Best ways to identify and monitor ovulation [Guest Post]

I know its been a while since I published a post. But it kills me to realize my metformin intake 
isn't helping me. The disappointment reflects on my day-to-day activities too. 
I hope I would be back on track in a few weeks. 
Anyways I got this update from Dr. Zeenobiyah McGowan mentioning her interest to write a 
guest post on ovulation. I am sure this is a topic that is important for anyone having PCOS, 
PCOS infertility or infertility in general. So here goes her article on some ways to identify 
and monitor ovulation.

When you are trying to conceive, there is one thing you need to know: When you ovulate. Identifying ovulation is super easy for some people, and it is difficult for others – especially those who have irregular cycles. Still, regardless of your situation, you can monitor ovulation with relative ease. Here are some of the ways to identify ovulation.

ovulation

1. Use an ovulation calendar

Technology reaches just about every corner of our existence. Why not invite it into your efforts to conceive? It can be extremely helpful. Here is something you may not know about ovulation – you will ovulate about 12 to 16 days before your next period. The phase after ovulation, until the day before your next period, is called the luteal phase. Even if you have irregular cycles, you will ovulate 12 to 16 days before your next period. And if your cycles are irregular, an online ovulation calendar can really help you detect patterns and eventually conceive. Look for an ovulation calendar that is free and easy to use. You will find one at OvulationCalendar.com or Babycenter.com. OvulationCalendar’s tool considers your average luteal phase length and provides you with detailed and interactive charts to help understand and update your results. You may not know your luteal phase length at first, and that is okay. You can go with an estimate. The more you use an ovulation calendar, the more accurate it will become.

2. Look for signs of ovulation

Once you have your estimated ovulation date, it is time to start looking for signs of ovulation. Some women find this easy because they experience slight cramping during ovulation. Other women look for cervical fluid changes, cervix changes and chart BBT (basal body temperature). Your BBT rises after ovulation and stays risen for most of the luteal phase. Whether or not you are looking for signs of ovulation, you should plan to have sexual intercourse within the three days before and on the day of your predicted ovulation day. However, if you are unsure of your luteal phase (days between ovulation and the start of your next period), it is important to keep track of exactly when you ovulate. This way, you can count the days of your luteal phase and use it in your ovulation calendar for your next cycle.

3. Use an ovulation prediction kit

OPKs (ovulation prediction kits) are readily available over the counter. There are two types of kits available, one that tests saliva, and one that tests urine. The urine test is more popular and involves peeing on a strip each day, starting about a week before your predicted ovulation day. The urine test looks for a spike of LH (luteinizing hormone) that occurs about one to two before ovulation.

If you get pregnant in the first cycle, congratulations! You will not ovulate again for quite some time, so you are done tracking. If you do not get pregnant in the first cycle, do not worry. It is completely normal for healthy, fertile couples to take a while to conceive. Most couples in their 20s will conceive within three to six months of trying. Philip Druce from menstrual cycle and fertility tracking website OvulationCalendar.com says, “If you have been trying for over a year, it is time to talk to your doctor about infertility treatments. If you are over 35 and have been trying for six months, speak to your doctor sooner.”

 

Dr Zeenobiyah McGowan Ph.D., an expert on women’s health and helping couples conceive naturally. Dr McGowan is a mother of one beautiful girl. She founded Impact Humanity, a charity which helps under privileged children get the basic necessities like food and education in Kenya.

PCOS Smoothie 1 – Blueberry banana

1. Blueberry banana – PCOS smoothie

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 minute

Total Time: 11 minutes

Yield: 2

Serving Size: 207g

Calories per serving: 215

Fat per serving: 11g

1. Blueberry banana – PCOS smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Almond milk (I use Essential Everyday vanilla flavor)
  • 1/2 Banana
  • 50 small raw (or frozen) blueberries (around 1/2 cup or 68gm)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup water
  • see all the ingredients here

Instructions

  1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender of your choice.
  2. I use nutribullet and it does a real good job in blending, the blast makes a perfect smoothie.

