A diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, can be hard to take in, but it can also be a relief. Many women spend months or even years trying to get a clear picture of what health issue is plaguing them. Once you know you have PCOS, you can work toward overcoming it.
What is polycystic ovary syndrome?
PCOS is a hormonal disorder that causes cysts to grow on the outside of the ovaries and the ovaries themselves to expand. Symptoms of PCOS include acne, facial hair, obesity, and irregular periods. Infertility is another common side effect of PCOS. It is not a painful disease, which is one of the reasons it is so hard to diagnose.
While this disease is chronic, treatment for polycystic ovary syndrome is available. Medications and procedures will not heal PCOS, but they can manage symptoms and help you get back to living your normal life.
What treatment for PCOS is available?
Your doctor will recommend a treatment for PCOS based on your individual goals. What part of polycystic ovary syndrome are you trying to overcome? Fighting infertility requires different medication than managing acne. This is why it is important to understand your symptoms and what you want the end result of polycystic ovary syndrome treatment to be.
If you are trying to regulate your menstrual cycle, your doctor might recommend birth control pills that contain both estrogen and progestin as a treatment for PCOS. Progestin therapy is also an option. These medications can help get your periods back on track as well as reduce acne and excess hair growth.
If your PCOS is causing infertility, there are many medications your doctor might suggest to help you ovulate. These include clomiphene, letrozole (Femara), metformin, and gonadotropins. Metformin is an insulin medication that also helps with diabetes. It can help with weight loss and slow the progression of prediabetes into type 2 diabetes.
Those who are looking to reduce facial hair and other abnormal hair growth caused by PCOS may be prescribed birth control pills as well to regulate hormones. Spironolactone (Aldactone) and eflornithine (Vaniqa) are other solutions for this issue.
What lifestyle changes can help with PCOS?
In addition to medications, there are many home remedies and lifestyle changes that can help manage your polycystic ovary syndrome. Losing weight is a major one. Maintaining a healthy weight lowers your risk for PCOS exponentially. It also helps prevent other medical issues such as diabetes. Even if you are not overweight, staying active and exercising regularly can help with your PCOS symptoms.
Diet changes can also be used as polycystic ovary syndrome treatment. Limiting carbohydrates, especially simple carbs like those found in white bread and sugary foods, is beneficial. Instead, fill your diet with food high in fiber, lean proteins, and anti-inflammatory elements. Avoid processed food, sugar, and red meat.
PCOS can be stressful, so self-care techniques to help your mental health are also important. Try yoga, meditating, journaling, or talking to a counselor. Overcoming polycystic ovary syndrome can be a lifelong fight, so you need to make sure your mental and emotional health is being taken care of alongside your physical health.
Looking for a doctor?
If you think you might have polycystic ovary syndrome or are seeking treatment for PCOS, Bass Medical Group can help. They have doctors who specialize in women’s health issues who can help you overcome PCOS symptoms. Bass Medical is committed to providing every patient with safe, effective healthcare. Call (925) 350-4044 to schedule an appointment at one of their locations in the Greater Bay Area.