Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor trying to portray myself as an expert on any health matters, even the specific afflictions that come along with PCOS. I am only a mother with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome who has enjoyed the benefits of the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan and seen success in reducing my symptoms.
Before we get started with the information that I’ve gathered that goes along with the title of this post, I’d like to show you some amazing testimonials that I was given permission to share. These wonderful ladies also wanted more information out on the web about Trim Healthy Mama and those who suffer from PCOS. More specifically, to share the hope they have received from it! Their lives have changed dramatically — by babies they didn’t know they would be able to conceive.
The main reason for this post is so that I could share with you all of these stories:
“I give the credit to THM and God for getting pregnant! I have PCOS and hadn’t had a period in 7 months when I found out I was pregnant! I had been doing THM for almost 3 months. I was sure when the time came, I would have to use medication and such (my sister did) so I was very pleased and surprised when we found out I was expecting without medical help!” – Rebecca
“I was on THM for 6 weeks with pcos. Fertility <treatment> with first two to conceive then BAM – surprise baby #3!!” – Jennifer
“Severe PCOS with 80 cysts in early July, hadn’t ovulated in about 2yrs. Started THM, Myo-Inositol powder and spearmint tea and was pregnant by October. Now 21 weeks with a baby girl. THM was the answer for treating my PCOS. Oh, and at the anatomy ultrasound a few weeks ago….NO cysts. 🙂 My doctor and reproductive endocrinologist said fertility drugs were going to be the only way I’d get pregnant. I said heck no, not taking fertility drugs ever. Indeed I proved them wrong, this was all natural. 🙂 ” –Ashley
“I was on THM for six months and got pregnant. First pregnancy to make it out of the first trimester. I definitely believe THM played a part in me being able to get pregnant. I went through years of infertility, tried fertility drugs and IUIs that didn’t work and had two first trimester miscarriages. I lost 25 pounds on THM in six months. (First “diet” plan that I was actually able to lose weight and keep it off with my PCOS.) My husband and I were then shocked to find out I was pregnant. We were beginning to think it was never going to happen for us.” – Marita
“I am 8 weeks today with our surprise baby after being on THM for 5 months. I took Clomid for our first child and was told I would have to do the same if we wanted more. Only thing that we changed was how we ate!” – Abby
“I’m 24 weeks with my 2nd THM babe. This one conceived within 3 weeks of being on plan. Had a miscarriage between babies-not on plan-not sure if that had anything to do with it. First 2 that weren’t THM were hard to conceive Clomid babes.” – Mindy
“I have PCOS and got pregnant with my second baby in 2014 after two back to back miscarriages and getting to goal weight on THM. He turned 1 yr old recently.” – Thu
“I am 16 weeks pregnant with my second (first was a loss 8 years ago); I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2013, went on Metformin/Paleo and lost 6 pounds, then started THM in August of 2014 (and lost 12 more pounds). I conceived a few months after my 1 year Trimaversary, and this baby is due on my 2nd Trimaversary! God is GOOD! And I’m so blessed to have found THM–I definitely credit it (and God, of course) with being able to conceive after 8 years of infertility and emotional pain! Oh, and I forgot to mention–THM has made it possible for me to be Metformin-free for over a year!” – Rachel
“April 2014 – Went to the Dr’s for other issues. Had all types of scans, no sign of PCOS. August 2014 – Started on THM. December 2014 – Stopped taking the Pill. Nothing returned to normal, I lost the plot and was on and off plan for all of 2015. September 2015 – was referred to a Fertility Doctor who advised I had 1% chance of ever falling pregnant naturally. Devastated! Was diagnosed with PCOS, Endo and a blocked tube. Sought help from a Naturopath. January 2 2016 – Started back on THM 100%. 16 February 2016 took a pregnancy test as things with ‘period’ didn’t seem normal on the weekend. Positive! Complete and utter shock!
