What Is the Most Effective Treatment for PCOS?

Medically Reviewed on 8/23/2021
treatments PCOS
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that is best treated through lifestyle changes and medications.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder commonly seen in young women. In PCOS, there is the formation of multiple cysts inside the ovaries leading to various complications in the body.

This can affect either one or both ovaries at the same time.

In patients with PCOS, there is an abnormal or absence of ovulation due to disrupted hormonal levels. The ova secreted then form fluid-filled cysts within the ovaries and secrete androgen (male hormone), leading to the development of man-like presentations of the disease.

Cyst formation doesn’t have a single clear pathological factor, but several risk factors are commonly associated with PCOS, such as:

Due to excessive androgen level secretion and its circulation within the body, symptoms mentioned below can be easily observed in affected women:

  • Irregular or no periods
  • Weight gain
  • Excessive facial and body hair
  • Male-patterned baldness
  • Infertility
  • Acne and oily skin

There is no exact treatment for completely curing the disease, but various treatment options are available that can help balance the disrupted hormonal levels in the body and thus help reduce symptoms.

What are the treatment options for PCOS?

Treatment options for the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) include the following:

Lifestyle changes

These are the most important steps in the treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

  • Maintain a healthy weight: This helps reduce androgen levels and improve insulin sensitivity in the body.
  • Limit carbohydrates and empty calories:
    • A high-calorie diet affects weight and hormonal balance.
    • Empty calories from alcoholic drinks should also be avoided for the same reason.
    • A diet rich in fiber, complex carbs and protein is beneficial for women with PCOS.
  • Regular exercise and meditation: These keep a check on the adipose tissue and androgen levels in the body. Meditation helps in stress management, which also corrects hormonal imbalances.

If normal lifestyle modifications aren’t working in morbidly obese women, bariatric surgery can be done where satiety hormones in the body are altered to reduce hunger and absorption of food from the intestines to reduce the person’s weight.

Medications

These can be given depending on the treatment goal of the affected woman.

  • If she only wants to correct her menstrual cycle:
    • Combined birth control pills are prescribed.
    • They have both estrogen and progesterone in them that help maintain the female hormonal level in the body promoting a regular menstrual flow.
    • Mini pills/Progestin therapy (Only progesterone tablets are given for 10 to 14 days every one to two months. This helps in endometrial regeneration and regulation of blood flow.)
  • If she wants to conceive, then the following medication will help her in ovulation:

(These medications increase the levels of estrogen and reduce the levels of androgen to stimulate ovarian functioning.)

PCOS is a disorder that is manageable, if not curable. With proper management of body weight and hormonal levels, symptoms can be well managed with almost a negligible effect on female fertility.

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Medically Reviewed on 8/23/2021
References
https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/256806-overview