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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a fertility disorder that is prone to occur in women of childbearing age. This condition causes hormones in a woman’s body to be unbalanced due to unknown factors. The typical symptoms of PCOS are irregular menstruation, increased levels of male hormones (androgens), and the appearance of many cysts in the ovaries. The following are the most common treatment options recommended for people with PCOS.
How to diagnose polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Before determining which PCOS treatment is best for you, your doctor will first ask your medical history. The question can include changes in body weight and menstrual cycles during this time.
Physical examination then includes checks of hair growth where they should not be, excessive acne, and insulin resistance. The growth of downy hair on the body and the appearance of pimples on PCOS sufferers is caused by the increase in androgen hormones.
If symptoms appear as a sign of PCOS, the doctor will proceed with a pelvic examination, blood test, and ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis.
If necessary, you will also be screened for symptoms of depression and anxiety, screening for symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, as well as checking blood pressure, glucose tolerance, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels regularly.
Treatment options for dealing with PCOS symptoms
After the diagnosis is established, the following treatment options for dealing with PCOS:
1. Change lifestyle
Your doctor will generally recommend that you change your habits first days as an initial treatment for PCOS.
These changes will usually focus on a healthier diet to maintain ideal body weight.
People with PCOS are recommended to limit consumption of fatty foods and high in sugar. We recommend that you multiply the consumption of fibrous foods, because these foods increase sugar levels slowly.
In addition to changing diet, exercise also needs to be routinely done to control blood sugar and insulin levels in the body.
2. Use contraception
The use of contraceptives is the most common treatment method for women with PCOS who do not want to become pregnant.
You can choose birth control in the form of birth control pills, vaginal rings, injections, or IUD (spiral birth control). Hormonal drugs can also be taken to treat PCOS. One of them is the hormone progestin to help launch the menstrual cycle and reduce the risk of uterine cancer.
If contraceptives and hormonal drugs have not been able to stop hair growth after at least six months of use, your doctor may prescribe spiroolactone. This drug aims to reduce levels of androgen hormones in the body.
However, spiroolactone should not be consumed by pregnant women or women who are planning a pregnancy because it can cause birth defects.
3. Take metformin drugs
Metformin which is commonly used as a diabetes drug can also be prescribed for PCOS. This drug specifically works to reduce insulin resistance and fertility problems due to PCOS.
Metformin works in three ways, namely suppressing the production of glucose in the liver, reducing the absorption of carbohydrates consumed, and increasing the sensitivity of the liver, muscles, fat, and cells to insulin made by the body.
Metformin consumption also helps increase ovulation, regulate the menstrual cycle, reduce the symptoms of hirsutism (such as acne and excessive hair growth), lose weight (if accompanied by a healthy diet and exercise), and reduce the risk of gestational diabetes that is susceptible to women with PCOS.
The average dose of metformin for women with PCOS is around 1500-2000 milligrams (mg) per day. However, the exact number of cases for you certainly needs to be discussed further with the doctor.
4. Use a pill remover
Hair removal is called depilatory, and can be in the form of creams, gels, or lotions. This drug works to break the structure of hair protein so it falls out of the skin.
People with PCOS can also do electrolysis (a beauty procedure to remove hair from its roots using an electric current) and laser therapy.
5. Consumption of fertility drugs
For women with PCOS who want to become pregnant, doctors may prescribe special drugs to trigger ovulation such as clomiphene and letrozole.
If this treatment does not work, your doctor may recommend an injection of a hormone called gonadotropin for PCOS women who are planning to become pregnant.
6. Ovarian Surgery
Surgery called ovarian drilling is also possible to make the ovary work better.
The doctor will make a small wound in the abdomen using a laparoscope with a needle to pierce the ovary and destroy a small piece of tissue.
This procedure changes hormone levels which ultimately makes it easier for you to ovulate.