Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Treatment in South Africa

Polycystic ovarian disease is one of the most common endocrine or hormonal disorder in females of reproductive age. It is characterized by infrequent or prolonged periods and higher levels of male hormones called androgens.

Since females suffering from PCOD may suffer from a combination of different symptoms, it is also known as polycystic ovarian syndrome. The objective of PCOS treatment is to control or reduce the severity of the symptoms by treating the underlying cause. Some of the most common forms of treatment include birth control pills to regulate menstrual cycles, hormones to regulate ovulation and drugs such as metformin and statins to control blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Losing weight, staying physically active, and reducing the intake of carbohydrates are known to help women with PCOS.

What are the factors leading to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Treatment?

PCOS treatment is required in the following categories of females:

  • Women with severe symptoms such as excessive facial hair growth, irregular periods, and severe acne
  • Women who are facing difficulty conceiving a baby due to the absence of ovulation or periods

Some women may have PCOS but may not know it because of the absence of any symptoms.

Factors Affecting the cost of PCOS Treatment

The following factors affect polycystic ovarian syndrome treatment cost:

  • The form of treatment – medications, lifestyle changes, or surgery such as ovarian drilling
  • Purpose of treatment – weight loss, reduce symptoms or successful conception
  • Experience of the specialist
  • Choice of clinic or hospital
  • Duration of treatment
  • Severity of symptoms
  • Age of the candidate
  • Other underlying comorbidities
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About the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Treatment

Women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome may show different symptoms. Therefore, polycystic ovarian syndrome treatment for them may differ depending on their concerns.

For example, some women suffering from PCOS could be overweight, therefore, weight loss and diet monitoring may be advised to them initially. Some women with PCOS may have a normal body mass index (BMI), however, they could be suffering from other symptoms such as cystic acne or excessive facial hair. Therefore, she may be put on birth control pills for a while to negate the symptoms.

The following are some of the most common forms of polycystic ovarian syndrome treatment available worldwide:

For women not planning a pregnancy

  • Self-care: Weight loss, lifestyle modifications, and physical exercising
  • Medications: Anti-diabetic medications (metformin), statins, and hormone and hair inhibitors
  • Hormonal: Birth control pills

For women planning a pregnancy

  • Self-care: Weight loss, lifestyle modifications, and physical exercising
  • Medications: Anti-diabetic medications (metformin), statins, and hormone and hair inhibitors
  • Ovarian stimulation: Gonadotropins, letrozole, and Clomid
  • Surgery: Laparoscopic ovarian drilling (ovarian diathermy)

In laparoscopic ovarian drilling, two to three minor incisions are made in the lower abdomen to pass the laparoscope and instruments through which the laser is passed. The ovarian cysts producing high amounts of androgens are ruptures with the help of heat generated by the laser. This lowers the LH and testosterone levels and therefore, the hormone imbalance is temporarily restored.

Symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

The following are some of the symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome:

  • Irregular periods
  • Absence of periods
  • Difficulty getting pregnant
  • Excessive hair growth (hirsutism) mainly on the neck, face, back, and chest
  • Weight gain
  • Male-type baldness
  • Hair thinning
  • Cystic acne
  • Oily skin
  • Depression and mood swings
  • Severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

Diagnosis for PCOS

Irregular periods or absence of periods is one common sign that may indicate that the woman may have a polycystic ovarian syndrome. However, it can only be confirmed with the help of ultrasound during a regular visit to the gynecologist.

The following tests are performed to confirm PCOS:

  • Ultrasound (abdominal or transvaginal)
  • Blood work-up: LH, FSH, blood sugar, TSH, free testosterone, and Prolactin

Who all can get PCOS Treatment?

Not all women suffering from the polycystic ovarian syndrome are a candidate for treatment. The following women are advised to seek treatment for the polycystic ovarian syndrome:

  • Those with irregular or missing periods
  • Women with severe symptoms such as cystic acne, hair loss or thinning, and considerable weight gain
  • Women trying to conceive but are unable to due to irregular ovulation

How is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Treatment performed?

Recovery from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Treatment

There are plenty of options available when it comes to PCOS treatment. However, the approach to treatment should be decided based on an individual's profile and factors such as age, symptoms, regularity of menses, and expectations out of the treatment.

Each treatment type has its benefits and risks. While the main benefit is to manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life, some of the common risks of drugs and medications (including birth control pills) may include weight gain, mood swings, hot flashes, and nausea. However, none of the risks are serious or pose a threat to life.

