Lifestyle changes like diet and exercise are considered first-line treatment for the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). The main goals of treatment are to regulate ovulation for women desiring conception, to decrease androgen levels, to reduce body weight and decrease the long-term health risks of PCOS.
Weight loss, which can restore ovulatory cycles and improve metabolic risk, is the first-line intervention for most women. Even losing minimal weight up to 5-10% helps in regularising menses and relieving other symptoms. At times it is very difficult to lose weight and one has to keep persisting.
This also helps in regulating the prolonged health complications like high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, high cholesterol, endometrial hyperplasia and endometrial cancer.
Consult a doctor for your skin issues and related comorbidities:
Medications are given to provide symptomatic relief for irregular periods, excessive hair growth, acne, hair loss, abnormal lipid profiles and infertility (inability to conceive).
Diet rich in fruit, vegetables and whole-grain helps in achieving greater menstrual regularity.
30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise at least five days a week helps women with PCOS lose weight.
Weight loss with exercise also improves ovulation and insulin levels. Diet along with exercise helps in losing more weight than either modality alone.
The right medication is a must:
Due to lack of clear causative factor of the disease medicines are given only to improve the symptoms. Medicines like birth control pills are given to regulate menstrual cycles, decrease male hormones and preventing endometrial hyperplasia are given. But the symptoms can return if a woman stops taking the pills.
Other drugs like Metformin are given to decrease insulin resistance and lower elevated sugar levels thus helping in improving the menstrual cycles. Specific medicines to improve acne and decrease hair loss can also be given depending upon the symptoms. Thus it is important to discuss all your symptoms with your doctor. Not every woman with PCOS is the same.
Many women with PCOS conceive naturally, however, some may require certain fertility treatment. So depending on your age, desire for further fertility you should discuss all the available treatment options with your doctor.