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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Treatment Revolution: Embracing Holistic Approaches

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Treatment Revolution: Embracing Holistic Approaches

One of the first recommendations for women diagnosed with PCOS is making lifestyle changes to manage symptoms and reduce risk of future health issues. Losing a small amount of weight through diet and exercise can help balance hormones and regularize menstrual cycles. Experts recommend losing 5-10% of your body weight through a balanced low-glycemic diet and at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Cutting back on sugar and refined carbs helps control insulin levels and reduce androgens in the body. Weight training builds muscle mass which also uses up blood sugar helping to lower insulin resistance. Making sleep, stress management, quitting smoking part of the lifestyle can aid treatment.

Oral Contraceptive Pills for Hormone Regulation and Acne Treatment

Oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) containing estrogen and progestin are commonly prescribed medication for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) treatment. They help regularize periods and reduce male hormone (androgen) levels and their effects. Different formulations are prescribed based on individual symptoms - those containing anti-androgenic progestins work better for acne and excess hair growth. OCPs when taken continuously (skipping placebo pills) can offer better regulation of bleeding episodes. However, they may increase risk of blood clots and are not suitable for women over 35 years or smokers. topical creams and oral antibiotics like tetracycline are alternative options for treating acne in PCOS.

Insulin-Sensitizing Medications for Metabolic Issues

Women with PCOS often have insulin resistance and prediabetes putting them at risk of developing diabetes. Medications that lower blood sugar and improve body's response to insulin include metformin, pioglitazone, berberine. Metformin is first line oral medication that helps control weight and blood sugar in PCOS by decreasing glucose production in the liver and intestinal absorption. It has shown benefits in fertility too but has mild gastrointestinal side effects. These insulin-sensitizing drugs need monitoring of kidney function and are not advised during pregnancy. Inositol supplement shows promise as a natural alternative.

Prescription of Clomiphene for Ovulation Induction

Clomiphene citrate, a medication that stimulates ovulation, is commonly used to induce ovulation and increase the chances of conception in women with PCOS who wish to become pregnant. It works by stimulating the release of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary gland increasing the likelihood of follicular development and ovulation. It is usually taken for 5 days starting on day 3-5 of the menstrual cycle. Success rates are over 75% after 6 cycles of use. However, it may cause multiple ovarian cysts, irritability and hot flushes as side effects.

Gonadotropins - A More Aggressive Approach

For women who do not respond to clomiphene, gonadotropins - follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) injections help induce controlled ovarian stimulation with multiple follicle development and maturation. These medications like follicle-stimulating hormone require intensive monitoring of follicular development and ovulation through ultrasound assessments and blood estradiol levels. Higher chances of multiple pregnancy, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome are risks. Their use needs specialist consultation and close follow up.

Role of Bariatric Surgery for Weight Management

For select women with PCOS and severe obesity (BMI over 40), bariatric weight-loss surgeries are showing promise. Techniques like laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass help achieve major and sustained weight loss significantly improving PCOS symptoms, resuming normal menstruation and improving fertility within 6-12 months. However, malabsorptive procedures do carry risks of nutritional deficiencies and need careful supplementation. The metabolic effects of reduced gut hormones also aid in controlling insulin resistance and diabetes associated with PCOS.

Managing PCOS Holistically with Alternative Remedies

Various herbal supplements and natural remedies help provide relief from PCOS symptoms when used along with lifestyle changes and medical management. Inositol, cinnamon, NAC, turmeric known for their insulin-sensitizing properties. Herbs like chasteberry, licorice, saw palmetto work on hormonal imbalance. Probiotics, omega-3s, vitamins D,B,E, magnesium, zinc support overall health and fertility. Acupuncture, yoga, hydrotherapy also offer stress-management and holistic benefits. Consulting an alternative practitioner and checking for interactions with regular medicines ensures safe application of these natural options.

Addressing the mental impact of PCOS with Counselling

The physical symptoms of PCOS often take a toll on mental health affecting self-esteem, body image and quality of life. Counselling with a therapist helps in coping with weight-related issues, infertility problems, relationship difficulties, lack of sexual desire. Support groups and online forums connect women with shared experiences providing emotional support and relief. Therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy train positive thinking skills countering the social stigma and improving emotional well-being, which in turn aids better management of PCOS. Overall lifestyle management with medical, alternative and psychological support offers the best approach to treatment.

In Summary, Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) treatment encompasses a range of options aimed at managing symptoms and improving overall health. This summary explores the various treatment modalities available for individuals with PCOS, emphasizing the importance of understanding and evaluating these options. PCOS, a hormonal disorder affecting women of reproductive age, presents with symptoms such as irregular menstrual cycles, excess androgen levels, and polycystic ovaries. Treatment strategies typically involve addressing these underlying hormonal imbalances and managing associated symptoms.

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