Types of Medical Treatment
You should consult with your doctor or practitioner to determine if you are diagnosed with PCOS. Because there is no cure for PCOS, medical management and lifestyle modification are the best ways to treat the syndrome. It is a very good idea to keep up with your doctor's monitoring protocols. Medical treatment should be based on your symptoms and goals. Treatment can depend on whether a woman is considering pregnancy, is menopausal, or does not want to conceive.
Some of the treatments you may receive:
Birth control pills:
- Regulates or controls menstrual cycles
- Reduces male hormone levels
- Can help clear up acne
- Some doctors may recommend these to help with ovulation and future conception
This medication has been found to help PCOS symptoms. Metformin has shown to affect the way insulin is controlled in blood glucose (sugar) and has shown to lower testosterone levels. Other signs and symptoms such as abnormal hair growth and weight gain have lessened or disappeared with the use of Metformin, and it can assist in ovulation after a few months. Metformin is used for Type 2 diabetes but can be useful to women with PCOS because many have insulin resistance. This mediation improves the cells response to insulin and helps move glucose into the cell, which allows your body to make less insulin.
Lack of ovulation is usually found with women suffering from PCOS. Studies have shown that 70% of women diagnosed with PCOS have infertility.
- Ovulation cycles
- In Vitro Fertilization or IVF
- Clomiphene also known as Clomid- an oral medication which is typically a first choice to stimulate ovulation. This medication is determined by your practitioner and dosage and treatment protocols may vary depending on your doctor.
- Letrozole- an oral medication that works like Clomid and may also be a first choice to stimulate ovulation. This medication should also be determined by your practitioner and dosage and treatment protocols may vary.
- Gonadotropins- this is given in a shot form and used to stimulate the ovary to produce several follicles. Again, this medication is determined by your doctor and dosage and treatment protocols may vary depending on your doctor.
Surgery or Procedures:
- Ovarian Drilling - This is when a doctor makes a very small cut above or below the navel and inserts a small tool (telescope) into the abdomen, also known as a laparoscopy. Then the doctor punctures the ovary with a small needle carrying an electric current to destroy a small portion of the ovary. This surgical procedure may lower male hormone levels and help with ovulation, but it also carries a risk of developing scar tissue on the ovary and the benefits may only last a few months. Both the risks and the benefits of ovarian drilling should be discussed with your doctor to determine if it is the right treatment for you.
- Oophorectomy – Your ovaries contain eggs that produce hormones to control your menstrual cycle. An oophorectomy is a surgical procedure where one or both ovaries are removed. It is called a bilateral Oophorectomy when both ovaries are removed. This surgery is typically performed with other procedures such as a hysterectomy. Your doctor can determine if it is the right treatment for your case.
- Hysterectomy- During a hysterectomy, a doctor removes a woman's uterus and cervix. Your doctor may chose to remove the uterus only, which is called a partial hysterectomy. This procedure should be discussed and determined by your doctor
- Cyst Aspiration
Medications for increased hair growth or extra male hormone:
- Vanique- a cream that helps reduce facial hair. This medication's risks, dosage and side effects should be discussed with your doctor or practitioner.
- Aldactone- blocks androgens, or male hormones. This medication's risks, dosage and side effects should be discussed with your doctor or practitioner.
- Getting educated with nutrition- finding someone that specializes in PCOS or Diabetes
- Learning about nutrition labels
- Glycemic Index (GI and Glycemic Load (GL)) – learning the GI and GL
- Modifying your diet
- Eating and learning about well balanced meals
- Exercise- both cardiovascular and weight training
- Meditation for Anxiety, Breathing, Depression and Stress
- Non Smoking
- Medically supervised weight loss programs- General medical studies indicate that lowering weight can lower disease risk factors.
- Bariatric surgery- In some cases this surgical procedure may help women suffering and considered Obese. Check with your health care professional to see if this is right for you.
- Laser hair removal
- Hormonal treatments
- Alternative methods
- Vitamins and Minerals