Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Treatment and Management
• Regulation of Menstrual Cycle and Lowering Insulin Level: Low-dose birth control pills that contain a combination of synthetic estrogen and progesterone are given to regulate menstrual cycles. Metformin (Glucophage®, Glucophage XR®), a commonly used oral medication for type 2 diabetes that lowers blood glucose levels, is also used for PCOS as it improves ovulation.
• Help in Ovulation/fertility: Anovulation or infrequent ovulation is a common cause of infertility in women suffering from PCOS. Clomiphene citrate (Clomid®, Serophene®), an oral anti-estrogen medication, gonadotropins Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH), and Luteinizing Hormone (LH) medications are administered by injection to help in ovulation and hence make women fertile. For women who do not respond to clomiphene can opt for assisted reproductive technology procedures, such as controlled ovarian hyperstimulation with Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) injections followed by in vitro fertilization (IVF).
• Reduce Excessive Hair Growth: Birth control pills are advised to decrease androgen production, or another medication called spironolactone (Aldactone®) that blocks the effects of androgens on the skin. Eflornithine (Vaniqa®) is another medication in the form of cream that slows facial hair growth in women.
• Surgery: Laproscopic ovarian drilling is also an option for women suffering from PCOS.
• Dietary Changes: Low-carbohydrate diet is recommended as low-fat and high-carbohydrate diet may increase insulin levels.
• Be Physically Active: Exercise helps lower blood sugar levels. If you have PCOS, increasing your daily activity and participating in a regular exercise program may treat or even prevent insulin resistance and help you keep your weight under control. Controlled weight can reduce insulin and androgen levels and may restore ovulation.
Complementary and Alternative Medicines
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has been emerging as one of the commonly practiced medicines for the management of PCOS. The best approach to treat PCOS is using various alternative treatment options to correct the hormonal imbalance and the symptoms associated with it. These include vitamins, herbs, supplements, acupuncture, healthy eating, yoga, and homeopathy.
Some herbs useful in PCOS are as follows:
• Vitex agnus-castus (Chaste Tree)
• Caulophyllum thalictroides (Blue cohosh)
• Gymnema sylvestre (Gymnema)
• Paeonia lactiflora (White peony)
• Dong Qua