No-Go

The last time I mentioned that 30 follicles had been stimulated. I went to my follow-up appointment and nothing had changed. Which means the medication (Sexovid) didn’t give me enough of a boost. So, my doctor ordered a 2 week break in which hopefully my period will come.

According to my doctor the medication isn’t going to cut it. It’s been a year since I started using Clomid, Sexovid and Hormone shots to try and ovulate. I just turned 30 on February 1st. I’m thinking these are a few of the reasons why my doctor decided to try IVM after a year of trying with the medication.

I have to admit I was a bit shocked to hear my doctor recommend IVM after only a year of hormone medication and shots. I wondered if my condition was that severe. I mean, I do have a partial bicornuate uterus on top of the PCOS. But then I realized, that it might actually be a good thing to move to this stage so quickly. The medication of hormones clearly aren’t working on my body, I hope to have at least 2 children and I would like my first child before I turn 35. In the long run, this might be the best thing for us. At least that is what I am telling myself and it helps to keep me in high spirits. At this point anything to keep up our spirits are the best thing.

I will talk about IVM in another post. It’s a rather new technology compared to IVF. It started to become available in 2007 or 2009. For those of us that can’t mature eggs IVM will be (hopefully) a little more gentle on the body (not to mention the wallet).

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Dark Chocolate “nutella” oatmeal bars

I have discovered these sinful bars. They were supposed to be cookies, but with the texture I got I thought it would be better to press them down and then cut into bars. It was still like eating cookies (square cookies!). These are just cooked on the stove top and then the oats are mixed in before pressing down. Very simple! Just have the oats measured out and a baking sheet covered in wax paper ready to go before starting.

The mix of hazelnut butter and cocoa (plus carob powder) created the nutella flavor I had been looking for! I’m allergic to dairy and, of course us PCOS ladies shouldn’t be using processed sugars so, these are made with some coconut sugar and stevia.

The coconut oil helps to reduce the amount of nut butter you would normally need in a nut butter cookie. I added cinnamon to these and it was a wonderful addition (who doesn’t love cinnamon?). I used the recipe from Jay’s baking me crazy’s recipe on the Golden Barrel website.

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(Photo courtesy of Jay’s baking me crazy and Golden Barrel.)

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You add all of the ingredients except the vanilla and oats. Like in the above photo (courtesy of Golden Barrel and Jay’s baking me crazy). I substituted hazelnut butter instead of peanut butter. I also used 1/4 c cocoa powder and 1/4 c carob powder (I wanted a dark chocolate flavor). Another substitution was 1 cup coconut sugar and 1/2 tsp of stevia (instead of 2 c raw sugar) and oh boy were they sweet! Next time, I will try 1/2 c of coconut sugar and 1/2 tsp stevia and see how they turn out.

 

Ingredients

3 1/4 c oats (measured out and set aside)

1/2 c coconut oil (it’s currently winter so I used 1/4-1/2 c solid coconut oil)

1/2 c Hazelnut butter (or really any nut butter of choice, Jay used peanut)

1/2 c Almond milk (or any milk of choice, add a little extra if including my additions)

1 c Coconut sugar (This is still VERY SWEET!)

1/4 tsp Stevia

1/4 c Cocoa powder

1/4 c Carob powder (optional)

1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt

1 tsp vanilla (I used 1/2 tsp vanilla powder)

1 tbsp cinnamon (optional)

Directions

  1. Measure out the oats in a bowl and set aside. Cover a baking sheet with wax paper and set on the counter.
  2. In a large sauce pan combine everything from coconut oil to salt.
  3. Turn on the heat and cook on Medium (no higher) stir constantly until a rolling boil.
  4. Set the timer for 4 minutes and constantly stir, scraping down the sides and bottom regularly.
  5. Once the 4 minutes are up turn off the heat and remove the pan from the heat.
  6. Add the vanilla and stir quickly.
  7. Add the cinnamon and stir quickly
  8. Add the oats and stir till well combined
  9. Spread out the mix on the baking sheet and press down. Once cool cut into squares. At this point you can eat a few squares (It was delicious with almond milk poured over it) Or, you can place them in a tupperware wrapped in wax paper and chilled. They are delicious in a solid form!

Enjoy!

