very, very important piece of advice: let go. You have to let go. Just enjoy becoming intimate with your husband, and spend lots of time dreaming of all the fantastic things you can do together without kids - we dreamed about travel all over the world, law school, learning the violin, taking Spanish lessons... Have fun getting to know your body and stretching your cervical mucus between your fingers. Good luck. It is a difficult process and I completely relate to where you are. I encourage you to give ''Taking Charge of Your Fertility'' a shot before you pursue other medical avenues. It's a much lower cost than any of the doctor/hospital fertility options; the only expense is your time and energy. anon

    First of all, if you haven't looked at this website, it's excellent. It can answer a lot of questions. You might also want to find a posting board that deals w/ infertility and pcos specifically. Those women know everything about pcos!


    As for me, I have a 7 month old daughter and I have pcos. It took us 3 years to concieve, but we had other issues (tubal stuff). I was on metformin to help with the pcos. I assume they have offered that to you? It was scary to take, but I did it. We ended up doing IVF and got pregnant on our first try. I took metformin throughout the whole IVF process, but stopped once I was pg.

    Pcos is not the end of your dream for a baby! I promise that you have a lot of options. I know how depressing all of this is, it seems like it should be so easy... Good luck! Annie

    I have some encouraging words for you. I also have PCOS and now have a 2 year old and a 3 month old. I never get my period on my own - never. So, I knew I would have problems getting pregnant on my own. I went off the pill and tried to get pregnant for a year. Surprisingly I did get pregnant (even though I didn't have a period) and then had a miscarriage. A few months later I started on clomed to help me ovulate and after 3 months of clomed I got pregnant and delivered a healthy baby girl 9 months later. I figured that if I wanted to get pregnant again, I would need to take clomed again, but I was wrong. Big surprise when I got pregnant with my second daughter when my older daughter was 11 months old (still no period). I've heard lots of people go through a similar experience - once you go through a pregnancy, it's a lot easier to get pregnant again. Good luck. anon
    Im sorry to hear about your diagnosis and your fears about having a baby. I do not have PCOS, but during 3 years of trying to conceive I met many women who have the disorder. I know from their experiences, that between annovulation and poor eggg quality, conception is not easy, but it is possible. I applaud you for looking for information, its the best thing you can do.

    Assuming that at this point your biggest concern is to have a child I have two recommendations:

    1. Make an appointment TODAY with a Reproductive Endicrinologist (RE) immediately. Do not rely on your OB/GYN and the inevitable course of Clomid to get you through this. There are 2 RE's I can recommend. Dr Ryzard Chetkowski at Alta Bates in Berkeley and Dr Susan Willman in Orinda. I suggest you meet them both and decide which you like better. Do not wait to do this.

    (1b. Look into fertility benefits offered by your health insurance. If you do not have coverage for fertility you may still be able to get coverage for inulin reducing treatments some procedures like ovarian drilling if it is diagnosed as PCOS)

    2. Visit www.inciid.org. There you will find the most amazing community of smart and funny women struggling with infertility. These people kept me sane most of the time, and completely understood the moments when not having a baby made me loco. In addition there are a ton of resources for gathering information, including fact sheets and boards where you can post to RE's for advice. Of particular interest are the following:

    * PCOS CAFE ''Peer support for cysters'' http://www.inciid.org/forums/pcoscafe/index.html

    * WAITING ROOM a fast moving board for women with all diagnoses http://www.inciid.org/forums/waitingroom/index.html

    *PCOS FAQs from one of INCIID's many useful fact sheets http://www.inciid.org/faq/pcos.html

    Again, regardless of your age please do not put off meeting with an RE as soon as you can. (and if you do stay with an OB GYN know that clomid is only only successful in 40% of women with your diagnosis. NEVER do more than 3 months of Clomid in a row and if it hasn't worked after 6 months total STOP for good as it can wind up acting as a contraceptive)

    I send you the best of luck and my hopes that you have your baby sooner than later.

