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See spot.

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See Spot say, WTF.

I woke up this morning to thick brown spotting discharge. The stuff dreams are made of. Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo, you have failed me. I had a feeling that the low amounts of estrogen in this pill would not be good for someone like me whose estrogen levels are already crap. (From what I understand, spotting occurs on the pill mainly due to a lack of estradiol). Of course, when I logically brought this up to my gyno as he was giving me the free sample he “poo-pooed” it, and said it would be fine and that many patients like the new “low estrogen” pills. Too much estrogen leads to cancer, yadda yadda… Yes. Yes, I’m sure it does. But it’s because most bodies ALREADY MAKE ENOUGH ESTROGEN.  Can someone tell me why it is that doctors always seem to look at patients as a collection of statistics rather than individual cases? It’s making my menstrual blood boil. Because if my gyno took one look at my labs, he’d see that after 4 months of nary a period, my estradiol levels were basically undetectable. I mean, seriously. I’m not trying to be a pain, I’m not trying to be “special”–it’s just that, well, my case IS fucking special. I’m not like the 90% of women out there who wander in and out of the gyno aimlessly with a huge shit eating grin on her face and blindly take pills prescribed to me. I need a bit more analysis than, “Well, this should work for you because so many women respond well to it.”

Guess what other drug he said this about?

Wait for it…wait for it…

If you guessed Clomid, you’d be correct! As soon as I did my homework on Clomid, I discovered that many women w/ PCOS don’t respond well to it due to the fact that it screws with estrogen levels and lowers them, thus making the uterine lining too thin for implantation. Hot flashes and dry CM are also another indicator of screwy estrogen levels. Many women are even given estrogen supplements along with Clomid to help with these issues. Of course, when I brought this up with him, he gave me the “so many women respond really well to Clomid. You should give it a try” response. Just like he did with this birth control that I had reservations about.

Yes, I know I’m over reacting a bit…spotting isn’t the end of the world, and hopefully it will lead to a full bleed as soon as I stop the pill pack on Sunday. It’s more the feeling that I am not being listened to by my doctor. That I’m being treated like every other one of his fertile patients.

Also: word to the wise. If you’re Googling: “spotting on ortho tri cyclen lo” DON’T go on a run of the mill birth control message board. You’ll get questions like this:

“I already have too kidz, and I’m having brown blood. Does this mean I won ever be able to have more kidzz??!!!?”

Or this gem:

“I’m on ortho lo and I’m 6DPO, but I’m spotting! Does this mean I’m pregnant? CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP???”

Really. You’re 6DPO. On birth control? It was all I could do to not hit a “reply” button with a really snarky response. I feel like if you’re taking birth control, you should be forced to know how it works. Like I said, these women just smile, nod, and take these magic birth control pills their doctors shove at them by the fist-fulls, and they don’t have a goddamn clue what is going on in their bodies.

Ugh, it’s so tiring to be up here on this soapbox!

So now, assuming I get a full bleed at some point soon, I might be starting Clomid early next week. We’ll see if my theories on my estrogen levels prove correct this time around. I anticipate lots of night sweats, and thin uterine lining in my future. I’m trying to maintain a positive attitude about it all…but this whole thing feels sucky right now.

About Sunny

I'm a happily married, 31 year old gal who is just starting her journey to conceive. I also have ovaries that may need a jump start. This blog is an attempt to channel my obsessive research on my Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome into something a pregnancy test. That would be awesome. I also hope that other women with this condition will find support in this blog. There are a lot of us out here! Happy reading, whatever your journey may be.

14 responses »

  1. Maybe you can skip Clomid and go to Femara instead. I don’t know if ob/gyns do Femara (I got it from my RE) but it is given to people with low estrogen (like post-breast cancer women) – at least I think that’s low estrogen? Anyway, it gave me good numbers of follicles and my lining was still thick. I also had minimum side effects, mostly just gas. Or I guess you could try Clomid once and if you don’t respond you can wag your finger in his face and be like TOLDJA SO…

    • Yes, I think that’s ultimately what I’ll do, but I’ll need to go to an RE for it. I actually suggested Femara to my gyno, and he said he doesn’t prescribe Femara to his patients because of some random studies that link it to birth defects if taken after conception (which logically would be impossible, since you’re only supposed to take it for a few select days pre ovulation!) Grr.

      • My RE was hesitant to do Femara too. I even had to sign a waiver saying I knew that taking it while pregnant I would have some sort of alien baby. However I had a much better response to Femara than I did with Clomid. I am glad I pushed my RE to go on it.

  2. Have you thought about switching OBs? It sounds like he really isn’t listening to you, which is SO FRUSTRATING. (I’ve also spotted on BCPs before, it sucks. I don’t know about Clomid, though…it was our initial plan, but then when we pushed our RE about the chance of multiples, he recommended Femara instead, and added that he’s never seen anyone have major side effects from Femara.) Good luck!

  3. I feel for you. My first so-called fertility doctor was the type that didn’t listen to a damn thing I said and dismissed every concern I brought to the table. After four failed (and very expensive) IUIs, he finally conceded that I may have been on to something with the issues I raised. Gee, thanks. Fucker.

    Needless to say, I switched doctors after that. If it’s at all feasible, I’d recommend you ditch this loser and try to find a doctor that has a fricking clue.

    Also, those posts you quoted made me want to punch a wall. The stupid…it burns…

  4. That doctor sounds terrible. What is it about doctors that make them think they know everything about you before they listen to a word you say? I

  5. It’s amazing to me how uninformed women can be. I also feel like a statistic often times. It’s hard to find a doc that takes each circumstance individually.

  6. So, if you’ve read my birth story, this is my huge huge beef with the hospital, refusing to acknowledge that each case is individual and a diagnosis should have MANY different options depending on the situation, not one size fits all. SO PISSED STILL.

    And as to Clomid, I have PCOS and responded really well to it, at the lowest dose and I’m also a thin cyster like you. I would suggest giving it a try just to see and then know if you respond to it and if you don’t, like Robin said, give the Femara a try.

    Sorry your OB subscribes to the one size fits all rule of medicine!

    • It’s good to know that Clomid worked for you. I’m going to give it a go and be as positive as all hell that this does the trick! If not, I’m moving on to an RE who will prescribe Femara.

  7. I say ditch the doc, ditch the clomid and get someone who will prescribe you femara!
    Also, that book made me LOL

  8. Thanks- you cracked me up. There are so many idiots posting online about producing more illiterate spawn that it’s scary. Have you ever seen the movie “Idiocracy”?

    I just started following you because it looks like I have lean PCOS (after 10 months of unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant) and it’s cool to meet others in the same situation.

    Your doctor sounds frustrating. Not all PCOS is the same. We need to all be treated as individuals based on our unique hormone profiles.

    Good luck!

  9. I don’t have PCOS, so I can’t advise you there, but it definitely sounds like it’s time for a new doc. Feeling like you’re not being heard–that’s a huge problem. Unfortunately, it also seems to be the norm. I hope you find someone who will take your concerns seriously.


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