I’ve had an extremely busy past couple months. From starting out as a Travel Agent, to all my running escapades, and yes, getting pregnant! If you remember from last time, in order to get pregnant I had to take a diabetes medication Metformin in order to get pregnant due to my PCOS. You can read about it here.
So how did I get pregnant this time without any help?
Exercise. Just good old exercise.
If you don’t feel like reading my other post, I’ll give you a quick snap shot of PCOS. It stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and almost 1 in 10 women have it. You have a hormone imbalance of androgen, which is a male sex hormone, and an insulin resistance. If you didn’t know, insulin is also a hormone. And yes, you end up with a bunch of tiny cysts on your ovaries because they never quite “ripen” and release an egg. For how prevalent it is, they don’t know much about it. They believe it is hereditary, but don’t know if too much androgen causes the insulin resistance or if the insulin resistance causes you to produce too much androgen. These hormone imbalances cause several things to happen with your body. Along with side effects that include acne, excessive body hair, and infertility, you tend to gain weight easier and have a harder time losing weight than the average person.
So when I was diagnosed with PCOS while trying to get pregnant with my first child, my doctor gave me the best treatment plan instead of pushing medications. He told me I had to do 30 minutes of cardio exercise everyday and that was my treatment and not an option! While I took him seriously, I was also working 12+ hour days. I tried fitting in the exercise by starting to run/walk and cycling, but I didn’t do it every day. I took the Metformin, which is a diabetes medication, to help along the process since we had been actively trying to get pregnant for a while. And so we got pregnant.
After having my daughter, I decided that I would continue to work on eating healthy and working out consistently. Not only does the PCOS cause small issues, but it also puts me at a higher risk for long term health issues like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, strokes, and uterine cancer.
No brainer there. I don’t want to have to deal with any of that as I get older.
If you’re reading this and have PCOS, I’m going to be perfectly honest and tell you it’s hard to get it under control and you need to be seriously committed. My friends and family think I exercise and run all the time, but quite frankly, that’s what I have to do for my health. I’ve met quite a few women with PCOS and for some reason it doesn’t seem like their doctors are truly pushing them to exercise. I’ve learned A LOT about how healthy eating and exercise truly affect the body, especially of a female since our bodies are quite different from males.
Now this is what I was doing to get pregnant on my own because yes, you can get PCOS under control with dedication. I run 3-4 times a week and do cross training workouts with a group 2-3 days a week. And when I say I run, I mean more than you’re probably thinking. I run 3-4 miles at least and do a long run on the weekend of 6+ miles. The month before I got pregnant, 3 week’s my long runs were half marathons of 13.1 miles and 1 week’s was 18.9 miles during a Ragnar Relay. My cross training workouts are 45 minutes to an hour long and I would take 1 day a week as a rest day where I didn’t do anything.
So there you have it. Now you all know why I workout so much.
I finally started enjoying it, so that has tremendously helped. I am still working out and running while pregnant and plan to as long as I can. I love my one midwife I saw today. She’s so honest about all that crazy stuff you read about heart rate and working out and encourages me to keep doing everything I have been until my body says stop. While I have been slacking on the runs these past 5 weeks because of nausea and fatigue, I’ve continued going to my cross training class and will be starting my long runs again this weekend. I’ve got to get back on it because I have a back to back 10K and half marathon in 2 months when I’m 6 months pregnant!
Oh by the ways, I ran a half marathon at 7 weeks in a pretty decent time considering the heat, a trail 10K at 8 weeks, a 5K at 9 weeks, a 10K at 10 weeks, and a 5K/obstacle course at 11 weeks. I guess I deserved to relax for a few weeks!
If you have PCOS, I encourage you to do research and get out there and exercise. And if you don’t, I still encourage you to learn more about how your body uses foods and how exercise affects the functions of your body. You will probably be amazed.
Enjoy Your Adventure,
FTC Disclosure: This is not intended as medical advice, as this is my personal experience. Please speak to your medical professional with any health concerns you have.