I have been to the Dr to request blood tests and U/S which will happen on Thursday to make sure the egg has implanted in uterus and not good tube. THM does work, going natural does work! PRAYER does work. I would appreciate your prayers as we move forward in our journey also!” – Anonymous
“I don’t have pcos but secondary infertility linked to male factor.. we had tried to conceive for 4 1/2 years and I had been on THM off and on for the past two. I decided in September to go 100% on plan, and my husband was pretty much fully on board as well. We conceived 6 weeks later and now I’m 20 weeks preggo with our much longer and prayed for little girl. I credit God’s mercy and generosity, and our cooperation by taking care of our bodies with the principles we learned through THM.
Edit: Just wanted to add to our story that we are opposed to any artificial means of conception so we had sought answers through NaPro technology and their network of doctors.. At one point docs told us that because of dramatically low sperm count and mobility, timing would have to be impeccable if we were ever to conceive again. As it was, we were intimate only ONE time that cycle after I had been on THM full force for 6 weeks and it was clear both God willed it and the conditions were very favorable to conceive. I absolutely believe the reduced sugar and gluten plus high protein of the THM lifestyle contributed to a much more favorable environment for conception. I wasn’t really over weight (at least I had a healthy average bmi) but still lost about 6-8 lbs and definitely noticed overall reduced inflammation which I’m sure only reflected what was going on inside!” – Jennifer
My own story is incredible too because I was also blessed with a baby while on THM. But my case is not as severe as some other women’s and I hadn’t experienced years of infertility. But just to give you some insight …
Before Trim Healthy Mama, I was having my menstrual cycle once every 3-4 months. And when I did have one, it was always very heavy and painful and 7 days long. Some days so painful that I left work early because I couldn’t stand up straight and had already taken as much pain medication as I could. I also had dark, unwanted (obviously!) facial hair that I was not content with always having to take care of.
I knew of PCOS because it ran in my father’s side of the family. So the term wasn’t foreign to me. I considered the possibility of having it but all three of the doctors I’d been to (which included an ob/gyn) had blown off the suggestion, saying I wasn’t overweight so it wasn’t possible and tried to put me on birth control. I never took it. I finally went to an endocrinologist that decided to diagnose me, along with finding a benign pituitary microadenoma.
Fast forward to when I got married and wanted a baby. I played around with some Trim Healthy Mama meals in our home and tried to figure things out, though I wasn’t on plan any more than 50% of the time. And yet, I began to have my cycles every 30-35 days! I was encouraged by this so I went on plan almost 100% for one month and after that, I started taking 500mg Metformin a day. I had found out I was pregnant one week after starting the Metformin which meant I had become preggers before taking it! As you can see, I didn’t suffer years of infertility as I had gotten pregnant after just five months of marriage. But I can only imagine that if I continued to not ovulate frequent enough then it would’ve been more difficult to conceive.
I did THM throughout the pregnancy, learned more and more with each meal, and my son is now 12 weeks old.
So what is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?
WebMD: “PCOS is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. It can cause problems with your periods and make it difficult to get pregnant. PCOS also may cause unwanted changes in the way you look. … Most women with PCOS grow many small cysts on their ovaries. That is why it is called polycystic ovary syndrome. The cysts are not harmful but lead to hormone imbalances. … The sex hormones get out of balance. Normally, the ovaries make a tiny amount of male sex hormones (androgens). In PCOS, they start making slightly more androgens. This may cause you to stop ovulating, get acne, and grow extra facial and body hair. … The body may have a problem using insulin, called insulin resistance. When the body doesn’t use insulin well, blood sugar levels go up.”
For a lot of women, this brings trouble to the weight area and makes it harder to lose weight. Many women with PCOS are categorized as overweight. But that doesn’t mean all women with PCOS are and this could be a reason why some women aren’t diagnosed (refer back to my first three doctors). Also take note, that “most” women with PCOS grow many small cysts. Which means not all women have them. I know it’s weird because it’s in the title of the disease but bear with me! This is another reason why you might not have been diagnosed, if no cysts were visible on an ultrasound. This is what happened with me because nothing was clear or big enough to determine if there were any actual cysts (refer back to my mention that my case isn’t severe PCOS) and yet my endocrinologist still diagnosed me.
