Can Birth Control Pills Cure PCODS?

Last Editorial Review: 1/11/2018

Ask the experts

Is polycystic ovarian disease correctable? Do birth control pills help?

Doctor's response

Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) is unfortunately not "correctable" at this time.  Although it is obviously easier said than done, research has shown very strongly that for women with significant PCOD problems, weight loss is the best therapy.  This is because the insulin resistance problems and the increased testosterone (male hormone) levels of PCOD are greatly alleviated by weight loss, even weight loss of only 5% of body weight.  PCOD is a group of symptoms that commonly occur together, and because there is no single cure for all of the symptoms, the symptoms are treated individually.

The oral contraceptive pill, besides offering contraception, can help decrease acne, help control irregular periods, decrease unwanted hair growth (which requires several months of therapy), greatly improve risky cholesterol panels, and decrease the risk of endometrial cancer which is otherwise elevated in women with PCOD.  Therefore, because it brings relief for a long list of symptoms associated with PCOD, oral contraceptive pills are a very attractive option for many with PCOD.

Thank you for your question.

Carolyn Janet Crandall, M.D.


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