Kristina Colson was one of the first patients treated in the special WIFI program that focuses on weight loss and healthy living to treat infertility.
A few years back, we shared Kristina’s inspiring story of weight loss and lifestyle change after she was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS, a hormonal disorder causing small cysts to form on a woman’s ovaries, affects 5-10 percent of women in the United States. It is one of the most common causes of female infertility.
Today, Kristina clearly recalls the events that led to her first visit with Dr. Alex Polotsky several years ago.
“A gynecologist said I had multiple cysts on my ovaries, and suspected I had PCOS,” Kristina explains. “When I saw Dr. Polotsky, it was confirmed. He explained that some women have fertility issues with PCOS. I didn’t want to be on medication for my whole life, so he recommended weight loss, nutrition and diet.”
Kristina’s visit to Advanced Reproductive Medicine came at a good time, as the clinic was on the verge of launching the Wellness Interdisciplinary Fertility Initiative (WIFI) in partnership with the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. WIFI combines medical expertise with nutrition and fitness coaching, tailoring each plan to a patient’s needs and goals. Kristina worked in partnership with Dr. Holly Wyatt, who helped Kristina build a tailored PCOS diet that helped her manage her symptoms and increase her fertility.
Tip the Scales in Your Favor
When we last heard from Kristina, she’d lost 25 pounds and had managed to maintain her weight for five months thanks to WIFI. She felt great, and remained hopeful that her efforts would allow her to realize her dream of starting a family.
At the conclusion of the WIFI program in 2013 she said, “My hope is that we might not need assisted reproductive technology to get pregnant. I’m not sure about that, but it seems more possible now.”
Her PCOS diet brought a sudden and welcome surprise
Following our initial interview, Kristina and her husband started trying to get pregnant right away. “I got pregnant the first month that we started trying,” she says with a laugh. “We thought that it might take a long time, but it sure didn’t!”
Throughout her pregnancy, Kristina maintained her newfound PCOS diet and lifestyle habits, even in the midst of the strong food cravings that often accompany pregnancy. She’ll be the first one to tell you that was no easy feat.
“I didn’t have dessert every night during my pregnancy,” she says. “Pregnancy cravings are really something, I’ll tell you what! But I knew that when you have PCOS, you’re more likely to have gestational diabetes, so that was good motivation. I just wanted my baby to have the best of everything, and that included the food that I was eating.”
Thanks to her continued commitment to nutrition and weight control, Kristina had a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy. Her son, Brooks, was born late one night in January of 2016 at University of Colorado Hospital, nine minutes before his official “due date.”
Well-equipped for the road ahead
Today Kristina and her husband are enjoying their new life as a family of three, and they plan on trying to get pregnant again sometime in the near future. Kristina still looks back fondly on her time spent in WIFI, and continues to incorporate what she learned there in her everyday life. Still, she admits she’s not always perfect.
“Sugar is in everything, and there are times when it gets out of control,” she explains. “If I start to have PCOS symptoms, that’s a wake-up call for me that I need to start watching my weight better.” She adds, “The program gave me tools that just stuck with me.”