Women’s International: “The name “polycystic ovary syndrome” is misleading because you can have PCOS with or without ovarian cysts.”
I will mention here again that I am by no means an expert on this all but have done my own personal research through the years. I suggest that you research these things yourself as well! These are just my own conclusions.
So the main symptom that everyone has with PCOS are imbalanced hormones which causes a variety of many symptoms with different levels of severity for each person. The good thing you might want to hear (the reason you clicked on this most likely!) is that Trim Healthy Mama is all about balance and controlling blood sugar. Which is perfect for those suffering from troubles in both of these areas!
What is Trim Healthy Mama?
Listen to the authors explain just a little bit of it.
Trim Healthy Mama is all about avoiding blood sugar spikes and those of us with PCOS could always use the help in learning how to control this! In the books, PCOS is touched on only briefly but in the original book, there is a whole chapter on hormones that some might find helpful. When those with PCOS are mentioned, we are usually categorized along with some other types of people and referred to as “turtle losers” because it’s not uncommon that we can have trouble losing weight.
There are so many benefits of Trim Healthy Mama but one thing you need to know is: it’s not a diet. It doesn’t deprive you. The food is sooo yummy! It might take a short while for you to detox from sugar especially if your previous way of eating was high in it. But you will soon start to find things you’ll love.
It literally works in all stages of life even pregnancy. That is why many people who start Trim Healthy Mama become full-time THMers and don’t ever stop eating this way. It’s all about health. You can use THM when seeking weight loss or maintenance or just overall better health or even to gain healthy weight! It uses common foods you can find right in your small town grocery store (though harder-to-find special ingredients are always fun) and just teaches you how to use them to your benefit.
If you’ve looked up anything about eating with PCOS, you’ll notice mention of eliminating sugars, refined starches and adding in whole grains and good fats. This is basically Trim Healthy Mama! Which is why it’s so perfect with us ladies.
Is Trim Healthy Mama a low carb diet?
Nope. If you’ve tried Atkins and have seen lessened symptoms with that, it might be hard to imagine eating carbs because we fear they are bad for us (I sure went through this). But we can eat them, we should eat them– just being smart about it. And that becomes second nature before you know it. Low carb diets aren’t balanced and will leave you depleted of things you need. After time, it also leads to adrenal fatigue which includes, you guessed it, fatigue.
Trim Healthy Mama includes the carbs that we need. The plan just separates fats and carbs. S and E meals. But sometimes S and E can be eaten together for a Crossover. (This sounds foreign already, I know! But take a look at the links I will give you in a minute and see if they help.) I always wondered when I was doing Atkins … how can fruit be bad? How can beans be bad? Why am I always cravings carbs? If you were ever on Atkins, you didn’t partake in these things often and on Trim Healthy Mama, you can partake in these daily. Should partake in these daily. Even bread! With sprouted grains or different kinds of sourdough.
One thing to keep in mind is that for those of us with PCOS is that we might want to start off with “pulled back E meals” which means staying a bit under the maximum carb amount in E meals. Over time, you will see how your own body responds to carbs and you might be able to add more carbs over time. But don’t start off by throwing them out all together! Our bodies need them. Remember, Trim Healthy Mama isn’t a low carb diet. It’s all about balance. (Doesn’t mean we always have small meals though! Man! You should see my dinner plates!) And centered around protein which helps our blood sugar immensely. I’ve heard from ladies with PCOS that they tend to have more S then E meals and some even mostly eat their carbs in the form of S Helpers or Crossovers. But carbs shouldn’t be thrown out completely. Or else it becomes a low carb diet and therefore not Trim Healthy Mama anymore.
Now … Trying to Conceive
I’m not a doctor and no expert. But I’m an adamant follower of the official Trim Healthy Mama Facebook groups and have read so many happy stories about conceiving while doing this. The testimonies I shared above are just a few stories I was given in the last few days when I asked around. The groups are filled with them and it’s a wonderful thing. I highly recommend joining and just reading other comments and posts, and really understanding what this is all about by reading the books.
