Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is characterized by presence of multiple cysts in the ovaries, menstrual irregularities, elevated levels of the male hormone androgen, acne, weight gain, insulin resistance, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and infertility. Although the symptoms vary, irregular menstruation or absence of periods affects all PCOS patients.
The appropriate treatment for PCOS depends upon the age of the patient. In addition to alleviating the symptoms of PCOS, treating infertility is a major goal of PCOS treatment. As PCOS is a hormonal disorder, hormone treatment is needed to manage the symptoms.
For women contemplating pregnancy fertility medications can induce ovulation. Medications are also required for reducing insulin resistance and stopping abnormal growth of body hair or hirsutism.
Different Treatment Options for PCOS
Hormone treatment includes use of contraceptive pills and medications for blocking activities of the male hormone. Birth control pill helps to treat menstrual irregularities. Treatment with oral contraceptives is needed to prevent endometrial cancer that may occur when periods are absent.
Symptoms related to elevated levels of the male hormone are treated with medications such as cyproterone acetate, finasteride or spironolactone. These medications prevent hirsutism and male-pattern balding by obstructing the activities of the male hormones.
The fertility drug clomifene is used for stimulating ovulation. It works by treating hormonal imbalance that obstructs ovulation. When treatment with clomifene fails to stimulate the ovaries, hormonal therapy with gonadotrophin hormone is recommended for restoring the ovulating activity of the ovaries. Therapy with gonadotrophin may cause multiple pregnancies.
Infertility can also be treated with surgery. Laparoscopic ovarian drilling (LOD) is a minor surgical procedure that is recommended when ovulation cannot be stimulated with non-invasive processes and drugs. In this surgical procedure, the tissues in the ovaries that secrete the male hormones are destroyed by laser or heat.
It helps to correct hormonal imbalance by reducing the testosterone level and boosting the follicle-stimulating hormone level. LOD does not cause multiple pregnancies. Therefore, it is considered an effective alternative to therapy with gonadotropin.
Reduced sensitivity to insulin is a common symptom of PCOS, which can be treated with the diabetes drug metformin. Moreover, metformin improves the possibility of ovulation. Usually metformin is combined with fertility drug clomifene.
Treatment for Hair Removal
PCOS patients suffering from excess hair growth can use eflornithine for slowing down hair growth. It works by inhibiting the activities of an enzyme that stimulate hair growth. Hair depletion cream and other hair removal treatments are recommended for removing the excess hair from the face and body.
Treatment with Supplements
Chasteberry is a widely used herbal remedy for PCOS. It helps to treat menstrual irregularities and stimulates ovulation. It works by improving the functions of the pituitary glands, thereby correcting hormonal imbalance that prevents ovulation. However, chasteberry should not be taken by PCOS patients on birth control pills.
The high levels of the male hormones can be reduced with saw palmetto. Another natural testosterone-lowering herb is white peony. These herbs also help to regulate the activities of the female hormone estrogen, thereby restoring the normal menstruation cycle.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.