weight ticker

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

PCOS: Let's Talk about Testosterone and DHEAS

I mentioned last week that I had my blood drawn at my annual exam after my doctor decided to put me back on Metformin and had mentioned testosterone cream to help me feel more *cough* in the mood.  I'm only putting this information on my blog as a reminder of just how many things in your body have to be functioning properly to get pregnant.....and that if you have PCOS, it's worth making sure your doctor is testing these things if you are having difficulty getting pregnant.  And my first OB had said she had "ran labs to make sure everything was fine" before having me start clomid yet when I switched to my current doctor, not only did she realize my OB hadn't screened me for everything she should have, but that she interpreted a lot of my lab results as being "fine or okay" when they clearly weren't so do your research, ask for second opinions, and be your own advocate!

Labs came back, super high testosterone and DHEAS.  I guess I've always equated testosterone as something men have so hearing mine is high makes me feel like less of a women in a way.  Weird, I know.  But these levels have contributed to what I'd consider a bit (understatement) of hirsutism.  I'm even on round 6 of 7 of laser hair removal on my arms and if I had the money to do my entire body, I would!  So testosterone cream is off the table she said.  She's not even going to try it out and I'm completely in agreement with that.  High levels of testosterone is one of the indicators of PCOS and often contributes to infertility, however when I was pregnant my levels came down to what was almost considered normal but then again I was taking 13 pills a day.  She said at this point, let's see how I do on my new birth control for 8 weeks, redraw labs and go from there.  Since I'm not trying to get pregnant, bring my testosterone levels down seems kind of pointless. 

My DHEAS levels also were really high.  I couldn't even remember what DHEAS was so I googled it and came up with this  from labtestsonline.org:
DHEAS, testosterone, and several other androgens are used to evaluate adrenal function and to distinguish androgen-secreting conditions that are caused by the adrenal glands from those that originate in the ovaries or testes.........Concentrations of DHEAS are often measured, along with other hormones such as FSH, LH, prolactin, estrogen, and testosterone, to help diagnose polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and to help rule out other causes of infertility, amenorrhea, and hirsutism.

I believe this is why I took the drug dexamethasone was to bring down the DHEAS levels.  I didn't start dex until after I was pregnant...I believe....I seriously can't remember that far back but I can't remember taking much initially besides Metformin.  From Dr. Malpani's website this is what dex is:

Steroids -

Dexamethasone, is often use as an adjunct to ovulation induction treatment, especially in patients with hirsutism who have high levels of androgens. It helps by suppressing the production of androgens by the adrenal glands. The dose is usually a 0.5 mg tablet, taken daily at bedtime. Side-effects at such a low dose are unusual. Some IVF clinics also use steroids after embryo transfer, because they believe this helps to improve pregnancy rates by inducing immune suppression and enhancing embryo implantation rates.

My thyroid did check out fine and that the low dose of Synthroid I take once a day is stabilizing it just about normal so that was good.

On Saturday night I threw up twice.  TMI?  Well I hadn't been sick like that since I was pregnant with Dylan and since I didn't know I was pregnant until week 6 and had no morning sickness, I'm pretty confident it was the progesterone back then making me so sick.  I barely moved out of bed on Monday because I was so nauseous.  Yuck!  I felt much better by Tuesday and my doctor said it could take up to 2 weeks for my period to start after the shot.  I think for a moment when I was sick my husband wondered if I was pregnant and I don't see any way I am unless he poked holes in the protection and he's not that guy so I think we are fine!  I guess when people talk about women who struggle with infertility, then get pregnant, then their hormone levels completely change and they get pregnant easily the next time that I will not be falling into that category.  Darn it, wouldn't that have been so awesome?!

No comments:

Post a Comment