The first thing to know when it comes to tests and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is that there is no one test that determines PCOS. Doctors usually have to work by exclusion, meaning, he has to consider all symptoms one by one, then rule out other disorders that could mimic PCOS.
Your physician will consider your medical history, do a physical and pelvic exam, administer blood tests (i.e., glucose test for diabetes) and possibly do a pelvic ultrasound to get to the root of the problem. When PCOS is conclusively diagnosed, the treatment can begin. Treatment is based on the patient’s personal concerns, be it fertility, abnormal hair growth or obesity.
For instance, if the patient is concerned about excessive hair growth, the physician may recommend birth control pills to decrease androgen production. Another medication called spironolactone, is used as well. It blocks androgens to the skin. Spironolactone should only be used when the female is not considering pregnancy since birth defects have been linked to this drug. And finally, there are topical creams like, Eflornithine that slows facial hair growth in women.
If infertility is the problem, treatment for inducing ovulations may be needed. Medicines, such as clomiphene or metformin are used quite often to induce ovulation. There are, of course, other options – like surgery and in-vitro fertilization. In order to consider which of these options are best suited for you, it is best to consult your physician.
Some PCOS sufferers don’t want to get pregnant, but they recognize the need to have a regular cycle. They well know that the lack there of can make them a candidate for certain kinds of cancers. Usually, the physician will prescribed a low dose of birth control bill that contains estrogen and progesterone. Or another approach is to take progesterone for 10 to 14 days. This regulates periods and protects against endometrial cancer, but it does not improve androgen levels. Lastly, metformin can be prescribed. Even though it’s really an oral medication for type II diabetes, it also can be used to improve ovulation which leads to regular cycles.
As stated before, it really depends on the individual’s concerns that determine the treatment plan.
It’s amazing how similar the basic lifestyle tips are for any disorder or disease. You ready? Make healthy diet choices, get regular exercise, and have regular check-ups (blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar). Ta-da! C’mon, you knew it was coming! Sounds simple, but because of the body’s imbalance with PCOS, these simple steps can be difficult to maintain. But it’s well worth it. For instance, did you know that when some overweight PCOS sufferers lose weight, their symptoms disappear? That’s why it’s important to try to stabilize your hormone imbalance and regulate your cycles by staying on top of health issues as they come up. This may be as simple as buying a two-dollar calendar and marking and keeping up with any medical appointment or check-up.
Do it first for yourself. You’ll thank yourself later.
Resource: The Hormone Foundation, Mayo Clinic
Dita Faulkner is currently living in Tennessee and works with at-risk families. She is a freelance writer. One of her latest works of poetry can be seen at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2265805/wrong_number.html?cat=42