Carbohydrate: 27g, Glycemic Load: 6

http://pcosindiandiet.com/pcos-smoothie-1-blueberry-banana/

 Why I assumed this smoothie is good for  PCOS (Poly cystic ovary syndrome)?

Forgive me for the quality of the photo of this PCOS smoothie. Anyways, this smoothie or blast has a very low Glycemic Load (GL) of 6. Of course, for the given serving size.

Benefits & risks

blueberriesThis smoothie is low in Sodium, and very low in cholesterol. It is also a good source of Vitamin E, Calcium and a very good source of Manganese.  The berries could be frozen and stored for the whole week. Just make sure you wash them right before you use it. Going organic would be nice.

 

A note on the nutriblast and nutribullet

I am in no way affiliated with nutribullet. This is my honest review as a user. I bought mine from best buy for USD 98.08. It has a 600 W motor. The vegetables and fruits smoothies are perfect. The milling blade does a good job as well. The only issue I have is the leakage of the cups on some days, even though I stick to the directions regarding the max line.

Disclaimer: I’m neither a medical professional nor a nutritionist. The recipes or dietary change ideas in this blog are not to be considered a medical advice. Consult your doctor before you make any dietary changes. The nutritional information has been generated with the help of various tools available online. Although I’ve tried to input the measurements correctly, I don’t guarantee the accuracy of the result generated. You may adjust your serving size according to your required daily calorie intake that your doctor has advised.

PCOS smoothies – Ingredients list

I am starting a new series of posts on PCOS smoothies. First off, I thought it’s better to compile a list of ingredients for the blasts or smoothies which are PCOS friendly. I did buy a nutribullet and I should say, I am kind of liking it. Coz eating fruits and vegetables is a very big struggle as far as I am concerned. This is helping though! So here they go!

Berries
Nuts & Seeds
Leafy Greens
Base & spices
Fruits & Vegetables

Image source: pixabay

Spring Card Swap: Gratitude during infertility!

This is the new post in my microposts series. Last week was infertility awareness week! It was really nice to see a lot of bloggers come together on RESOLVE. It was also last week that Lisa from AmateurNester organized a Spring Card Swap! This post is to express my gratitude to Lisa for this thoughtful and simple idea and to my swap partner Ms. K(I’d rather not reveal the name here).

I usually write in my blog about my experience, I interact with other bloggers. It is my way of coping up and it is a platform to interact. But I should admit, a personal note is indeed very special & touching!!! Though it is from a person who you’ve never met, somehow I could really relate to the same battle that we fight. That level of connection, the support and the positivity that I received, really made my day! Thank you K for this beautiful card and your kind words! Thank you Lisa for being the reason for this!

infertility gratitude

K, if you ever happen to read this post, please know that it was really nice to have received your card. Your words of encouragement meant a lot to me. You are remembered in my prayers :). I read this somewhere “Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures the final victory comes”. I really do hope and pray that you and your husband be blessed with all what you wish for!

 

You are not alone – On the pursuit of motherhood

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week for 2015, this is my two cents towards the goal of spreading the message “You are not alone”.  If you are having fertility challenges, be it known or unexplained… primary or secondary, the turns might be different but the road is the same! There are days when I find no possible logical explanation for what has happened to me. I keep asking myself “Why me”.  I feel angry, guilty, sad, uncertain, devastated and embarrassed. My self-esteem and self-confidence get a hit. I avoid friends and family and everyone I’ve ever known. I cry like never before. Every cycle becomes a routine. Charting and taking temperature daily, having sex according to a schedule & waiting with hope and anxiety. Only to know in two weeks or more, that I’ve had yet another failed cycle. This goes on and on and on.

