By the time Tricia was 21 years old, her PCOS diagnosis was already established. But how it would impact her fertility was something she wasn’t really clear or even worried about. She went on and off the Pill, thanks to its side effects.
She was induced at least three times a year, just so she could have a period, as her doctor worried about how not having a period could affect her reproductive organs and the fear of the C-word. So, she was induced and bled.
One thing was however clear. Tricia was not allowing her PCOS stand in her way. She lived life to the fullest, just as one would expect of a 20-something year old woman. If there was a party, she was sure to find her way there. She ate whatever she desired, wore what she wanted; she just lived her life to the fullest.
It was while she was living that Deniyi waltzed into her life, and swept her off her feet. Their romance was whirlwind; one minute, they were meeting for the first time, the next minute, there were going places together, becoming intimate, visiting each other’s parents and doing all the things you do when you are in love and want the whole world to know it.
Traci told him about her PCOS, but only in the light of the fact that it meant she didn’t have a regular period. Months later, they were still having sex as frequently as possible, sometimes unprotected. Since she didn’t have a regular period, they spent quite a number of months watching the stick and hoping it turned up only one line. Luckily for them, it always did.
Along their romantic journey, Deniyi got caught in the fitfam business and, of course, Tricia was co-opted and thus began their journey to getting healthy.
Within weeks, she lost weight, saw her period without being induced and ran to her doctor to share her new findings. She was reassured that it was okay for her to see her period un-induced, and that it was the preferable way.
Fast forward to two months down the line, and she was feeling all the classic symptoms of pregnancy. She didn’t think they were, but that she was coming down with a flu or something…and it was really something. She became really lethargic, sleepy and was throwing up endlessly.
A random peeing the stick showed her exactly why she was feeling the way she did. Tricia had gotten pregnant. For once, there were two lines on the stick. Deniyi was beside her and the thought in both their heads were the same. They even said it at the same time. They didn’t want the baby.
So, they arranged to have an abortion. Deniyi stayed by her side the whole time, nursing her back to good health.
A year after that abortion, Tricia and Deniyi tied the knot and started trying for a baby. As at this time, they had both fallen off the fitfam bandwagon. Also, Tricia hadn’t found the correlation between her weight loss and her ability to conceive back then.
Now actively TTC, a lot of things that had been unclear to Tricia about how PCOS affected her fertility became clear. She started to make more concerted efforts to boost her chances of conception, but it looked like her body got an agenda of its own and it didn’t include carrying a baby.
Now, both Deniyi and Tricia wished they hadn’t aborted their first baby, but it was rather too late to turn back the hands of time.
They went back to their fitfam ways, but her hormones just refused to balance. In fact, her symptoms seemed to have grown worse, with new ones rearing their heads.
One year rolled into two, and by the 8th year of their marriage, there was nothing to hold them together anymore. Too many interventions have been staged in their marriage, and when they got to the stage where neither of them felt any urging to ask for help, Tricia walked out on the love of her life. He didn’t come after her. Deniyi was the only man she had truly loved, but he left…all because she couldn’t have a baby…all because of PCOS. It’s been two years now. Tricia still wants a baby.
Will Tricia eventually have her own baby? The door cannot be shut on that, and I have especially learnt over time, never to conclude on matters of fertility, as doctors’ diagnosis has been turned on its head so many times.
When Tricia shared her story with me, I was so tempted to get all mushy and reassure her it was all going to be well, tell her about the many PCOS women who have gone on to become mommies, but something held me back. I realised she wasn’t looking for a pity party, or for reassurances, there was only one thing at the back of her mind.
Tricia wanted more young ladies to be aware of the impact of PCOS on their fertility early on and how be able to make choices based on that awareness.
Now, that’s an idea that I absolutely stand with. At the rate more women are being diagnosed with PCOS, full disclosure is essential, so they know from the onset how the condition affects them now and will affect them in the future.
Knowledge they say is power…choose wisely.