30 follicles have been stimulated

Well, after my morning sickness side effects my doctor didn’t give me the fourth shot and when I went in for my next scheduled check-up my doctor saw that I had about 30 follicles that were about 12-15mm on my right ovary. He told me that another shot of hormone is too risky, because the chances of OHSS (Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome) was very likely to happen in this situation. Instead, he prescribed Sexovid again. Remember Sexovid is similar to Clomid, but a little weaker which means less chance of side effects. I took it for 5 days twice a day.

No major side effects although I do feel a lot of pinching around my right ovary and my breasts have a lot of pings and pangs going on throughout the day. I’ve felt the need for chocolate, so I made myself some. I went to the gym one day so far this week for cardio. The rest of my workout is from walking about 40-50 minutes to work in the morning or some basic weight training like push-ups, triceps, squats and stretching.

Currently, I have finished all of my meds and am waiting to see the doctor (tomorrow). Here’s hoping that one or two (or three or four) eggs are ready to be released! Then the doctor can give me a shot of something or other that will make my body release the egg(s). Cross your fingers for me!

Hello morning sickness side effect

Last Monday I had my fourth hormone shot during this cycle. It was day 23 to be exact. Afterwards, I didn’t have any appetite, but I figured I should eat something. I kept lunch light with a chocolate hemp protein shake and some fruit. For dinner I still wasn’t hungry, but I had a regular dinner of salmon, baked brussel sprouts, a little soup and a taste of my Mexican casserole that is dairy-free (I will post about that another time, because now I think I’m a kitchen genius!) The salmon, brussel sprouts and soup was between a 1/2 cup to 1 cup portion. I had about 1/3 cup of rice to go with my salmon. The Mexican casserole I kept to about 2 Tbsp, because I just wanted to see how it turned out.  I didn’t go to bed till about 4 hours later ( I still felt really full by the way).

I woke up the next morning (Tuesday) to nausea. It was weird, but it had happened before and it usually went away. I ate a little oatmeal with some cinnamon and no fruit. I still felt nauseated. I hoped that with time it would go away, so I went to work as usual. The train ride was no problem. When I got to work I ate some candied ginger and drank some hot caffeine free green tea. Nothing was working.  That day I had to ride in a car to take a client to the driving center to take the driving test in Japan. Luckily, my coworker was driving, because I didn’t get very far from the office before breakfast decided it was time to say “hello”. After getting over the embarrassment some what and getting the rest of the day off, I got home. The nausea was returning, but I did find that eating bits of plain rice cake was helping. I took little sips of room temperature water to keep myself hydrated and slept.

That evening I had a hormone shot planned, but I mentioned my nausea to my doctor and he decided to cancel that days’ shot. But, I would come as planned for my next dose. He did check to see if my ovaries were overstimulated, but they weren’t. He said maybe I had a stomach bug. I seriously doubt it was a stomach bug, because one, I could move about, two I had no body aches, 3 I only threw up the one time in the morning, 4 I could actually eat and drink some things and 5 the next day I was back to normal. Stomach bug my a**. My doctor is the best fertility specialist in my city, so I’m not going to piss him off or contradict him, even if it does seem like he is trying to NOT blame the medication. From what I can tell with my research (internet research, ha) nausea and vomiting are common side effects. It would have been nice for him to admit that it could be a side effect from the medication, but that there is no need to worry. Or to give recommendations on how to deal with the nausea. But, that just may be Japanese doctors for you. My husband tried to tell me “Well, he is a professional” yeah, that doesn’t mean he isn’t going to misdiagnose or try to avoid blaming the medication. He was probably worried that if he told me that it might be from the medication I would ask to stop taking it, which isn’t going to happen. Nausea is a part of pregnancy, so I can deal with it before pregnancy if it gives me a chance of getting pregnant! If anything I’m hoping this is a sign that the hormones are working in my body!