The sight of pregnant women or women with infants & toddlers makes my heart break. Pregnancy announcements, baby showers, birthday parties…  yes I dread them all. Festivals, get togethers, shopping malls, even on a long walk I take in the neighborhood, I come across a mom with a stroller. I feel guilty for having had to dread them, makes me wonder if I am such a bad person after all. Yet, all those sights open up my wounds. Reminds me of the dream I could never fulfill.

The stigma related to infertility, especially with male infertility, is one reason people with infertility mostly suffer in silence. The insensitive questions on when I plan to have a baby, why I haven’t had one yet, the never-ending unsolicited advice, all these hurt me like hell. They may not realize they are being insensitive or maybe they are being deliberately nosy. Yet, they are so hurtful that makes me want to scream out loud. I might be able to be composed at times but might burst out at other times. I know I am not obliged to satisfy anyone’s curiosity, yet facing those questions is still hard for me. My pain is mine alone and no has the right to judge me, question me or belittle me. Yet, they do!

niaw 2015 you are not alone

If you are suffering from PCOS related infertility, this is how a typical scenario may look like. Irregular or no menstruation, infertility due to irregular or absence of ovulation, cysts on the ovary, hirsutism or unwanted hair growth on chin, lower belly etc., loss of hair on scalp, weight gain especially around the mid-section, acne, dandruff, dark patches of skin on the neck, arms, thighs etc., skin tags and depression. For those of you, who are new to the term PCOS, PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a health problem that can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle, ability to have children, hormones, heart, blood vessels, appearance. Women with PCOS may not ovulate regularly, may have high levels of androgen & may have many small cysts in their ovaries. When ovulation is either absent or irregular, this results in infertility. As per womenshealth.gov, between 1 in 10 and 1 in 20 women of childbearing age has PCOS and as many as 5 million women in the United States may be affected. The medications mostly given are metformin, clomid, letrozole etc. to help a woman conceive. If you are on any of those, apart from the worries of infertility and the symptoms of PCOS, you’ve the side effects of these medications to deal with, as well. The physical pain of the infertility tests, the emotional exhaustion and the financial overhead for Advanced Reproductive Technology (ART) all adds on to the stress of the couple. I know, this is not a question of “when I’d conceive”, but it’s a question of “if I’d ever conceive”. I also know I cannot spend for the expensive ARTs forever. I’d have to look into other options as well, down the line. As a couple, we might have to make a decision together, as to when to put a stop to these endless treatments.

I suffered alone for over a year. The only silver lining in this was and still is the constant support of my husband. We grew closer fighting this battle. Well, I should be grateful to God for that. While I lament over the one thing I am not given, if I forget to thank for the best thing that has happened to me, that would be unfair. I believe, there would be a silver lining in everyone’s life. Just that you should look around.

Apart from this, what really helped me was the blogosphere!!! If not for that, I’d have had depression literally. I couldn’t thank more, all those brave and wonderful women who shared their stories. That is when I realized I was not alone. It took me a while to feel that consolation. The journeys of a lot of women, many successful and others still trying with hope and prayers made me want to fight my battle. If not for them, I’d have never thought about writing my story. Though blogging is my way of coping, I wish, my blog will be a consolation to some other who are new to fighting this battle.

At the end of the day, it is a bunch of strangers, supporting, caring for and praying for others who tread through the same difficult path as theirs. The world is indeed a beautiful place when you think of that. The warmth of the relationships and the positivity found in the interaction among most bloggers are beyond what you’d imagine! All the wonderful bloggers out there, who helped me through, you rock!!!

Basic understanding of the disease of infertility
About NIAW

How I respond to insensitive questions on infertility

Prologue

I have had so many experiences dealing with the insensitive questions on infertility for the past two years. So this is a pretty long post. If you are looking for just the questions, please skip reading the prologue and get right to the point.

