9: Treating the root cause of infertility

What do you do if you’re young, and by all accounts ‘healthy’ and slim… but you’ve suddenly been told that you’re infertile and need IUI or IVF to conceive?

Well if you’re Sara, you don’t take that as gospel and you seek a second and third opinion. 

Today’s podcast is another real-life story with the amazing Sara who I’ve had the pleasure of working with inside The PCOS Protocol.  

Like many of us, Sara had been on birth control since a young age and came off after getting married.  She had been trying to get pregnant for a year, and when the drug Clomid wasn’t successful, she was told: 

“I think you might have lean PCOS, but how we’re going to get around that is by doing IUI”

But she didn’t accept this solution.  

“We’d been kind of trying to get pregnant with 6th grade knowledge of how to get pregnant and then suddenly our next option was IVF.  It just didn’t stack up. I want to understand my body and why we were not conceiving, rather than just jumping straight to IVI and IVF.”

She subsequently found out that her insulin wasn’t working properly- even though she is lean.  After tweaking her diet and lifestyle she also learnt to track her cycles to identify when she was leading up to ovulation. 

She ovulated 4 months later and got pregnant with that ovulation.  

Highlights, takeaways and quick wins 

  • Whether you’re lean or not, it doesn’t matter, you still need to get to that root cause for why your body isn’t ovulating, and it is really likely that your insulin isn’t working properly. 
  • Your ‘normal’ HbA1c and other insulin markers doesn’t necessarily mean your insulin is working properly. 
  • Your doctor will likely jump straight to drug therapy like Clomid, or IUI and IVF and while these are  amazing treatments, they often aren’t necessary and don’t come without risk.  
  • Your doctor likely won’t be able to investigate the root cause for you because they don’t have the knowledge to do this- it’s like asking a builder to install all the plumbing for your bathroom.  They might have some understanding because they work with them all the time, but it isn’t their expertise.  
  • When you have issues with your insulin it isn’t just about ‘eating healthy’ – Sara has a great example of what fruit did to her blood sugar. 
  • You can get pregnant, even without having a period in months- if you know the signs to look for that you’re leading up to ovulation. 
  • Pregnancy has been shown to push the human body to the limit,  so you want to make sure that you’re in the best possibly place before getting pregnant- this is what Clomid, IUI or IVF will never do.  
  • Fertility treatments can be super useful, but in my mind they always come after treating the root cause. 

*Please note: Unfortunately, we no longer have the PDF’s and resources as mentioned in this podcast episode. Sorry about that!
For further resources and help, you can learn about your PCOS drivers and the best lifestyle changes that can support you in The PCOS protocol. Click here to see more and enrol.