Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. It is characterized by an excess production of androgens, or male hormones, which can cause irregular periods, infertility, weight gain, and acne.
In this post, we’ll discuss some remedies and treatments, including the popular PCOS medication, Metformin.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrinopathy characterized by increased resistance to insulin. Metformin is one of the longest-established oral insulin-sensitizing agents. For decades its use was restricted to the management of type 2 diabetes. However, in the past two decades, its properties as an insulin-sensitizing agent have been explored in relation to its applicability for women with PCOS.
Metformin is an effective ovulation induction agent for non-obese women with PCOS and offers some advantages over other first-line treatments for anovulatory infertility such as clomiphene. For clomiphene-resistant women, metformin alone or in combination with clomiphene is an effective next step. Women with PCOS undergoing in vitro fertilization should be offered metformin to reduce their risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.
Limited evidence suggests that metformin may be a suitable alternative to the oral contraceptive pill (OCP) for treating hyperandrogenic symptoms of PCOS including hirsutism and acne. More research is required to define whether metformin has a role in improving long-term health outcomes for women with PCOS, including the prevention of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and endometrial cancer.
How does PCOS affect women?
As with any condition, different people can be affected in different ways, however, some of the most common symptoms of PCOS are:
- Irregular menstrual cycles or periods that are absent or infrequent
- Excess androgen hormones, which can cause acne, excess hair growth, and male-pattern baldness
- Polycystic ovaries, which may appear enlarged on ultrasound and contain many small follicles
- Insulin resistance, which can cause weight gain, high blood sugar levels, and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Difficulty getting pregnant or infertility
- Fatigue, mood swings, and sleep disturbances
- Depression and anxiety
- High cholesterol and increased risk of heart disease
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Skin tags and dark patches of skin (acanthosis nigricans)
How PCOS can be treated
Fortunately, there are effective treatments available to help manage the symptoms of PCOS and improve overall health outcomes. Some of the remedies available to those affected by PCOS are:
- A healthy, balanced diet that is low in refined sugars and carbohydrates may help regulate insulin levels and improve symptoms of PCOS
- Regular exercise can improve insulin sensitivity and help with weight management, which can reduce symptoms of PCOS
- Certain herbs, such as cinnamon, saw palmetto, and spearmint, have been studied for their potential to improve PCOS symptoms. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before taking any herbal supplements
- Some studies have suggested that acupuncture may be effective in reducing symptoms of PCOS, such as insulin resistance and menstrual irregularities
- Chronic stress can worsen PCOS symptoms, so relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises may be helpful
- Pharmaceutical options, such as the popular PCOS medication, Metformin
What you need to know about PCOS medication, Metformin
A common PCOS medication, Metformin, is used to treat type 2 diabetes. It works by reducing insulin resistance and lowering blood sugar levels.
In women with PCOS, Metformin can help regulate menstrual cycles, reduce androgen levels, and improve ovulation. Some studies have also shown that Metformin can improve fertility in women with PCOS who are trying to conceive.
Where to find the popular PCOS medication, Metformin
It is important to note that PCOS medication and treatment should be tailored to each individual’s specific symptoms and needs. Women with PCOS should work closely with their healthcare provider to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses their unique symptoms and health concerns.