It is important to have PCOS diagnosed and treated early to help prevent associated problems. Although there is no cure for PCOS and doctor still don't understand what causes PCOS, many of the symptoms can be managed. Your personal treatment goals for treating PCOS will be based on your symptoms. Many women need a combination of treatments to meet these goals. Some common treatments for PCOS include:
Birth control pills - The most common form of treatment for PCOS is the birth control pill because the pill contains the hormones that your body needs to treat PCOS. By taking birth control either continuously or in cycles you can:
Fertility medications - Medications that stimulate ovulation can help women with PCOS become pregnant. Even so, other reasons for infertility in both the woman and man should be ruled out before fertility medications are used.
Diabetes medications - Diabetes medications affect the way insulin controls blood glucose (sugar) and lowers testosterone production. Abnormal hair growth will slow down, and ovulation may return after a few months of use.
Medicine for increased hair growth or extra male hormones - Medicines called anti-androgens may reduce hair growth and clear acne. Anti-androgens often are combined with oral contraceptives.
Lifestyle modification - Keeping a healthy weight by eating healthy foods and exercising is an important way women can help manage PCOS. Even a 10 percent loss in body weight can restore a normal period and make a woman's cycle more regular. If you are overweight, losing weight may reduce some of the symptoms of PCOS. Following a nutrition and exercise plan that helps manage insulin levels, keeps your heart healthy and lowers your risk of developing diabetes.
Surgery - "Ovarian drilling" is a surgery that brings on ovulation. It is sometimes used when a woman does not respond to fertility medicines. This surgery can lower male hormone levels and help with ovulation. But these effects may only last a few months and surgery is used only when other treatment methods have not proved helpful.
Having a diagnosis of a condition without an easy cure can be difficult. However, it is important that women diagnosed with PCOS to know they are not alone. Finding a doctor who knows a lot about PCOS and who you feel comfortable talking to is very important. Keeping a positive attitude and working on a healthy lifestyle even when results seem to take a long time is very important too.
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