Bianca Castro

Olympian Carly Patterson Opens Up About Fertility Struggles

One in every eight couples is diagnosed with infertility every day, according to doctors and during National Infertility Awareness Month, Olympic gymnast Carly Patterson shares her struggles with fertility.

Patterson is 14 weeks pregnant and each day that passes brings her peace that her dreams of becoming a mother will soon come true. 

"I just want that big belly bump so I know that it's there! It's in there!" said Patterson.

When she and her husband began trying for a family more than two years ago, she said they thought it'd be easy.

"We were kind of just thinking that it was going to happen just easily, no problem, because all of our friends were getting pregnant right away," said Patterson. 

However, months turned into a year and Patterson went in for testing.
She learned she had a medical condition called polycystic ovary syndrome, PCOS, and it was keeping her from getting pregnant.

PCOS is a hormonal imbalance in women and is often associated with infertility.
About 5-10% of women of childbearing age have the condition, but only half of them have been diagnosed, according to the PCOS Foundation.

"This body that had achieved a gold medal at the Olympics, you know, one of the toughest things you can ever do, was at this point, failing me and that was difficult," said Patterson.

Doctor Lowell Ku, medical director at Dallas IVF says while PCOS can be a common fertility problem, solutions can be risky.

"When treating PCOS, sometimes there is an increased risk of miscarriage and some patients may develop that," said Dr. Ku.

"When that happens, I always encourage the patient to try again and we will get there in the end," he adds.

Patterson miscarried after her first round of intrauterine insemination.
Eight months later, the couple underwent their third intrauterine insemination and achieved their desired pregnancy.

"I just want my story to be something that is encouraging and uplifting and hopeful. We went through those really difficult, hard times, but now we are on the otherside and we have our sweet little blessing on the way," said Patterson. 

Patterson is due in October 2017.

Symptoms of PCOS may include trouble getting pregnant, irregular periods, unexplained weight gain and acne.

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