If laparoscopic ovarian drilling has been advised to the woman, then the recovery is fairly quick. Since it is a laparoscopic procedure, the discharge takes place on the very next day. The minor stitches are removed after 7 to 10 days of the procedure and you can return to a normal routine after that. However, ladies are advised not to perform high-impact exercising for at least a month. To exercise, a normal brisk walk is advisable.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the health care infrastructure of South Africa / Why should opt for South Africa as a destination for your medical treatment?
Like most countries, hospitals in South Africa are based upon public and private healthcare systems. There are three main levels of healthcare based upon the payment method of the patient.
  • The full paying patients are those who usually prefer to be treated by a doctor working in the private sector. They can also be funded by an external source. Many non-South African citizens also prefer this treatment service.
  • Fully subsidized patients are those who have been referred from a Primary Healthcare Service Hospital.
  • Partially subsidized patients are patients whose costs are subsidized based on the amount of their income.
The public healthcare system has three main centers for health under its wing:
  • Clinics - These are run by trained professionals and nurses. They can serve as the first point of contact for a patient.
  • Community Healthcare Centre - This is a bigger setup, complete with full-fledged services and doctors and nurses.
  • Hospital - A patient usually gets here after a referral from a clinic or community health center. One can also go in for emergencies. A hospital provides various services like performing surgery and treating chronic illnesses.
Hospitals in South Africa are gearing up to tackle major illnesses and to provide better treatment options. The South African government is also working to introduce policies and towards accommodating more patients from all across the world. It is a great country to find affordable treatment options.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in South Africa? Are they JCI certified? What is the quality of the support staff in the hospitals
The Joint Commission International (JCI) accredits and certifies most health care organizations and programs all around the world. Joint Commission International Accreditation and Certification is recognized as the global leader for health care quality of care and patient safety.
Are the doctors/surgeons in South Africa of the best quality?
Doctors associated with Medigence are of the best quality. We hope to give our patients a pleasant experience and the best doctors we can find. Since South Africa has a lot of requirements in the field of healthcare, the country attracts doctors from all over the world to contribute their services. This can help to ensure that even you receive the best quality of doctors.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in South Africa?
One can apply for a visa to South Africa for a period of 90 days. The High Commission of India can then help one decide for how long a visa can be extended. This usually differs from person to person. The Medical Visa allows a person to stay for a maximum of six months with a valid visa. After this, one can go to the FRO office ( Foreigner’s Registration Office ) or FRRO (Foreigner's Regional Registration Office) and request for an extension. Do note that the validity of a visa begins on the day it is issued by the High Commission of India and not on the date of departure. Applications for visas will not be accepted more than 30 days prior to departure.
What support services does MediGence provide in the United Arab Emirates?
MediGence enables you to plan and manage your medical decisions better. These are some of our services offered:
  • Expert Opinion
    We help you seek an Expert Opinion on your diagnosis and treatment from an experienced team of doctors at MediGence and specialists from a reputable hospital.
  • Hospital Recommendation
    We recommend a hospital or a healthcare institution that is best suited for you, based on your ailment and its criticality.
  • 360-degree Hospital Review
    We give you a transparent and holistic view of the hospital and its infrastructure, accreditation, facilities, and expertise to give you confidence.
  • Doctor Validation and Communication
    We share a comprehensive profile of the treating doctor and also arrange a call to clear queries regarding treatment if needed.
  • Options to Choose From
    Based on your choice of destination and other preferences, we provide you multiple options with respect to hospitals and doctors to choose from.
  • 24X7 Patient Care Support
    A dedicated patient case manager stays in constant touch with you to help you at every step of the decision-making process and resolve queries that you may have.
  • Transparent Treatment Cost and Other Expenses
    We give a clear and accurate indication of the total cost of treatment including treatment, stay, meals, and other expenses.
  • Visa Assistance
    We provide and help prepare documentation for visa approval and coordinate with the embassy to expedite the visa process.
  • Accommodation Arrangements
    We propose to you a choice of accommodation based on your preference such as long stay, short stay, or luxury properties.
Which are the best cities in South Africa for medical treatment?
While many cities are striving to create some of the best hospitals in South Africa, Durban, Lenasia, and Cape Town already have some very good hospitals for treatment in South Africa. Located in Durban, Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre is a reasonable and affordable hospital in South Africa. Life Kingsbury Hospital in Capetown provides a holistic healing environment for patients. One can also opt for the Ahmed Kathrada Private Hospital in Lenasia. This hospital has been running for nearly 30 years now and various medical facilities can be availed from here.

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