You won’t find a “how to conceive” chapter in these books and the plan is mostly followed by a large audience who are trying to lose weight by balancing their blood sugars. But as we have already talked about, we PCOS ladies need to balance our sugars too! And when we start to balance them out with all these healthy foods, a lot of the time hormones start to cooperate with us more too!
I’m not saying drugs don’t work. Or that Trim Healthy Mama will solve all your problems. Or even that this is 100% going to get you pregnant. But there are so many women out there looking for answers and ANY way to get pregnant. Some have tried everything they can think of! But some of these ladies who went through all of that– drugs, doctors, fertility treatments — had never gotten pregnant until they started Trim Healthy Mama. I don’t want to put a number and time limit on when (or if) you see results in the area of fertility but it’s not uncommon for me to hear of ladies conceiving after just a couple months. THAT’S how exciting this is for so many ladies and the hope I wanted to bring to you today.
If you are interested in any of the information I have shared with you here, consider ordering the Trim Healthy Mama books. Or borrowing them from your library. No, I’m not a spokesperson! Look around my blog and you will notice that I am just another woman on the Internet that eats the Trim Healthy Mama way and is very happy with the better health that has come through it.
The plan itself doesn’t rely you on being religious but it’s no secret that the authors are Christian and it’s made clear in the original plan book as well. This is something I like about the pair of sisters that authored the books! They understand how important it is to remember that God is in the ultimate control, even in the matter of carrying and miscarrying our babies. As Pearl mentioned in the first book, she knew that God could heal her from her uterine bleeding condition (pg 465) but despite her desperate prayers, God didn’t chose to heal her instantly like the woman from the Bible. She continued to say that her healing has been slower, longer, but no less miraculous. Her healing came as she gained knowledge and understanding of hormones and physiology (she shares information about hormone therapy as well) and was able to put the knowledge into practice with her own body. God’s timing for sure!
As my pastor always put it, in a Christian perspective, “Science is the study of God’s amazing creation.” Science doesn’t have to be shunned even though you are a praying believer. You can examine it and use the Scriptures as your foothold. Much of science doesn’t contradict the Bible but actually shines light on just how amazing God created us! Especially in the matter of conceiving and bearing children.
Anyway … now that we’ve already come to the conclusion that I’m not an expert and have no clue if this will completely cure your own personal fertility problem, I hope you got some hope from this post. And I urge you to go back to the top and reread those testimonials. I hope this encourages you to try Trim Healthy Mama and even though it will be confusing and difficult when you first start learning, I know you will have the picture of a big round belly in your mind to keep you going. I think those of us with PCOS who are trying to conceive a baby are some of the most dedicated learners of the plan because we are shooting for the most amazing possible outcome! A baby!
“We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” – Romans 5
I’m very thankful for the opportunity of carrying and delivering my baby boy like I did. Plus I’m not missing those facial hair dying kits one bit.
More information about Trim Healthy Mama:
www.TrimHealthyMama.com, the official website
Here are a couple of the official Facebook groups run by the authors of the books … these are the best places to ask your answers about anything involving the plan! I highly highly highly urge you to join them. They are a wonderful, VERY large group of women who are so encouraging and really helped me implement these eating changes in my life. Plus I’ve met some good friends through it as well!
the original plan book, that also includes things non-food related and also a lot of recipes but sometimes it doesn’t include specific measurements for ingredients. Like your grandma’s recipes!
the new plan book, that is shorter, more concise, easier for some people to understand the plan and with no recipes.
the cookbook, full of yummy recipes! Once you know the plan a little better, you will know how to replace some ingredients with easier to find foods from your grocery store, if you so chose.
God be with you all and happy baby making!
In the comments: Feel free to comment with your story of conceiving while on Trim Healthy Mama! Also, you can comment with questions but they might be best directed toward the official Facebook groups where the authors and admins have much more knowledge than this lady!