Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) – The Effects and Treatment

Polycystic ovarian syndrome can present with a number of different symptoms and it’s method of treatment will largely depend upon the symptom or symptoms. The following are seven of the most common effects of PCOS.

Treating Fertility Issues

First of all, when a woman presents with difficulty in getting pregnant it has to be established what the cause is. When PCOS is responsible, it follows that hormonal therapy to stop egg production (anovulation) cannot be used as the therapy will involve administering birth control pills and these pills will hinder ovulation and subsequently pregnancy. Treating infertility in PCOS is done by inducing ovulation and this could be by administering fertility treatment using fertility drugs like clomiphene. The disadvantage with this is that while the woman will likely ovulate, chances of conception are low and women with PCOS are more likely to experience adverse reactions to fertility drugs, therefore close monitoring is necessary.

Another method is by hormone injections. Ovarian drilling (laparoscopic ovarian diathermy) is yet another method when injections or drugs fail. It involves using laparoscopy to burn the ovaries slightly at some points. All of these treatments however have disadvantages. They are time consuming, fertility drugs and injections can have some unpleasant side effects and treatment could stimulate growth of too many follicles, a condition known as ovarian hyperstimulation.

Treating Weight Gain

Being overweight will intensify the symptoms of PCOS. Eating smaller meals so as to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels if a good first step. Pick healthy carbohydrates over sugary and refined carbs. Balance your carb intake with protein and healthy fats and start an exercise routine that you can stick to.

Treating Unwanted Hair Growth

All women produce testosterone albeit minimally, which is called a male hormone (androgen) because it is responsible for male features like balding. Polycystic ovaries however produce excess testosterone and this is what causes increased hair growth, especially on the face and back, in women with PCOS. To resolve this, a combination of an anti-androgen and birth control pills are administered, but this can only be used for women that are not looking to conceive. However this treatment does not start working immediately. Cosmetics and hair removing techniques like waxing could be used to some extent to downplay unwanted hair growth.

Treating Pelvic Discomfort

Some women have reported that exercise such as walking can help alleviate some of the discomfort associated with PCOS. Alternative therapies such as aromatherapy, acupuncture and relaxation techniques may be employed.

Treating Miscarriage

There are theories that miscarriage in women suffering PCOS is a result of production of high levels of lutenizing hormone (LH). Treatment is by administering drugs to suppress LH and then when LH levels have been stabilized, fertility treatment will then be used.

Treating Menstrual Irregularities

Menstrual irregularities in PCOS are caused by hormonal imbalance, which could be due to a failure of the follicle to mature and rupture releasing an egg and therefore the uterus, is not thickened because there is no hormonal signal to do so. In these instances hormonal therapy is used for treating this symptom in PCOS.

Treating Acne

Acne in PCOS is caused by excess androgens. This is often treated using a combination birth control pill.