Growing up, I was surrounded by people who often discussed & asked questions about politics, religion, personal affairs, salary, marriage, kids etc. People hardly bothered about others’ personal space. When I say people, they were not even my best friends or my immediate relatives. There was no escaping it. So right after my wedding I knew the next question would be about me getting pregnant. Almost all my cousins got pregnant in a few months after their wedding. So I knew this was coming. And there they were. One after the other asking the questions I dreaded.

A year later, when I had to face the fact that I’d to deal with infertility things went worse. They might have just asked it as a conversation starter. But it opened up my wounds, made me angry, hurt me, made me feel more guilty. I was angry that I had to go through infertility, I was angry that I had to face such insensitive questions!

I write this article so that one day I would send the content of this article in an email to all those people who have stuck a dagger in my heart every time they have asked me any of the below questions. I want to get this out of my chest today so that I live in peace!!! This is also meant to educate the ones who might be asking questions because they never really were aware how hurtful their questions could be to people who are battling infertility. Maybe I’ve not shared my secret with them, but then why do people always take it that they could assume what ever they may wish about other people’s lives. Who gave them the right to judge?

When I think back, I may as well have been insensitive a few times. But then I learned a lot as years passed by and I’ve always been on the guard ever since. I truly ask for forgiveness, if I’ve hurt any of you myself. Maybe not in the context of infertility, but what ever context it might have been.

insensitive infertility questions

 “The Questions” – This is what I feel when you ask me such an insensitive question.

Q1. So what’s your plan?
Well, to be honest that question is invading my privacy, unless you are my mom, dad, brother or a handful of my very close friends(I’m sure you know who you are). Others, you may be curious, but I am not obligated to satisfy your curiosity. I don’t owe any of you an answer! My sex life is not up for discussion in public, period.

Q2. Aren’t you pregnant yet? When are you going to give me the good news?
That is an inappropriate question to ask anyone, as far as I am concerned. Seriously! Isn’t it the choice of the husband and the wife to decide what we want and when we want? Why on earth do we owe an answer to you or anyone else, for that matter?

Q3. Did you see a doctor?
What made you assume we needed to see a doctor in the first place? Also, why did you think it’s okay to ask such a question that’s downright intrusive of my personal space and insulting as well?

Q4: Whose problem is it?
Seriously? What good does it do to you knowing that? Who in the world asks such rude questions?

Q5. Did you offer prayers at this temple?
This one is a common question among people back at my place. I respect your belief. I agree you might have had a child after visiting a certain temple, but please don’t try to coerce me into doing things that you believe. I talk to God in my own ways. It’s my right to do things my way and not yours. Also, talking about my infertility to the medical folks itself is too much for me, I can’t imagine doing that with the priests at the temples who belong to a society that views infertility as a stigma.

Q6. You know that you aren’t getting any younger, right?
Aha! Here I was, who didn’t even notice years pass by. Seriously??? Don’t you think it would have crossed my mind??

Q7. Don’t wait to see a doctor, a friend of mine waited for so and so years and now they are doing IVF, blah blah blah. Did you try this food, this treatment, this doctor, this workout etc? OR  There is a spin off on the previous question, and this one is specific to elders in my family. I’m sure this happens in Kerala a lot. If my mom happens to go to weddings or other gatherings, the so-called ‘relatives’ and friends of their generation keep asking her this, “It’s high time, did you have ‘the talk’ with her? She isn’t getting any younger

Ok, let me make this point very clear. My husband and I, we are well-educated by God’s grace. We are both in our 30s. We are knowledgeable enough to realize the issues at hand, do the necessary research and make an informed decision ourselves. Don’t you think we would do everything under our control and resources to make this happen?? When you face a roadblock, you would leave no stones unturned. Be it a diet or treatment or workout or doctors, anything under the sun, we’d either have tried it or considered it by now. And questions like these are annoying as far as I am concerned.

