Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a one of the common hormonal disorder among women at their reproductive age. The condition has no cure yet, but its symptoms can be easily managed. Patients usually experience a range of symptoms or just one; therefore, PCOS treatment can vary from one person to the other. If you have two or more of the following symptoms, then you need to get some checkup to determine if you need any PCOS treatment:
- Irregular periods or missing periods
- Excess body and facial hair, or thinning hair on your scalp
- Insulin resistance
- Darker skin on your armpits or upper inner thigh
The doctor may offer different treatment to treat any of these symptoms. The main PCOS treatments are discussed below.
Since weight loss can lead to a significant improvement in this condition, your GP will recommend healthier lifestyle as the first step in the treatment if you are already overweight. This will start with healthy eating, regular exercises, and maintaining healthy body weight. Your doctor may be able to recommend, what to eat when to eat it, and the kind of activities that will be suited for you.
Your GP will prescribe medication when you experience irregular or missing periods when you have excessive hair growth, or when you are trying to get pregnant.
Missing or irregular periods
To regulate the menstrual cycle, the doctor may recommend contraceptive pills. These pills help decrease androgen production, giving your body a break from the effects of estrogen. This also helps reduce the long-term risk of endometrial cancer. Other than the contraceptive pills, you may be advised to use the vaginal ring or progesterone if you are not a good candidate for contraceptive pills.
There are many reproductive techniques available for women who have PCOS and are trying to get pregnant. The most common are short course tablets, usually taken at the beginning of each cycle for several cycles. If the tablets are not useful, IVF treatment will be offered. Clomifene is one of the popular medications that are usually prescribed.
Excessive hair growth
Anti-androgen are the medication that can help stop excess hair growth and reduce acne, by blocking the male hormones or suppress production of these hormones by the ovaries. The most common one is spironolactone, but since it can cause birth defects, it cannot be prescribed to those who are planning to be pregnant or already pregnant. Other possible medications include cyproterone acetate, flutamide, and the popular cream, eflornithine hydrochloride.
A minor surgery commonly referred to as ‘Ovarian drilling’ may be recommended PCOS treatment for those with the fertility problem. Your ovaries will be treated using heat or laser to destroy the tissues producing male hormones. This procedure carries a downside of the development of scar tissue on the ovary, so you may need to discuss with your doctor about it.
These are just some of the treatments your doctor may recommend, but there are more PCOS treatments available among women and researchers are yet to study the effectiveness of most of these treatments. These include vitamins, supplements, and many other complementary treatments.