in Infertility, PCOS

Good Mornin, Metformin


So, it has been a while since I’ve taken the time to actually POST some tidbits here on the site.  And it is all your fault.  See, most of you follow The Egg on Facebook and we have such great conversations there, that by the time I get over here, I have nothing else to say because we’ve talked it to death over the course of a day!

But, getting back to what this site was created for, and beyond the “business” sides, I have to get my thoughts out once more.  And, even in the year 2012…some people don’t use Facebook.  I know, I know, perish the thought.  But it dawned on me that for those who don’t use Big Blue, there is little to no way of knowing what is going on right now with me if I don’t post it here.  So here I am.  Have a seat, let’s chat.

Okay, so last we spoke, I’d received yet another “there’s nothing wrong with you” phone call after my most recent ultrasound.  I can’t say that I took that very well.  In fact, I probably took it quite shamefully.   For starters, I got the call at work, which is always the worst place to get any kind of personal news.  Perhaps if I had a private office, in a field that didn’t call for actual interaction with coworkers or the public in general, I’d think differently, but as a librarian who shares a manager’s office, AND more importantly as a Children’s Librarian who has to talk and move and interact all day with dozens of people, I stand firm with my belief that it sucks.

I’ve grown very good at quickly dipping to the ladies room to dismantle myself in private, though.  And this day was no different.  I quickly snatched up my cellphone and retreated to the first stall I could.  Standing there, feeling very much like a teenager who hadn’t made varsity cheer squad, I called my mother and said the first thing that came to my mouth; “Nobody can help me.”  Something about saying it out loud, and seeing my mother in my head deflate with my words, took all the “tough” out of me, and I leaned my forehead against the stall.

Watching me pull The Egg together, and dragging she and my aunt along for the ride, has provided my mother with an unexpected crash course in all things fertility, so where she would have in the past asked me what was wrong or how to help, she immediately jumped into copilot mode and said, “No.  That’s not true.  What can we do next?”.

I want to say that I was right on board with her, and that through all my research and interaction with the infertility community, that I knew just what to do and say next.  But I didn’t.  I didn’t because I’d recently discovered some things about myself:

  1. As viable  treatment options that IVF and IUI are, they not only frighten me, but make me dreadfully uncomfortable.  I don’t want that to be my route.  I want to give as MANY less-invasive options a try as I can before I chuck over that much money and privacy.
  2. I’m tired.  The roller-coaster ride of “This will give an answer!” (High), “Once again, nothing” (Low), has frustrated me to no end.  When I feel as though I’m working as hard as I can with nothing to show for it, I very much want to retreat into my own quiet space and refocus my attention.  I was beginning to feel as though everyone was tired of hearing me sing this sad childless song, if I wasn’t going to bite the IVF bullet.   And I struggled with how to tell people that it wasn’t the choice I felt best for ME.
  3. I didn’t KNOW what to do next.  If I’d done the diet, done the clomid, and done the exercise…all that was left was the more intrusive procedures right?
So I stood there looking stupid.  In the bathroom stall at work.  While my mother asked me again, what was the next step.
What frustrated me about the (actually great) ultrasound results, was the fact that I was waiting for them to give me that next step.  I wanted very much for my doctor to call and tell me that she saw exactly what the “problem” was, and that on our next visit, we’d get started with an aggressive plan.  When she (finally) called and said the exact opposite, I felt like the scene in “Lean on Me” when Joe Clark finally gets the practice test results and finds that the kids still failed.
“I had to wait all this time for this!”

So I slummed through my workday.  Not necessarily angry, but really sad.  I advocate for myself and others to have the opportunity to build our families the way we choose, and the idea that I was potentially facing the reality that I would have to go beyond my personal scope of treatment, was hard.

After a lot of personal research, and a much needed refresher discussion with The Dude about what we felt were our limits and goals, I went back to the drawing board so-to-speak, and began plotting out my next steps.  A return to Metformin, being numero uno on the list.  Number 1a, was getting up the courage to do what I knew was also right for me, changing doctors.

Now, my regular ob/gyn was a nice woman, with a gentle bedside manner, and a knowledge of how to get women pregnant.  That was not my issue.  The issue was that her partner was better suited for ME, in that she was understanding of PCOS specifically, and was also a big fan of patient advocacy.  She took notice that I took notes and brought questions, and took the time to talk TO ME, ABOUT ME beyond our medical relationship.  For me personally, this is vital in my breaking down personal barriers and being more forthright.  When we feel rushed, we get nervous, and when we get nervous, we forget that WE are the star of that room.

When I called to make my appointment, I will admit that I hestitated after hearing the words “And who would you like to see?”.  I said with a shaking voice that I was,…”Technically a patient of Dr.B, but would very much like to see Dr. C if that was alright”.  Jokingly, the response I got was, “No, that’s not alright, that’s just awful!”  But after we both laughed, he said, “No, that’s fine.  Happens all the time.”

Once again, my thoughts about the situation proved to be far less frightening than the reality.

