When it come to treating PCOS there can be many steps that are preventive and beneficial. Some women may need to take only a few while other women need to take more. Though this information tells you how to treat your symptoms there is NO cure for PCOS and you should always consult with a medical professional.
♨Lifestyle modification: Many women who have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome are often overweight or obese. Managing your PCOS by eating healthy and exercising can help you maintain a healthy weight level. There a couple of tips that can help you improve your weight level and overall health:
- Limiting processed foods and foods with added sugars
- Adding more whole-grain products, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats to your diet
As low as a 10% loss in body weight can restore your menstrual cycles and make your periods more regular.
☑Birth control pills: Women who are not trying to conceive or do not plan on becoming pregnant can opt in for birth control pills. If you decide to stop birth control you menstrual cycles can become abnormal again. Women may also think about taking a pill that only has progesterone (proh-JES-tuh-rohn), like Provera, to control the menstrual cycle and reduce the risk of endometrial cancer. However, these pills do not help reduce hair growth or acne.
The benefits of taking birth control pills are:
- Control menstrual cycles
- Reduce male hormone levels
- Help to clear acne
☑Diabetes medications: The medicine Metformin (Glucophage) is used to treat type 2 diabetes. It has also been found to help with PCOS symptoms, though it isn’t approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this use. Metformin affects the way insulin controls blood glucose (sugar) and lowers testosterone production. It slows the growth of abnormal hair and can help ovulation occur after a few months of taking it. The Metformin comes in extended release for the ease of the symptoms from taking it if needed.
☑Fertility medications: Before seeking fertility medications there is testing to rule out the cause/s of infertility in women and men. Lack of ovulation is one of many reasons for infertility and there are medications that can help restore ovulation. There is an increased risk of having twins or multiples when taking these medications.
Treatment options include:
- Clomiphene (KLOHM-uh-feen) (Clomid, Serophene) — the first choice therapy to stimulate ovulation for most patients.
- Metformin taken with clomiphene — may be tried if clomiphene alone fails. The combination may help women with PCOS ovulate on lower doses of medication.
- Gonadotropins (goe-NAD-oh-troe-pins) — given as shots, but are more expensive and raise the risk of multiple births compared to clomiphene.
Another option is in vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF offers the best chance of becoming pregnant in any given cycle. It also gives doctors better control over the chance of multiple births. But, IVF is very costly. There are resources out there than can help assist in raising money for IVF. IUI is another option and costs less to do.
☑Surgery: “Ovarian drilling” is a surgery that may increase the chance of ovulation. It’s sometimes used when a woman does not respond to fertility medicines.There are risks from doing this procedure such as ovary scarring. It can help lower male hormones and help with ovulation. However, the effects from the surgery may only be temporary. This treatment doesn’t help with loss of scalp hair or increased hair growth on other parts of the body.
☑Medicine for increased hair growth or extra male hormones: Medicines called anti-androgens may reduce hair growth and clear acne.
These options include:
- Aldactone: has been shown to reduce the impact of male hormones on hair growth in women
- Finasteride(fin-AST-uhr-yd) (Propecia): a medicine taken by men for hair loss, has the same effect.
Before taking Aldactone, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Do not breastfeed while taking this medicine. Women who may become pregnant should not handle Propecia.
Other options include:
- Vaniqa (van-ik-uh) cream to reduce facial hair
- Laser hair removal or electrolysis to remove hair
- Hormonal treatment to keep new hair from growing
Researchers continue to search for new ways to treat PCOS. To learn more about current PCOS treatment studies, visitClinicalTrials.gov.