Today we share Maja's story. Maja tells how she went from having received a PCO diagnosis with no ovulation to being able to get regular ovulation back through lifestyle changes. She shares how she managed to get pregnant after three months but went through a miscarriage and how she got through it and on to a successful pregnancy shortly after. At the time of writing (December 2022), Maja is in v.20 of her pregnancy. She openly and vulnerably shares concrete tools and tips on what changes in her lifestyle have helped her during her journey with PCO and going through a miscarriage. A powerful and inspiring journey.
How PCO led to missed ovulation
As a 17-year-old I started taking birth control pills and about 10 years later I decided to stop using them when some of my friends talked about the consequences it could have on the body. I was curious to understand my body and wanted to see how it worked naturally without any hormonal contraceptives.
A couple of months after I went off the pill I unfortunately had a huge problem with acne. After about a year with acne that didn't go away, I couldn't take it anymore and put in a p-ring instead. At the end of the following summer, 2020, my partner and I decided that I would not renew the IUD prescription when it expired in November, but that we would actively start trying to start a family in the coming spring, 2021. I took took out the birth control ring in November and got my period back relatively quickly. In June 2021, my period was late, so I took a pregnancy test. The pregnancy test came back negative and when my period continued to shine with its absence, I began to worry about what was going on in my body.
In early fall 2021, I visited a gynecologist who determined that I had PCO. She reassured me and said that it is common after stopping hormonal birth control and that there was nothing I could do about it. If I didn't get my period back, I could come back to get a prescription to stimulate and induce ovulation so we could get pregnant. Inside I felt that I could not accept this, but for me it was important to understand and find the root cause of why my body did not want to ovulate.
My lifestyle when I had PCO
At the time I was diagnosed with PCO, I had been in a job with a lot of stress and pressure for six years. Partly self-perceived based on high demands within me but also on actual demands from the employer. In retrospect, I can see that I lived a busy life which I think may have affected the PCO and missed ovulation. This when I, among other things:
- Not prioritizing personal time or recovery
- Trained a lot and often high-intensity training
- Sleep badly. Both too little but also generally had difficulty sleeping
- Drink a lot of caffeine in the form of energy drinks and later coffee
- Fasted and didn't eat breakfast but did a variant of intermittent fasting, with 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating
- The dialogue with myself was often negative and I rarely thought kind thoughts about myself
At this point, I stumbled upon Womensync's Instagram account. The knowledge they imparted resonated strongly with me and I understood that the way I lived could have an impact on my failure to ovulate. I recognized a lot in what they wrote about and fell for their philosophy connected to the female body and health.
How I got my period (ovulation) back and got pregnant
In connection with finding Womensync's account, I gained more knowledge about the female body and what can affect it. Based on the knowledge I gathered, I decided to make several changes in my lifestyle to try to bring back my missed ovulation naturally. Some of the changes I made that I believe have had a big impact on my PCO and getting regular ovulation back were:
- I started eating breakfast as I had skipped breakfast for many years
- Followed Womensync's nutritional philosophy , which means eating nutritious, varied food with a focus on more good fats and protein. I also worked on balancing my blood sugar, which I did, for example, by drinking a glass of water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before/during breakfast, starting the meals with fibre, fat and protein and eating any sweets immediately after the meal. I also added Womensync Collagen as a supplement to my diet.
- Quit caffeine. Chicca Roast was and is for me a fantastic alternative that suited my body very well.
- Trained less high-intensity.
- Began my spiritual journey to work with my inner self; yoga, meditation, affirmations and manifestation that together built a foundation for more self-love.
When the menstrual cycle finally returned
The effects of my lifestyle changes came quite quickly and were clear. Just a week or so after quitting caffeine, I woke up one morning and realized I didn't remember falling asleep. For me, that means I fell asleep easily. And it went on like that, night after night. I was completely lyrical! Slowly but surely, the anxiety around going to bed disappeared.
