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There is no cure for polycystic ovarian syndrome. Although there have been cases involving the spontaneous resumption of menstruation, most women will have progressive symptoms until after menopause. Treatment of PCOS is aimed at reducing its symptoms and helping to prevent future complications. The goals are to promote ovulation, prevent endometrial hyperplasia, counterbalance the effects of androgen, and reduce insulin resistance. Treatment options depend on the type and severity of the individual patient's symptoms and on the patient's desire to become pregnant.
- Diet, exercise, and maintaining a healthy body weight may help many women manage the symptoms of PCOS. These lifestyle changes are recommended to help decrease insulin resistance. Weight reduction can also decrease testosterone, insulin, and LH levels. Regular exercise and healthy foods will help lower blood pressure and cholesterol as well as improve sleep apnoea problems.
- Drugs such as metformin may be prescribed to treat insulin resistance and diabetes. Metformin may also help to regulate menstrual periods and encourage ovulation.
- Waxing, shaving, depilatory, and electrolysis or laser treatments may be used to remove excess facial and body hair.
- Antibiotics or retinoic acids may be used to treat acne.
- Oral contraceptives may be prescribed to help normalize menstrual periods.
- Other medications may also be prescribe to stabilize hormone levels; treat more severe acne and/or excess hair; encourage or induce ovulation
Last Review Date: July 1, 2018