Air Force vet who battled tough fertility issue tells others, ‘Knowledge is power’
Originally from California and Air Force Veteran Jasmine Zielomski battled a relatively common but rarely discussed fertility enemy — and ended up making it a success.
Although it hasn’t been easy, her story of triumph offers a message of hope to many other women across the United States.
For more than a decade, Zielomski said he lived difficulty getting pregnant — and eventually sought professional help.
She was first diagnosed with PCOS – polycystic ovary syndrome – at the age of 31. This problem causes seven million girls and women across the United States to suffer from hormonal imbalances every year.
“I’ve never had a pregnancy scare, ever,” she revealed to Fox News Digital. “And I’ve always had irregular periods, and I just thought that’s how my body was,” she said.
“I didn’t know that for so many years…I had seen so many different gynecologists over the years and had no answers,” she said.
After meeting a doctor two years ago who walked her through a failed attempt at in vitro fertilization — and although 20 of her eggs were retrieved — the Air Force air traffic controller finally contacted Dr. Jane Frederick of Newport Beach, California, an internationally recognized fertility specialist, for a second opinion.
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Frederick is the medical director of one of the largest in vitro fertilization centers west of the Mississippi.
Soon the tide began to turn for the Air Force veteran.
Leading cause of female infertility
PCOS hormonal disorder affects approximately 3% to 10% of women of childbearing age and is the leading cause of female infertility.
It can also cause irregular periods, increased hair growth, acne breakouts, weight gain, and glucose intolerance.
COULD MY IRREGULAR PERIODS BE PCOS?
In an interview, Dr. Frederick shared with Fox News Digital that her practice specializes in treating women with PCOS who may not know how to manage the symptoms or who have trouble getting pregnant.
An illustration of the causes of female infertility. Top right is an illustration of various pathologies of the fallopian tubes. Below is an illustration of various pathologies of the uterus. Also, an illustration of the pathologies of the ovaries: ovulatory in
The board-certified OB-GYN and reproductive endocrinology specialist says it’s important for women who may be struggling with PCOS to know the signs — and to see a doctor for a diagnosis. and a treatment.
The disorder primarily blocks ovulation by preventing the ovaries from releasing eggs.
There’s no cure for PCOS – and it can cause long-term medical problems like diabetes, heart disease and uterine cancer if left untreated.
Frederick encouraged patients to remember they are not alone on this journey and to reach out to the various support groups available.
“Emotional issues are really hard for this group because women feel like their bodies just aren’t working,” she said.
WOMEN WITH A COMMON OVARY PROBLEM MAY NOT GET RECOMMENDED TESTS
“It can lead to irritability, anxiety – and it makes it really hard to have a normal life. [can have] a big effect on their emotional life and their relationship with their partner,” she added. “I urge women to read about this, to be aware of the diagnosis…and to know that you are not alone.
“It was a sign”
Zielomski returned to her old doctor with Frederick’s recommendation to introduce metformin as a treatment for her dark, grainy eggs. The doctor agreed – but then allegedly under-stimulated her, as they continued with a second IVF attempt.
Jasmine Zielomski, a former air force air traffic controller, poses with her diploma from the Defense Information School (DINFOS). (Jasmine Zielomski)
Another grueling process and thousands of dollars later, Zielomski was once again unlucky. Discouraged, she looked into fertility benefits through the military.
She found a program that covered three cycles of IVF; it also offered a list of doctors in the network. Frederick was one of the doctors listed.
“I was like, that’s a sign!” she exclaimed. “This [was] definitely a sign that I should go to her.”
The veteran began treatment with Dr. Frederick and underwent IVF again, while being treated with metformin.
After the first round, 22 of her eggs were retrieved, which produced 10 normal embryos and paved the way for a successful transfer in February.
As of this writing, Zielomski is 14 weeks pregnant with her first child. Her baby is due in October.
“Dr. Frederick… knew exactly the type of medication I needed, the dosage I needed, and was able to give me the results I needed.”
Zielomski added, “And just to prove to me that there was nothing wrong with me other than the fact that I had PCOS – and she just knew how to handle that.”
The mother-to-be shared a message for other women who might be struggling with PCOS that “knowledge is power” when it comes to a condition that isn’t often talked about.
“There’s nothing to be embarrassed about,” she said. “Please contact and be very open with your doctors about all your symptoms so you can get the treatment you need.”
Dr Frederick said of the issue: “I talk to many mothers’ groups and tell them that if you have a young girl who has just started her menstrual cycle at 12 and you notice that she has irregular cycles, acne problems, weight gain, all of these symptoms – it could be a diagnosis of PCOS,” she said.
“Moms can really be the first caregiver to make this diagnosis.”
Most treatments for girls with PCOS consist of a hormonal birth control pill to regulate their periods. But when it comes time for a PCOS patient to attempt pregnancy, Dr. Frederick explained that’s where a fertility specialist should be part of the equation.
“First, make sure other reasons for infertility are ruled out,” she advised. “I also tell my couples that 40% of female infertility is due to the male factor.”
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If problems persist, Frederick suggested medications like metformin, which is a glucose regulator, or inositol, which is similar to a vitamin supplement.
“Both of these treatments can help regulate the glucose intolerance that we often see in PCOS,” she said. “And it helps regulate hormones better so patients can operate regularly.”
An additional treatment, Clomid, also known as Letrozole, can help promote regular ovulation. Always consult professionals before taking any medicine, of course.
“It’s all about promoting ovulation, getting [a woman’s] more regular cycles and helping him with ancillary symptoms like hair growth along with weight issues and insulin sensitivity,” the doctor said.
PCOS can lead to a high risk of miscarriage during pregnancy, but there have been breakthroughs for patients who have undergone certain treatments.
Also, a more holistic approach to addressing imbalances is diet and exercise, with an emphasis on replenishing carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
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