    Boy have I been there! In my early 20s I had way too many ''close-calls'' (if you know what I mean) so that my suspicions were up about my chances of conceiving. Before my husband and I started trying, I went to my doctor with my suspicions, ''just to see'' and it turned out that I had every single symptom of PCOS, including a massive amount of cysts on my ovaries and very high insulin levels. I would get a period about every three months, and there was absolutely no predicting them. I thought I was doomed, but she recommended an OB (who unfortunately isn't practicing anymore, or I would recommend her: Dr. Laura Stachel) who had expertise in the area. She said that strength training (weight lifting, especially, in my case, heavy duty gardening) in addition to aerobic exercise and a low carb diet were good tools to try to combat the effects of PCOS. I also started using one of those digital ovulation detectors and my husband and I started trying, with very heavy hearts, thinking that we would be in it for the long haul. Well, my husband still says that he feels cheated, our son is now 21 months old, because I got pregnant after two months of trying! I was lucky that I didn't have to use any fertility drugs and to this day I'm convinced it was the strength training that did it, I mean, I worked HARD digging in the soil, pulling up roots, anything I could do to break a sweat. I'd highly recommend starting a strength training program, whatever you're comfortable with. When we plan to start trying again, I'm going to go right back to it. I really believe that that's what worked for me. Good luck!!! Jill
    I have PCOS, and had very irregular cycles, not ovulating very often at all (perhaps 2-3 times a year.) I did have to go through fertility treatment. Clomid didn't work for me, so we moved onto injectable drugs. The good news is that using those, I got pregnant three times (bad news is that I miscarried all of them, but keep reading...) The thing about PCOS is that when you do combine it with the follicle stimulating drugs, you tend to get lots of eggs, so your chances of conceiving may be somewhat better than a non-PCOS woman on those drugs. Anyway, I ended up doing an IVF attempt after the three miscarriages, even though IVF wasn't really necessary in my case. My doctor simply recommended it as the highest success rate method, we'd tried everything else and were about to give up because the emotional toll was too great and I was getting too old. Again, on IVF drugs I responded really well and produced tons of eggs; we transferred two embryos to my uterus and 8.5 monts later I had twins.

    So, you may have to use fertility drugs if your PCOS causes an ovulation problem, but on the bright side, you may respond really well to those drugs! Don't give up and don't despair. I've also heard that PCOS can be ''fixed'' by a low-carb diet or insulin resistance drugs; you may want to read up on that. We were in a hurry due to my age so those methods weren't appealing to us. Good luck! anonymous

    Well, I have PCOS (though not the 'string of pearls' cysts on my ovaries), I have am currently 5 months pregnant with my second child. I would suggest two things: 1) Make an appointment with an RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist or RE) about TTC (Trying To Conceive); and, 2) Sign on the http://www.soulcysters.net . This is a great message board for women with PCOS. It provides a ton on information on PCOS, and it also puts you in contact with women at all phases of their journeys, i.e., TTC, PG, Mommies, etc. Feel free to email me with questions. Tunisha
    Hi there I hope I can cheer you up a bit. I was diagnosed with PCOS a few years back (not in the East Bay) and was treated with clomifin. When at times it did'nt work and I still would'nt have my period for 2 months, I got progesteron pills to make it possible to start trying again. In the end I was reffered to an ultrasound every other day to see if I'm ovulating or not while taking the clomifin. And I was, not after 2 weeks but after 3 weeks, but there you go - I got pregnant that night and have an adorable 2.5 YO daughter. When we decided we wanted a second child, I was prepared. My new Dr suggested we give it a try ''the old way'' and try to keep truck of my periods for 4-6 months and then go from there. Not surprisingly they were very irregular - 2 weeks to almost 2 months apart. But guess what- I am pregnant now without any medication this time. I guess it changes from each case, but yes, it is possible to have a child despite PCOS. Wish you all the best and good luck! I.
    I am sorry to discourage anyone but I personally dont think it is possible to conceive on your own if you have PCOS. The chances are even low with assistance. I suggest that you find a RE with experience in PCOS and not waste your time with a OBGYN. ellia
    PCOS is a complex and multifaceted condition. Clearly some women with PCOS have been able to concieve -- our ancestors! It is genetic, after all. And keep in mind that it is very common and highly underdiagnosed -- I believe something like one in 10 women have PCOS!

    In my case, I had good results with both alternative medicine (mainly acupuncture) and with conventional infertility treatment; the combination resulted in our first child, who is now 3. I just recently had my first non- provera-induced menstruation since before Wilfrid's birth -- after 8 months of acupuncture. I hope that it means I ovulated as well, as I am trying to get pregnant again. My acupuncturist, also a naturopathic doctor, is Carl Hangee-Bauer at SOMA acupuncture in San Francisco. He is fantastic -- kind, careful, and very knowledgable, especially about PCOS, as he has worked with me for so long!

    I've also tried extensive therapies of herbal medecine, with negligible results. Low-carb/balanced protein diets have helped; Metformin did not.

    Oh yeah, my OB/GYN is also fantastic: Laura Statchel in Berkeley. She has PCOS herself, and was able to concieve, I believe naturally.

    Feel free to call me if you want to talk further -- after 20 years of researching and experiencing PCOS I have a lot of info to share! Also try the national support organization at www.pcosupport.org. Good luck! cturrell