When you have PCOS, it is wrong to assume that your journey would be similar to another woman with PCOS. Your journey and your PCOS is unique, and so should your treatment plan be. Most women complain that losing weight with PCOS is too difficult and sometimes, whatever they do – just does not seem to work. In such cases, it is good to consult your doctor and run some tests to understand your struggle better.
In a lot of women with PCOS, following a healthy lifestyle is often the first line of treatment. Healthy lifestyle involves taking care of your diet, exercise, sleep and stress. However, for some women, medications may be required in addition to making lifestyle changes. In such cases, your doctor might prescribe a few medications to you in order to reduce your symptoms and help you control your PCOS.
PCOS medication not only helps improve your physical symptoms, it also helps reduce the risk of future complications such as fertility issues, diabetes or high cholesterol. Starting medications isn’t a sign of failing to manage PCOS. In fact, it will help you get on top of your PCOS and manage it with greater confidence.
Some commonly used therapies include:
- Insulin-sensitising drugs
Metformin is a commonly prescribes drug for diabetes, however, it also has other uses such as in PCOS. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may be given metformin to reduce insulin resistance and the production of androgens (male hormones). This can improve the function of the ovary and re-establish regular periods.
- Combination birth control pills
There are plenty of myths around the use of birth control or contraceptive pills around weight gain and infertility – however, there is no scientific evidence to support any of these. In fact, birth control pills not only help manage PCOS symptoms, they also reduce the risk of developing uterine cancer and are an easily reversible method of birth control if you’re wanting to get pregnant. Oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) contain hormones such as oestrogen and progestin to help you normalise your periods and also help reduce androgen levels.
Lifestyle modifications help in improving the symptoms of PCOS naturally, however, for some women medications might require to help induce ovulation. LThe most common treatment for infertility in PCOS is letrozole. It has been shown to be more effective than other ovulation inducing medications such as clomiphene citrate (Clomid). There are other medications such as metformin and gonadotropins that can also help induce ovulation.
The medications above can also help you take care of excessive hair growth and acne in PCOS and significantly stabilise your PCOS symptoms. The process of controlling your symptoms can be slow even with medications but it is important to trust the process and give a chance to your body to recover and function normally. Also, read our other blogs.