I’ll fill you guys in on the actual appointment in another post, because I’m realizing that after such a long break in filling you in….this post is going on and on!  LOL
So I have a couple questions for the comments:
Who do YOU call when you get disappointing fertility news?
Have YOU thought about what your personal limits are?
Have YOU ever made a medical step more frightening than it actually turned out to be?


Regina Townsend is the primary author and founder of TheBrokenBrownEgg. A librarian and writer, Regina’s mission is to make people aware and active about the unique concerns of reproductive health in the minority community.


  1. Valerie

    Taking charge that is what you have to do!!!

    I call my mom – she is my touchpoint and then I call my husband.

    We are not able to afford infertility treatments so my limits are set.

    Deciding to have my fibroids removed (2nd time) was a major step that was frightening. I thought I would get pregnant thinking it was the fibroid preventing it but year later and nothing….

    22 . Jan . 2012
    • Mrs.Tiye

      That’s how I felt after my three ultrasounds, (two uterine, one thyroid), because I was so sure they were the culprits. We’re gonna keep pressing forward though Valerie! We have to.

      02 . Feb . 2012
  2. Dotscott

    First, be encouraged. Acheiving pregnancy with PCOS is sooo possible, especially with taking MEtformin regularly and with Clomid. We sought the care of an RE specializing in PCOS who included ultrasounds to determine ovulation. Stick with it, it can (fingers, toes, and eyes crossed, it will) happen for you. We are trying to conceive baby#2 and although I still have PCOS, my cycles are shorter and have been consistent for three months, no Metformin…

    Secondly, I always call my mommy too. She’s my bestie, and despite having no problems conceiving her three children, she came along for the bumpy and frustrating ride.

    When we were trying to conceive we set no limits, but our pocket books would. At the time we had great insurance who covered all my treatments under the guise of treating my PCOS and not fertility treatments. This time around, with different insurance, our limits will likely be determined by money as well…

    I also like you switched doctors in the middle of my treatments. I felt weird like I was abandoning ship, but I did what was best for me at the time. They got over it and so did I.

    Thanks for posting here. I’m one of those people NOT on FaceBook.

    22 . Jan . 2012
    • Mrs.Tiye

      Aww, I’m glad to hear you found the site! Man…shorter cycles would be a serious godsend. I love the line “they got over it, and so did I”..YES!

      02 . Feb . 2012
  3. Kenyatta Cooper

    “The jump is so frightening between where I am and where I want to be…because of all I may become I will close my eyes and leap!” this is jus for a little inspiration! I admire the way you have taken this on as a crusade to help not only yourself but other women as well!! Jus keep your faith Gina and I am certain that God will bless your womb one day!!! Thanks for all the wonderful information keep doin what you do!!!

    23 . Jan . 2012
    • Mrs.Tiye

      Thanks Kenyatta! I can’t stand for people to be “out of the know”, when knowing is what could save them from so much heartache. I’m grateful for friends and supporters like you who help get the word out!

      02 . Feb . 2012
  4. Sisterfriend

    Dear Mrs. Tiye,

    I hope that you are not relying only on the Metformin to solve your issues. It is common knowledge among doctors (and I am one) that losing just 5% of your body weight can improve your condition and your fertility. As a black woman we have different body standards and while not expecting us to look like Kate Moss which is also very unhealthy, it would be prudent to exercise every day for at least 30 minutes and not consume more thanm 1300 calories. You seem like a beautiful, intelligent and well educated person so you probably already know this. I just hate to see you relying completely on meds. I know infertility can make you feel out of control but you do have control over your weight and your health. If you are blessed to have a child and I truly hope that for you, you will want to be the healthiest mom you can be. I know you must also know that PCOS is a precursor to diabetes. Anyway good luck and God bless on your journey. I am rooting for you.

    17 . Feb . 2012
    • Mrs.Tiye

      Hey Sisterfriend! Thanks for your kind and inspiring words!!!! I am in full agreement with you on not relying solely on meds. My husband is actually quite against any form of meds at all, for anything. (I have to fight him about Tylenol)

      We’ve joined a gym, and now that the temperatures in Chicago have broken, I am starting my walks again. The biggest hurdle is food! Not eating it…it’s actually from NOT eating enough.
      So, working on it. Thanks again!! Come back soon.

      20 . Mar . 2012
  5. CJP

    Metformin worked for me. I have PCOS and my issues did not stop until I saw a regular endocrinologist (not reproductive). She told me my testosterone was extremely high for a women (my OB saw the same results and said they were normal) and put me on metformin immediately. Within a month my testoterone was down in normal range and I started losing weight without even trying. With PCOS and being insulin resistance it is very hard for me to lose weight previous to being put on this medication. I started the metformin in November of 2010 and was pregnant by January 2011 (no IVF or anything. Just naturally got pregnant). I also taking a baby aspirin because due recurrent miscarriage in the past. I hope this helps.

    21 . Feb . 2012
    • Mrs.Tiye

      Hey CJP! First off congratulations on the success! That’s awesome. These hormonal issues are so ridiculous to navigate, so I’m glad that you found a way to fight! Your words DO help. They give hope.

      20 . Mar . 2012

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