Even though I was fine the next day I did find that I had some pangs in my uterus when I tried to squat and pick things up, so I was careful about that. I also ate smaller amounts of food at one time to avoid upsetting my stomach. As well as, eating a light meal for dinner, this might be the best option from now on since my digestion seems to slow down at night. Oh, and give myself plenty of time to digest before going to sleep…four hours should be enough right? Wish me luck! Another shot today and then work tomorrow. Crossing my fingers for no cookie tossing tomorrow morning! (but, oh man do I have heart burn today)

Ordering Supplements in Japan

Ordering supplements in Japan can be tough…on your wallet. It’s usually expensive and that’s if you can find it at all. The best website I have found is Iherb. I’m an American, so I have an American credit card. You can buy items in japanese yen and charge it to a Japanese credit card. They will charge you the exchange rate of the date the purchase goes through your credit card company.

Shipping is wonderful on Iherb! I’ve had no problems with packaging or delivery times. Plus if you buy over $40.00 shipping is free and you get a higher discount. Here is my discount code just to get you started SPW692. This is just a referral code. You don’t have to use it if you don’t want to, but if you are going to make a purchase anyway why not?

You can buy other health foods on Iherb like flax seeds, oatmeal, coconut flour, nut butters, coconut oil (by the big tubs, not the tiny things you find in Japan), coconut sugar and so much more! Can you tell I love this site? And they don’t even pay me to talk about them. They probably don’t even know that I am spreading the name of their company via word of mouth, because I’m one little person living in Nagoya.

Anyway, check it out and see if there is anything that you haven’t been able to find is on Iherb or maybe it’s cheaper to order it from Iherb. It’s a win-win situation here folks.

Inositol

If you are new to PCOS you may not have heard of Inositol yet. There is a lot of information about it out there and it gets a little confusing, but I will try to just give the basics. I will post some links if you want more in-depth knowledge that I found helpful and was given to me by my support coach.

A few of the many Benefits

  • Restores normal ovulatory activity
  • increases fertilization rate
  • prevents Spina Bifida birth defect
  • lowers free testosterone
  • lowers total testosterone
  • lowers LH
  • lowers insulin response after meals
  • increases peak progesterone
  • improves egg quality
  • helps with weight loss related to insulin resistance

and so much more!

From what I have read there is no harm to pregnant women or the fetus as long as you don’t exceed 4 grams of Inositol a day. It does take a few weeks (maybe 3 weeks or so) for it to take affect on your system. Of course, it will vary person to person.

How to take it

The max is 4 grams a day. Split it into two doses. 2 grams in the morning and 2 grams in the evening.  2 grams is one flat teaspoon of powdered inositol. It can be taken on an empty stomach or with food. If you like you can mix it in water or in food. I try to add it to cold drinks, because I don’t know how heat would affect it. It doesn’t have any flavor at all, but some people have said that it has a slightly sweet taste. I’ve tried mixing it with just water and I couldn’t tell anything was in the water.

Where to buy

Inositol can be expensive if bought in pill form. I was recommended to buy it in powder form and I agree it is the most cost effective way to take it. I live in Nagoya and I couldn’t find it in stores or on Japanese websites. So, I turned to my friend Iherb (this is a link to their site that sends to Japan, but they have their US site here). You can order in dollars from them and still have them ship to Japan. Plus, if you order over $40.00 shipping is free and you get a discount on how much you spend! I will get into it more on another post.

Amazon is another site that you can buy Inositol on-line. I’m sure health food stores would sell them, too. Just make sure it is 100% Inositol and that it isn’t mixed with other ingredients, because that would weaken the effect and you would have to take more of the product, which would run the risk of either getting too much or not enough Inositol. I am using Healthy Origins 100% pure Inositol powder. I’ve heard that the Jarrows Formula Inositol powder is also a good choice.

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below. I will answer your questions as best as I can.

Here is the link to the more complicated research on Inositol.

Welcome 2016!

Happy New Year to you and your family! I hope you had a fun New Year’s Eve with family or friends. Here in Japan it is all about the family time. I spent it eating and talking with family and extended family (My hubby’s side).

Do you have any plans for 2016?

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, because I feel smaller goals throughout the year is more useful for me. I adjust them or make new ones as the need arises. But, my goals will have a theme this year. The theme is PCOS. I hope to continue to gain knowledge about PCOS, with my fertility treatments, following my PCOS-friendly, Insulin resistance diet and exercising on a regular basis.

Within these personal goals I hope my hubby and I can include some fun travel time either within Japan or abroad depending on how the fertility treatments go.

Wish me and my husband luck for 2016 and I wish you all the best for 2016!