Treatments for PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)

There is no known cure for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). However, there are certain treatments that are often used to address the symptoms of PCOS. They sympoms of PCOS can include irregular or missing periods, irregular ovulation, or anovulation, vaginal bleeding, loss of hair on the head, and growth of hair in other places, oily skin and acne, Infertility, Repeated miscarriages, Hyperinsulinemia, or too much insulin, Weight gain in the upper body, Sleep apnea or other sleeping problems, Chronic pelvic pain, and high blood pressure.

Some health care providers will recommend diabetic medications, such as Metformin, to help the patient with PCOS. Also known as Glucophage, this medication impacts the way that insulin regulates glucose, and it also helps to cause a decrease in the production of testosterone. This can help ovulation to return, and can also help to slow down the irregular hair growth.

Another possible treatment for PCOS, for the woman who doesn’t want to get pregnant, is birth control pills. The pill can help keep the menstrual cycle regular, and it can also reduce the levels of male hormones. Birth control pills may also help to clear acne.

Birth control pills are not always a good option, however. Many women who have PCOS only discover that they have it because they are trying to conceive. In these cases, Clomid or other fertility medications may be used to help the woman’s ovulatory cycle stabilize. These medications may help control other side effects, as well.

There are medications available that will also help with the extra male hormones present in the woman’s systems. Spironolactone is a medication that is typically used for blood pressure, but is also known to help reduce hair growth. Some research suggests that Propecia, a medication used by men to combat hair loss, can also help with unwanted hair.

There are surgical options for the woman with PCOS as well. A process known as “ovarian drilling” is sometimes used to help start ovulation. This laparoscopic procedure is fairly non-invasive, but does carry certain risks and is not a permanent solution.