As to the second question, seriously??? Did you all ask your sons and daughters to have sex as soon as they got married? Do your relatives and friends give advice to your sons and daughters about their sex life? Then what made you think its okay to ask my mom that???  It’s disgusting!!!! Oh, by the way, I’m proud of my mom that she’s already given you an answer you deserve. I love you mom, you are the best!!!

Q8. A friend of mine, a cousin, a relative, a colleague, a neighbor is going through this, so I understand what you are going through. 
Ok this one, is by far, the most annoying statement.  You might hear about other people’s experience. But you can never feel the pain the way the person who experiences it does. if you haven’t faced infertility first hand, (trust me I do pray to God that no one else has to go through what I am going through) then you don’t “understand” how it “feels”. Knowing is different from having to go through it. You don’t “understand” how it “feels” to

  • wake up every day, with this pain and guilt in your heart and still having to move on with life
  • go through the physically painful tests like HSG, SHG and emotionally difficult semen analysis
  • have intercourse according to a schedule every month.
  • have some one tell you when to have sex.
  • have this monotonous routine and yet to have to kindle the love in the relationship
  • be on medications like you have never been in life
  • chart and track every thing that goes on with your body every day of every month
  • have hope at the start of every month for two weeks, to have timed intercourse for another week, to wait for another two weeks pr more in anticipation only to have your hopes crushed at the end of that two weeks wait.
  • see kids around almost everywhere you go and be reminded of the pain
  • have to face pregnancy and delivery announcement of loved ones and friends, to be happy for them despite the fact that you get hurt at the same time. And then to feel guilty. This cycle goes on.
  • have to live with the fact that something as natural as getting pregnant, is not happening to you!!!
  • see the thing that you wanted the most in life, being a mom, slipping away.
  • have an endocrine disorder and your body failing you and yet to be stigmatized.
  • gain weight and to be fat because of this disorder and to have to answer a lot of questions from all corners.
  • have excess hair growth on you face, your chin, your back, your belly and what not, yet having to cling on to that last bit of self-confidence left in you.
  • have skin tags, and hair loss on your scalp and all these hitting  your self-esteem.

Well you don’t know how all these feels. This is just a tip of the iceberg of all what I go through. So you will not understand every aspect of my PCOS infertility journey and hence, please don’t try to patronize me.

Q10. Don’t get stressed much.

Well, you tell me! If you were to have your intercourse timed, to wait for two weeks anxiously for the result. Only to know your got broken again. Yet having to have to try the next month from the start, to have hopes for another two weeks. To chart, to temp and to have this cycle of grief go on and on and on for God knows how long. Yet, you want me to be stress free.

Q11.it’d happen when its time, It’d happen when God so wishes…. and all the quotes in the world.
Well… I can Google for words of wisdom on hope myself to find all these. Keep all these to yourself unless you are asked.

This is my response to all those who genuinely care for me or may be wasn’t aware they were being insensitive.

Well, I am glad to know you genuinely care for me. If you were being unaware I forgive you. But at least now, please know that these are insensitive questions as far as I am concerned. I’d be really grateful to you if you keep this in mind in future. I am not ready to discuss the details with you yet. When I am ready, I would. The thought that you are there to turn to, if ever I need a shoulder, is enough for me. Please remember me in your prayers.

This is meant for all others who asked me any of these questions just to hurt me or were being deliberately nosy.

Seriously I have no intention to satisfy any of your curiosities.

I’ve considered two options when someone asks me an insensitive question. First being “Do I really have to answer this question?” and the second one being “Do I have to be defensive?“.  There could be situations where in I ought to be respectful. There could also be scenarios where I could just snap, if that’s what the person deserves. Anyways, if my response is any of the below, please know that your question was downright insensitive.

  • Being silent and say nothing
  • Taking a deep breath and say nothing
  • A blank stare
  • Switching the topic to something else
  • Pretending I heard something else
  • Opening up with a closing statement like “I’ve roadblocks, but this is neither the time nor the place to discuss.”
  • Reply with a question which makes you realize how insensitive you’ve been to me
  • Tell you directly it is none of your business
  • Tell you it was an insensitive or insulting question to ask
  • Just walk away
  • Respond with humor
I’d rather you re-framed your question to a subtle statement like this.

