My PCOS journey got a big present this week with the arrival of my new OvuSense kit! But before I dig into that let me give you can update on all things period and PCOS in my life. As usual I just want to give you a heads up that this post will go into somewhat graphic detail on my period and PCOS symptoms, if that’s something you’d rather not hear about I suggest you skip this post. 🙂
At the beginning of the year I decided to go old school with period tracking and get a mini pocket calendar to write down all my symptoms and aunt flow days.
I wanted to do it that way instead of an app for a few reasons. Many of the period tracker apps on my phone weren’t designed for women with PCOS and whether it was an app glitch, a user error, or just something wonky with my phone I had a hard time changing my actual period week from the predesignated one. It wound up keeping both periods which obviously wasn’t right. Another issue I was having was how to track on the apps those extra long cycles I used to have. The ones that started spotty with dark brown blood and continued on for two weeks before I would get a “normal” red flow for a week to ten days followed by yet more brown gunk. I figured the best way to track all that would actually be to write it down in detail each day. I even came up with my own scale for lightness or heaviness of flow, the type of color, and the amount of clots. I was super lucky however that 2017 so far has been a great year of periods for me. I haven’t had any period or spotting lasting more than 8 days. That is some miracle in and of itself to me.
Just this past week I went back and recounted my cycle length days. I’m embarrassed to say I’m a 29 year old woman who still wasn’t entirely confident on how to count my days. I can blame PCOS though can’t I? 🙂 Just in case you weren’t sure either, day one starts on the first real red flow day of your period. Brown spotting before doesn’t count. The cycle lasts all the way up until the day before your next day one period day. Since going plant based on February 27th these are the periods that I’ve had:
Period 1 had a cycle length of 52 days
Period 2 had a cycle length of 49 days
Period 3 had a cycle length of 40 days
Period 4 had a cycle length of 45 days (this was the period I experienced those imaginary pregnancy symptoms and the one I was mad at for taking so long to come)
That brings us up to speed until Thursday evening. I went to the bathroom that evening and I wiped some dark brown gunk away. I was pretty confused and a bit angered by this. Since switching my diet to a plant based one (I’m about 70% whole food plant based and 30% oily vegan) I haven’t had any brown at the beginning of my period only for a few hours at the end of my period. Of course the wheels start spinning in my mind wondering what all this means. As a PCOS woman I know this has happened to me many times in the past and is considered “normal”. As a plant based woman with PCOS this brown stuff before a period hasn’t’ been normal to me. Was it a sign of how off track my diet has been for parts of August? But then another abnormality was present. This brown wipe was only 28 days since the start of my last period. Speaking in averages terms that’s 19 days sooner than usual. What is going on!? Of course like anyone who wants free medical advice would do, I jumped on Google. Good ol’ Google will give me some answers yes? Well according to the myriad of web pages and women online there were some possible answers. I could potentially be having implantation bleeding. (OMG cue the IPS again!), it could potentially just be the leftovers from last period that didn’t get cleared out last time (hello PCOS probs), the other reasons didn’t really seem to fit me like perimenopause for example. I of course rushed to the bathroom to take a pregnancy test which came back negative. I had pretty much assumed I wasn’t but there’s nothing like having that confirmed either way. It helps to move forward and figure out what actually is happening. Only time would tell. Friday more of the same. I had extremely light flow that was mostly brown in color. Saturday again a very light flow but more pink in color this time. Here we are Sunday morning and still the flow is the lightest I’ve ever had and color still seems off to me. Just when I think I’ve got my body figured out it mixes things up again!
I don’t know if I should be excited that this period came after only 29 days. Or if I should be concerned at how different this one is. I’m not even sure if I should consider this a period flow or just mid cycle spotting? Ah! Help!
Well help did arrive Friday afternoon in the form of my package from OvuSense. I am so extremely excited about this product. It is an internal core temperature monitor that sends data to it’s app and can tell you with 99% accuracy if you ovulate or not. It is also backed up and approved for use for women with PCOS! This is amazing! So many products like opk’s and fertility apps aren’t designed for women with PCOS. I purchased the vaginal sensor and a year long subscription to the app for about $225. (I used a coupon code…always use coupons people!) My excitement about this product was already high before I even took it out of the box. The reviews and the private OvuSense facebook group for users has a lot of success stories from women who had been trying to conceive for literally years and years. I loved the idea of having the knowledge of a definitive yes or no on if I ovulate. The company seems wonderfully supportive and my purchase even came with a free one hour consultation with their fertility nurse after I’ve used the OvuSense for a few cycles.
Now you cannot use it during any spotting or bleeding so I haven’t been able to start using it yet. But even though this spotting/period that I’m having has me so confused about what is happening in my body I don’t care as much as I usually would because the answers will be coming soon.
I will keep you all updated on the OvuSense and what is going on with my body. I also heard of a new supplement to take to help with all kinds of PCOS symptoms but I don’t think I’m going to look into that unless the OvuSense says that I am not ovulating. I’m trying to take one thing at a time here.