Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Treatment

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Overview

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

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Before the Treatment

How it is Performed

Recovery

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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