If you were to tell me you’d be there for me if I ever needed you, that would be the sweetest thing to say! You could also tell me I am remembered in your prayers. When you have overwhelming news to share, give me a heads up first. So that I’d be prepared to get composed while you deliver the news. If I have not yet opened up to you, please give it some time. When I am ready, I would. If I am not, please know that I’d have my own reasons for it.

One of my very close friends, she handled the situation with compassion.

  1. She didn’t deliver the news face to face of over the phone. She didn’t share the news over Facebook first, so that I’d have had to learn from there. Instead, she sent me a text.
  2. She gave me an introduction which went something like this, “hey, I’ve always been open with you, I’ve told you everything that happened in my life, so I’d tell you this as well.” Well, this was a heads-up.
  3. Then she said she was pregnant. She is one of the sweetest person I’ve ever met, so for sure I felt really happy for her. Yet, to be honest, it stung coz it opened up my wounds. It had nothing to do with her or her big news. It was just me.
 Conclusion

Though these questions are commonly faced by people battling infertility, the responses are just my take on the matter. Everyone are different and may respond differently. I assume, as time passes by, I would be strong at heart and would be able to face & respond to these questions gracefully!

 Click the below image to check AmateurNester.com :)

AmateurNester

Semen Analysis – Infertility test

This is my next post in the series of tests done as part of our infertility diagnosis. Though my dear husband supports me in blogging, I’d rather not add blogging to his already busy schedule. So this is the wife’s take on Semen Analysis or SA. The stigma associated with infertility in our society is too much. When it comes to male infertility it is even more, since some how they tend to associate it with masculinity! As much as I don’t agree with that notion, I’d rather not start a debate about it now. Let me jump right into the details of Semen Analysis.

What is Semen Analysis?

Semen Analysis was done as part of the infertility work up to decide if male factor infertility exists. It analyses different characteristics of the semen and the sperm. The main characteristics includes semen volume, sperm count, sperm motility, forward progression of sperm and sperm morphology. It also includes testing for other chemical and biochemical semen characteristics such as pH, turbidity, viscosity, liquefaction, agglutination, fructose, WBC etc.  Check here to see a video of an actual semen analysis for count & motility.

Semen Analysis & Infertility
  • The semen volume could range between 0.1 ml to greater than 10 ml. But the normal range is considered to be 1.5ml by WHO. The volume could be affected by factors like the number of hours of abstinence being lower than recommended, the spillage of the specimen or other issues related to the seminal vesicles or other glands. Volume may not play a large role in fertility.
  • The normal sperm count is said to be greater than or equal to 1.5 million per milliliter. Although this decreases the odds to result in pregnancy, it is not the only crucial factor for male infertility.
  • Sperm motility is the ability of the sperm to move.A motility of greater than 40% is considered normal. A low motility might reduce the chance to conceive if the sperm count is also low.
    • Sperms are required not only to move, but to have a forward progression. The different types of progression are rapid, medium, slow and stagnant with scores ranging from 4-0. A score of 3 -4 is normal as per WHO 5th edition. Of course, this factor makes sense, the sperm has to have a good forward progression if it has to travel all the way up from the vagina to the egg to fertilize it!
  • Sperm morphology determines the shape of the sperm. It gives the percentage of the sperm that looks normal when viewed under a microscope. Although it is normal to have abnormally shaped sperms, in some cases where it is extremely low, IUI or IVF may be recommended if other irregularities like low count or motility also exists. A 4% or more normal shaped sperms are considered to be in the normal range. There is yet another criteria, T. F Kruger Strict Criteria which asks for a 14% or more normal shaped sperms to be considered in the normal range.

