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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all -

My Dr has diagnosed my long and irregular cycles as possible PCOS so I have been referred (although b/w was normal and I have no other symptoms). I have no idea what happens now so I wonder if anyone could share with me the process they went through when they were referred. In particular I am wondering (roughly) how long it is going to be before I see someone, and I presume get an ultrasound (??) The doctor did mention that because of my age (27) and that we had only been trying for 9 months that we would be far down the priority list when it comes to treatment. So I am wondering if there is any point in pursuing this via the NHS anyway. As you can see, I really have no idea what the process is - I barely ever go to the GP as it is - so any extra info would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks.

Wally :)
 

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My doc sent me for a scan for PCOS becuase blood tests seemed to indicate I wasn't ovulating, even though I had regular periods. As it turns out I don't have PCOS but I do have polycystic ovaries. Apprently there is a difference, although I'm not quite sure what it is.

If your doc has referred you to a consultant it'll likely take about three months to get your appointment. However once you have your appointment your consultant will treat your case with the same urgency as everyone else...you won't wait longer for tests and appointments just because you're younger and haven't been trying for long! The consultant will hear your history and send you for some tests. You may wait anywhere between a month and three months for these depending on where you live and how in demand the hospital services are. As soon as you get the dates of your tests, make a follow up appointment with the consultant. This will save you a bit of time.
If you tell them you can take last minute cancellations then you might squeeze in quicker than that. Phone them up and make friends with the consultants secretary!
What treatment he uses on you will depend largely on what he finds wrong. You might want to ask for the full range of fertility investigations before any treatment (I wasted eight months on clomid before I found out that tubal blockage meant it was very unlikely to work anyway).
An ultrasound will almost certainly happen, blood test, sperm test for your partner and maybe a Hysterosalpingogram (dye in your uterus and tubes). These have to be done at quite precise times of the month so can take a couple of months to get timed when they have space...very frustrating!
Once you go back your consultant will be able to tell you what s/he has found and what course of treatment is appropriate for you. You may find yourself precribed medication to regulate your hormones or force ovulation (clomid). You might find out that it's more complicated than that.

If it turns out that you do end up needing to have IVF, IUI or any other more complicated procedures then you may be assessed on your need before the NHS will even consider funding. i.e. I do not qualify for IVF on the NHS in my health authority because my husband has two grown up children by a previous relationship. This is very unfair on me but that's the way it is. Your health authority might have a completely different set of criteria for deciding if you are suitable. The NHS waiting lists for these prcedures are prety long in most areas of the country. This is the point when you might find that private treatment becomes a much more attractive offer.

Don't expect it to happen overnight. Patience is defintely the name of the game when it comes to trying to conceive. The only advantage going private will hold for you at this early stage is that it will reduce the waiting time a little...not much though as tests and appointments will still take time to come through. Might end up costing you a lot of money and saving you about a month! Up to you to decide if it's what you want though.

In the meantime, I know you're proabbly thinking the worst...I know because I did when I was in your shoes, however there is a lot of things that can be done long before you have to go down the IVF route. You can do a lot for yourself too. There's some excellent books about boosting your fertility and some wonderful advice on this very site.
Stay positive and remember that the wait will all be worth in the end when you're holding your little one in your arms. :)
 

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Hi Wally,

I'm not sure I'm gonna be much help as each health authority is different when it comes to waiting times. I had to wait 6 months from referral for an appointment at the IF clinic, and PCOS was diagnosed at my first appointment by having a scan. I wouldn't have thought they could put you to the bottom of the pile as it were just because you've only been ttc 9 months, although maybe it would affect what tx the Doc gave you as you have more 'time' than say a 39 year old.

Did your GP suggest metformin tablets? Metformin has been prescribed for diabetes for a long time but has more recently been given for PCOS. I've been taking them for 4 years and though I've not fallen pregnant, there have been a fair few people on here for whom it's done wonders. Having said that if you are overweight (another common PCOS symptom) they can really aid weight loss.

Has your GP done the basic blood tests to check hormone levels and if you are ovulating? If not it may be worth a trip back to him/her while waiting for your appointment at the IF clinic to come up.

Best of luck,

Chux x
 

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hey girls

well i to have pcos-i am currently on metformin however it is an unlicensed drug for PCOS and not every GP/fertility clinic will prescribe it! im lucky an my GP is our fertility doc for my surgery and i also have the best gyne now who is happy to help me try and loose weight as im now about 4st over weight(have lost nearly a stone since march without trying).

Wally- be honest like chux said each health authority works differently with waiting times-keep trying while you wait for your appointment-maybe get a list of questions you want to ask as you will find your mind will go blank at your appointment(well mind does) you could maybe try using some ovulation predictor tests-are you cycles regular? what reason did your GP give you for his diagnoses?

personally wally my list to you would bedone via your gp-
check your partner sperm count
blood tests to check your fsh and lh levels , also a blood test to check if you are ovulating(normally done on day 21 if you have a regular 28/30 day cycle)
ask your Gp to refer you for a scan to confirm any cysts on your ovaries
also if you have a good GP you can ask to have a dye test done to check that your tubes are clear.



all this will help when you do get to see a consultant in a fertility clinic/local hospital as they will not need to send you for these tests straight away(sometimes they need to repeat them to make sure its not just a one off for any of your tests)



Caz-the difference between polycystic ovarian syndrome(pcos ) and polycystic ovaries(pco) is that with pcos you have the side affects such as facial hair/excess body hair, over weight and struggle to loose it. not everyone gets the syndrome side of having small cysts on the ovary.

i really hope what i wrote made sence! and i didnt send you all to sleep-im not a medical person but i have been ttc for 5yr now and have done alot of research on the net into PCOS as i was lucky that my previous GP referred me when i was 21 to a fertility clinic(after my husband came with me) even though he kept saying "your young" sadly for us we had a really bad clinic and gyne who told me"your fat loose weight" and put me on clomid with no information about it-due to that it caused a alot of stress on our marrige,we moved back to where i was from and waited a year before we asked to be referred again and like i say im so lukcy i have the best GP in the world who is so understaing as i do suffer with depretion and also of pain from my PCOS and also had a prob on left side with a large cyst which i now hope has gone for good as had it drained twice via laparscopy!

take care girls and good luck to you all

Luv
Mez
xoxoxoxoxoxox
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone for your replies. My Dr decided to refer me because I started to have v. long cycles. I had some blood tests done and nothing was abnormal (ie LH, FSH, Testosterone) but it looked anovulatory. I personally believe I ovulated after the time of the tests because I was charting but the Dr is skeptical. I guess that's neither here nor there as I still have long cycles. I also have a slightly high TSH level which the Dr does not think is affecting my cycles, although again I am not convinced. It looks like I'll just have to wait it out until I see the consultant. Thanks again, all of this is rather scary at the moment but it helps to hear what others have been through. I've been referred to Queen Mary's Roehampton intially and I'm in Kingston PCT. I don't know what the rules are but my H has 3 children by a previous relationship so that may go against us if IVF is needed - but I guess that's life.

Elmo
 
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