As early as December 2021, my period returned after six months, albeit very irregularly. I thought I'd never say it, but the happiness I felt from the slightly throbbing period pain in my stomach is among the best feelings I've felt so far in my life! By now, thanks to Womensync, I had understood that the menstrual cycle is one of the most important signs of a woman's health, and health has always been important to me.
After 3 months we got pregnant but miscarried
I managed to get my period (and ovulation) three times, then it didn't happen. Much to my surprise, the missed period this time was because I was pregnant – we were plus! We were of course overjoyed.
Unfortunately, this pregnancy ended in a missed miscarriage around week 9, which we only saw on the first ultrasound when the KUB test should have been performed. It was a huge setback and we were extremely saddened.
The trip I made in the last year helped both me and us to handle the situation calmly. We focused on the fact that we now knew we could get pregnant which is magical. My newfound knowledge of the female body along with my spiritual journey made me realize that now was just not the time. Our time would come.
Just a few days after I resigned, I got pregnant again
During the summer holidays, I realized that I needed to make a bigger change that I had not yet gotten around to making. At times I had thought about looking for another job but had not found anything that attracted me enough. Now, when so many pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place, I found an exciting position, applied and got the job! Just a few days after I signed the contract and resigned from my current job (September 2022), we added again.
At the time of writing (December 2022) I am in week 20 and enjoying my new job with a slower pace and less pressure. We just had the routine ultrasound where everything looks good so far. It feels magical but still incredibly scary, but we have faith in the process and that what happens will happen.
Whether you and your partner are aiming to get pregnant or you 'just' want to feel as good as possible, the knowledge and support provided by Womensync is something that all women (and men for that matter!) should be able to take portion of. I wish I learned all this in school.
The key pieces of the puzzle that helped me get rid of PCO and get pregnant:
To summarize everything I've learned since finding this community, it's:
- That knowledge of how the female body works and what needs it may have is fundamental
- That we are all different, but Womensync's advice has guided me to find what makes me feel good
- That I myself know best what I need. No trends or demands from society should make me change how I should look, be or do.
- That everything starts from within. When I love myself, I take care of myself and can then spread more love around me.
- That I will never go back to drinking caffeine in the same way as before as the gains are far greater than when I drank caffeine.
- That the female body is fantastic!
I recommend Womensync to every woman I meet and learn new things thanks to this community basically every day. I am so incredibly happy and grateful that I found "here" <3
Some other tools that have helped me on my journey are:
Here are some books, podcasts and Instagram accounts that have been important for me to understand my body better and have been an important part of my inner journey.
"Womensync - A life in sync with your female biology" by Susanna Moen & Sara Norrbom. A Bible for Women! I wish I had read this as a teenager. Should be an obvious part of school teaching, both for boys and girls.
"Self Love" by Louise Strömberg. Magic book for self development.
"Hormonstark" by Martina Johansson. Educational fact book about how our hormones work and what can help one to become hormonally strong.
"The Key to Your Health" and "Hormonal Harmony" by Doctor Diamantis. I strongly believe that a combination of Western and Chinese medicine can help people improve their health and quality of life in a holistic way, and Diamanti's philosophy is so inspiring and warm.
So into the soul (Agneta Sjödin)
Soul Care (Oh La Moon)
Health comes from within (Holistic)
Meditation and breathing exercises
Otherwise, probably two of the most important tools for me have been yoga and meditation/breathing exercises . Yoga not only helps me increase my flexibility, it makes me more present. The breathing exercises, both in yoga and through meditation, also help me to be present, and I feel how the stress has increased both physically and mentally. I can use what I've learned in these areas in everyday life – taking a few deep breaths or doing a few movements can do wonders for my immediate mood.
This is a personal story from a person in the Womensync community. The same results and experience cannot be guaranteed, but depend on the person's state of health, background, lifestyle in general and genetics. Womensync does not intend to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Always consult a doctor in case of suspected illness.