semen analysis infertility test

The experience on the day of SA sample collection
  • We were given two choices, either to collect the sample at home or to do it at the clinic’s location. We chose the clinic since the sample taken at home had to be carried within an hour to the location by keeping it close to the body. We also didn’t want to take the chance of messing up with the results for choosing the comfort of our home.
  • So we had to be there between 7.00 am and 8.30 am. The first time was indeed a rough one emotionally. I was guilty of having had to make my husband go through this, coz my PCOS was already diagnosed. I don’t exactly know how he felt about it, but I could tell it wasn’t easy for him.
  • We reached there on time. The receptionists in the office were women. They asked to fill in a form and we had to wait. While we were waiting we saw a couple walking in to the collection room together. Well, we chose not to, when his name was called. Somehow, it felt awkward, I don’t know!
  • The room had a good collection of DVDs and streaming videos from Netflix channels. And there was that. Well, the first time should have been overwhelming. The pressure of having to go through this in a public facility where every one knows what you are there for and you being given directions on it, oh and that too by other women 😛 . Well, it was a little creepy. But we didn’t have much of a choice.
  • I remember reading in another blog, that unless you are ambidextrous, collecting it all would be hard, especially the first time. Well, I guess it happens. Given the size of the cup and stress that you are going through, I say that is a given!
  • Once it’s all done, we were given an instruction as to how to clean up the room. Imagine the hardships that we have to go through for that little bundle of joy. 🙂
  • So, back to the office with the specimen and there was this question from the lady at the counter, as to how much spillage was there. Again, that moment of embarrassment. But from the results, I understood, they took our word for the spillage to be noted on it.
  • Out we go! That was it. Waiting for the result for another week.
How to prepare for it?

Apart from abstinence from ejaculation for at least two and no more than 5 days prior to the test, there was nothing much to do about it. Also, while collection the specimen, the use of lubricants or any oral or vaginal contact is not allowed to avoid contamination of the sample. If the specimen is collected at home, it is advised to get a sterile collection cup from the pharmacy or the doctor’s office.

semen analysis infertility test

Risks & limitations

Given that the collection cup would be large as compared to the expected volume, it’s nice to know about this in advance. Say if the collection cup is 3 oz, ie. 88.7ml, the normal expected volume is only 1.5 ml – 3.0 ml.

 Cost

The first time the cost was $408 and the second time it was $175. However after insurance, the out-of-pocket expense was $13.

Disclaimer: I am not attempting to explain the interpretation of SA results much since I don’t want to give any misleading medical information. All the information given above are for general informational purpose only. They were gathered from my study online as well as the personal experience during the test and hence should not be substituted for a medical opinion. Please consult your physician for the same. 

Previous: Sonohysterogram-Infertility Test

Restricted Medium & High Glycemic Load PCOS Diet

This is my new post in my Micropost series and this is my thought on a restricted medium and high glycemic load PCOS diet. To be honest, I don’t find it an ideal scenario to calculate the GL (Glycemic Load) of every meal I have. But as days pass by, I try to get to know the GL of the common meals I prepare at home. Now that I have started to keep an eye on the GI (Glycemic Index) and GL, I am starting to get the hang of it.

But the sad part of it is, many of my favorite everyday meals fall into the medium or high GL category. At this point, avoiding the food from medium & high GL completely doesn’t work for me. So I’d be restricting the consumption of the same. Also, when you cook for your family, the low GI meals all the time doesn’t work. Hence, as and when I prepare a medium or high GL recipe, I’d post that as well. Just so that I’d keep a track on the GL of our everyday meals. Maybe it might help some of you to decide whether to keep a check on that recipe if you are consuming it more often than what is best to manage your PCOS!

glycemic load pcos

I’d say Low GL recipe would be my first choice ideally, but practically twice a week medium GL meals and twice a month high GL meals is what I aim for to start with. Hopefully some day I’d be following a completely low GL diet. If you are okay with non-Indian diets, there are numerous sources out there in the internet which gives you loads of recipes. But unfortunately my palates tend to a Kerala/ Indian diet when I cook at home.

