I want to talk about some basic treatments for PCOS today that get you on the right track for dealing with this disease. Many doctors are not very well informed about our condition so you need to make sure and self educate yourself (read educational books dealing with PCOS, talk to your doctors, look at good blogs like mine;)! This post is about getting your PCOS symptoms in control, we will be talking about Fertility options in a later post! Try to go see an Endocronologist (Hormone doctor) A.S.A.P. - they will be the best educated about our disease (they can tell you what is going on with your hormones, what treatment options are available to you when you are not trying to get pregnant, and what options are available when you are trying to get pregnant)- BEST doctors ever for women with PCOS!!!!!
Once a physician has officially diagnosed a patient with PCOS, proper treatment that is designed with an eye toward a woman's goals can begin. The treatment courses can help a woman:
•minimize or eliminate hirsutism (male pattern baldness)
•prevent cancers related to continued lack of estrogen, namely cancer of the uterus
•restore ovulation and promote fertility.
The single most important PCOS treatment is to lose weight if you are overweight. By reducing calories and simple sugars, increasing lean protein and fiber and beginning a regular exercise routine, you can help your body increase it’s response to insulin, and possibly decrease androgen production. This may help reduce symptoms, restore normal menses and make it easier to conceive. While there are medications that can help manage the symptoms you are experiencing, losing weight is the best thing you can do to help treat the disease. Adopt a Diet that is low in carbohydrates (to naturally reduce insulin levels in the blood) and Exercise regularly!!!!!
ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES: (if you are NOT interested in getting pregnant)
For women who are currently not interested in having a baby, oral contraceptives -- also known as “the pill” -- are usually a practitioner’s first choice. The pill contains a combination of estrogen and progesterone which aids in regulating a woman’s hormones. This will help normalize your cycle, thereby making your periods more regular. Even though the lack of periods may seem convenient, sustained lengths of time without a period may increase your risk of endometrial cancer.
While doctors prescribe oral contraceptives to treat hirsutism and prevent certain cancers related to estrogen deficiency, they generally administer injections of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) to promote ovulation and prevent infertility.
INSULIN RESISTANCE MEDICATIONS:
- They can prescribe Medications that Lower patients' Insulin Levels: (Because polycystic ovary syndrome is closely associated with insulin resistance (the inability of the body to properly use insulin, creating high levels of insulin in the blood). Along with regulating insulin levels, the following medications can also Promote Regular Ovulation:
•pioglitazone hydrochloride, brand name Actos®
•rosiglitazone maleate, brand name Avandia®.
* Although each of these medications has associated side effects that generally disappear within two to three weeks, available slow-release versions of them are easier on the body. Potential side effects of the above medications include:
•loss of weight
HAIR / ACNE ISSUES: (if you are NOT trying to get pregnant)
For acne or excess hair growth, a water pill (diuretic) called Spironolactone (Aldactone) may be prescribed to help reverse these problems. The use of spironolactone requires occasional monitoring of blood tests because of its potential effect on the blood potassium levels and kidney function. Eflornithine (Vaniqa) is a cream medication that can be used to slow facial hair growth in women. Electrolysis and Over-the-counter depilatory creams are other options for controlling excess hair growth. Rogaine (Minoxidil) for women with thinning hair or male patterned baldness is supposed to help.
Last-Resort Treatments for PCOS
Unfortunately, not all patients respond to insulin-lowering medications. If PCOS doesn't respond to the above treatment options or appears to worsen over time, then PCOS surgery or hormone therapies may be necessary. The following last-resort treatments may be invoked:
•Laparoscopy Electrocauterization: Similar to laser cauterization, laparoscopy electrocauterization is the process using a laparoscope (a long, thin tube that contains a small video camera at the end of it) and an electric pulse to destroy harmful tissue, namely malignant cysts on the ovaries.
•Ovarian Drilling: In this procedure, doctors drill a series of small holes (about four to 10) in a woman's ovaries to reduce the presence of cysts and promote fertility. Although ovarian drilling restores ovulation 80 percent of the time, it is a last-resort treatment for PCOS because it can cause ovarian failure.
•Ovarian Hyperstimulation: This is a process of administering a series of FSH injections to promote ovarian follicle growth. While this is generally part of in vitro fertilization, it puts women with PCOS at high risk for complications and occasionally death.
•Ovarian Wedge Resection: This antiquated treatment revolved around removing part of the ovary in the thought that this would reduce the amount of male hormones that it produced. While this theory has been proven wrong, the procedure is still used in severe cases of PCOS.
I hope these amazing tips helped you get started on the right track to fighting this disease!!!!!!
- I found these great treatment tips at: