When you find out you have Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), one of your first questions is likely how to heal PCOS.
It seems daunting to think you will be dealing with PCOS for a long time. You’re probably looking for information on how to alleviate your symptoms—or eliminate them.
Can you heal PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome usually appears during a woman’s first period. The most common symptom is having “abnormal” periods. Although every woman is different, if you have irregular, prolonged or infrequent menstrual cycles, you may have PCOS.1
For instance, having less than 9 periods in a year, having very heavy periods, or having a cycle of more than 35 days, are all reasons to see a doctor for examination and diagnosis.1
PCOS can also lead to the development of small sacs of fluid along the outer edge of the ovary. These fluid-filled cysts contain immature eggs, and the follicles fail to regularly release eggs.2
The ovaries may get enlarged and fail to function appropriately. And, there could be increased levels of androgens, male hormones that women also have, which can create excess body and facial hair, severe acne, and impact ovulation.1
Diagnosing and Monitoring PCOS
What makes PCOS somewhat worrisome is the possibility that it can lead to other conditions. For instance, women with PCOS are often insulin resistant, which means their bodies can make insulin but not use it properly. That puts them at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes.3
Other serious health problems pose a risk, particularly for women with PCOS who are overweight, such as: gestational diabetes; heart disease; high blood pressure; cholesterol issues; sleep apnea; stroke; and depression and anxiety.3
As a result, a health care provider will likely perform tests to check for complications. These tests can include:4
- Regular monitoring of blood pressure
- Regular checks of glucose tolerance
- Screening for cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- Screening for depression and anxiety
- Screening for obstructive sleep apnea
Early diagnosis of PCOS is key to monitoring these other health risks.
How to Heal PCOS
When you have a condition like PCOS, particularly if you’re worried about it impacting your ability to get pregnant, you want to know if you can heal PCOS. Since the exact cause of PCOS is unclear, it’s also uncertain whether it can be completely healed.5
But don’t be discouraged. A treatment plan can be devised, with adjustments made based on whether you want to become pregnant in the future, as well as your age, the severity of your symptoms, and your overall health.5
Here are some of the treatments possible for PCOS:5
1. Lifestyle changes: Modifications to what you eat along with more physical activity can help you lose weight and reduce your symptoms. It can also help your body use insulin more efficiently, lower blood glucose levels, and may even help you ovulate.
2. Medications to cause ovulation: If you want to become pregnant, then you may consider medications to help the ovaries release eggs normally. However, these medications also have certain risks, so you should be sure to get all the information necessary from your doctor.
3. Birth control pills: For women who don’t want to become pregnant, these may help control menstrual cycles and lower androgen levels.
4. Diabetes medication: Can help lower insulin resistance in PCOS. It may also help reduce androgen levels, slow hair growth, and help you ovulate more regularly.
While it may not be possible to heal PCOS completely, there is hope in the form of treatment plans to help lessen or perhaps eliminate the side effects and potential health risks of this condition. If you have one or more symptoms of PCOS, use our Physician Finder to find a doctor near you with expertise in women’s health for diagnosis and treatment.