Disclaimer: I’m neither a medical professional nor a nutritionist. This article is for general informational purpose only. Consult your doctor before you make any dietary changes.

Image source: pixabay

Glycemic Index & Glycemic Load explained : PCOS Diet

I think I had to write this post even before I posted the recipes with Glycemic Load and Glycemic index mentioned in them. But better late than never right? I am sure almost everyone in the PCOS community are aware of GI, GL and portion control. Still let me put it down here for anyone who is new to the topic.

What is Glycemic Index or GI?

It is a number that shows how fast the carbohydrates in a food item gets converted into glucose. I’d already explained the mechanism of food breaking down into glucose. This number, however, could change based on several factors. (For the purpose of this topic, I’d rather skip all factors other than the quantity of the food consumed.)

The crux of it as I understood is this, the food with higher GI breaks down into glucose faster and causes a spike in the blood glucose level. The more blood glucose levels, the more insulin levels. Now, people would PCOS would not want spikes in insulin level as I’ve explained in the same link provided above. The food with lower GI breaks down into glucose gradually over time. It will maintain an almost steady level of glucose level in the blood and hence would not cause a spike in insulin levels.

ClassificationGlycemic Index Value
Low Glycemic Index55 or less
Medium Glycemic Index56-69
High Glycemic Index70 and above

These are just some of the many links from where you can get a list of food items with their respective glycemic index. glycemicindexharvard, gi-diet, low glycemic diet

What is Glycemic Load or GL?

Glycemic Load of a food is calculated by multiplying its Glycemic Index by  the net carbohydrates contained in it.

GL = (GI * carbs) / 100
ClassificationGlycemic Load Value
Low GLLower than 10
Medium GL10-20
High GLHigher than 20

 

Relationship between GI & GL

Now just because we know that the Glycemic Index of a food is low doesn’t ensure that there won’t be a spike in blood sugar or vice versa. Let’s consider three examples here.

FoodGI valueGI range
White spaghetti42low
White rice64medium
White bread70high

White Spaghetti has a low Glycemic Index value of 42. One cup of spaghetti has 38g of carbs. Hence the Glycemic Load of one cup of spaghetti would be (42 * 38)/100 = 16 . So one cup of Spaghetti has a medium Glycemic Load.

ie.

1/2 cup of spaghetti GL = 8 → low Glycemic load

1 cup of spaghetti GL = 16 → medium Glycemic load

2 cups of spaghetti GL = 32 → high Glycemic load

This shows, even though Spaghetti has a low glycemic index, if our meal consists of 2 cups of Spaghetti, it ends up in a glycemic Load of 32 which is high. So adjusting the portion helps stabilizing the blood glucose level.

White rice (medium GI)

1 cup of riceGL = 33 → high Glycemic load

1/2 cup of riceGL = 16.5 → medium Glycemic load

White rice has a medium GI of 64. but a cup of white rice has a glycemic load of 33 which is high. Where as half a cup of it would give a medium glycemid load.

White bread (high GI)

1 slice of white breadGL = 9.8 → low Glycemic load

2 slices of white breadGL = 19.6 → medium Glycemic load

White bread has a high glycemic index 70, but a slice of it would only result in a glycemic load of 9.8 which is quite ok.

glycemic index glycemic load PCOS

Conclusion
  • Be informed about the glycemic indexes of the common food that we eat. It may not be practical to cross check the list every time you eat, but after a while, we’d be used to knowing atleast the most commonly consumed food.
  • Control the portion so that the glycemic load stays low or medium. This is one way to manage your PCOS.

Disclaimer: I’m neither a medical professional nor a nutritionist. This article is for general informational purpose only. Consult your doctor before you make any dietary changes.

Image source: pixabay