On Breastfeeding and My Polycystic Ovary

Warning: Loooong post. :-( 

Okay, so I haven't been able to blog about my check up result when we went back to my OB last weekend.  The truth is, I'm having a hard time pushing myself to write about it. I don't know why I'm having such a difficulty, maybe because I'm quite sad about the result or maybe because I made a lot of researches first before finally starting this entry. Oh, well. Maybe both.

Anyway, here's what happened. We have already gotten the result of both my pap smear and transvaginal ultrasound (TVS) last Saturday. Result of my pap smear was: Negative for intraepithelial lesion or malignancy. It means I have normal results so I have no signs of abnormal cervical cells. I'm happy with that of course. But, I am a bit sad about the result of my TVS. This was what was written on my result paper: 

  • Within the left ovary are multiple small follicles measuring less than 1 cm in size, more than 12 in number, suggestive of polycystic ovary. 
  • Normal right ovary- Thank God! (Trivia: That was also where the corpus luteum of the egg where Trev came from.)
  • Normal sized retroverted uterus- I mentioned this already on my previous post too.
  • Thin endometrium 

Let's start with my polycystic left ovary. First of, let's just define what polycystic means. Don't quote me on this please, these are just based from what I got from google. Based from what I have gathered, an ovary produces some follicles that usually burst so an egg can pop out, if it doesn't burst then it becomes a cyst. And poly basically means "many". So there, polycystic. I hope I'm making sense. 

When my OB mentioned about my polycystic left ovary last week during my TVS, it's bothered me so much. I have a lot of questions running in my mind. I really don't know where to start. According to her, I got my polycystic left ovary because I'm exclusively breastfeeding. Through breastmilk, the hormone estrogen is produced. The other hormone progesterone comes from the mini pill she prescribed me which I have been taking for one year now (Progesterone Only Pill or POP). I have googled about polycystic ovaries and its correlation with breast feeding but I couldn't find the right result. Google always leads me to topics related to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and low milk supply. First, according to my OB, my polycystic left ovary is NOT a syndrome and second, I don't have a low milk supply, in fact my supply is just enough for my baby. 

So far, this is the search I got that's nearest to my case. I found it from livestrong.com: 
"Functional Ovarian Cysts

Breast-feeding is not a perfect form of contraception, and women who want to avoid a pregnancy during this time should also use another method. Doctors frequently prescribe the so-called "mini-pill" form of contraception. Unlike normal contraceptive pills that contain estrogen and progesterone, the mini-pill contains only progesterone. While this is an effective mode of contraception, the mini-pill can promote the formation of functional ovarian cysts. These cysts are usually asymptomatic and benign. They usually go away on their own. In some women, they might cause mild pain, nausea and fullness in the abdomen. Rarely, the cyst can twist on itself, causing a painful complication known as torsion."
I have been racking my brains out to understand the relationship among breastfeeding, estrogen and polycystic ovaries but for the life of me, I couldn't find any exact definition. It's making me really frustrated. 

So, maybe you're asking what my OB advised me to do to get over my polycystic left ovary? Well, actually she didn't prescribe me any medication. She just told me to exercise. Yes, you read it right. I should exercise, but not just any simply exercise. The exercise should make me perspire a lot! (Hmm, that's a lot of "exercise" word right there! LOL!). It will help regulate my hormones and hopefully the cysts would go away on their own. Now, that's a big problem. How in the world could I start exercising with a toddler in tow 24/7? Haha! :-) Okay, I'll find a way. Hopefully! I found this article, it's for PCOS but I guess it could also do the trick for me.

Anyway, let's move on with my other TVS result. According to my OB, I have thin endometrium. That explains why I haven't had my period yet, also called Lactational amenorrhea. Yeah, right. I haven't had my period since I gave birth to my baby 15 months ago. That's because I have been breastfeeding him eversince. I have read this theory from livestrong.com and I find it interesting. It said: 
"The theory, according to La Leche League International, is that the more a child sucks the more he needs his mother, so the body delays the return of menstruation and fertility in order to ensure that the child gets what he needs from his mother. Once the child is sucking less the menstrual cycle returns, since now the family is physiologically ready to have another child."

I think, there's really nothing to be worried about not having my period yet since the reason behind it is simply because I am exclusively breastfeeding my son. But of course, this case doesn't happen to all breastfeeding moms. I'm just one of those that has Lactational Amenorrhea and so far, I am not bothered. It's also one form of natural contraception anyway. I found a good read about that from Dr. Sears. According to him: 

"The milk-making hormones that suppress ovulation are highest between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.) Nighttime nursing is important to the suppression of fertility. Sleeping with your baby facilitates unrestricted feeding at night."

Okay, so that's about it. The result has been bothering me quite a tiny bit.

Maybe you're wondering, if I have so many questions running in my mind, why in the world did I not ask my OB when we were at her clinic? Well, I have this tendency to forget things while in the situation. I get nervous and questions seems to slip away. My mind seems to block these things out and I am simply content with what the doctor says.  Yes, I still ask her some random questions but I can't seem to ask the most important ones. So at the end of the day, those questions keep coming out of my brain like crazy. So I most often than not rely on google. However, internet can sometimes be soooo overwhelming that I don't know which to believe anymore. So, here I am now, frustrated and confused. Maybe, I need to check back with my OB and list all my questions next time so I won't forget. :-P

Anyway, beyond all these, nothing can deter me from continuing to breastfeed my son. I am still breastfeeding him and will still continue as long as he wants it. I guess my polycystic left ovary has nothing to do with the quality of my breastmilk because my son is a very healthy baby boy, thank God!

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