Other Treatments for PCOS


Pre Conception
Fertility medications: Lack of ovulation is usually the reason for fertility problems in women with PCOS. Several medications that stimulate ovulation can help women with PCOS become pregnant. Other causes for infertility in both the woman and man should be ruled out before fertility medications are used. Also, some fertility medications increase the risk for multiple births (twins, triplets ).

Treatment options include:

  • Clomiphene citrate: the first choice therapy to stimulate ovulation for most patients.
  • Metformin taken with clomiphene – may be tried if clomiphene alone fails. The combination may help women with PCOS ovulate on lower doses of medication.
  • Gonadotropins – given as injections, but are more expensive and raise the risk of multiple births compared to clomiphene.

Another option is in vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF offers the best chance of becoming pregnant in any given cycle. It also gives doctors better control over the chance of multiple births.

Surgery:

“Ovarian drilling” is a surgery that may increase the chance of ovulation.
It’s sometimes used when a woman does not respond to fertility medicines. This procedure is performed laparoscopically and multiple punctures are made in the ovary is punctured with a small needle carrying an electric current. This surgery can lower male hormone levels and help with ovulation. This treatment doesn’t help with loss of scalp hair or increased hair growth on other parts of the body.

Medicine for increased hair growth or extra male hormones:

Medicines called anti-androgens may reduce hair growth and clear acne. Spironolactone first used to treat high blood pressure, has been shown to reduce the impact of male hormones on hair growth in women. Anti-androgens (cyproterone acetate) are often combined with birth control pills. These medications should not be taken if you are trying to become pregnant.

Other treatments:

Some research has shown that bariatric (weight loss) surgery may be effective in resolving PCOS in morbidly obese women. Morbid obesity means having a BMI of more than 40, or a BMI of 35 to 40 with an obesity-related disease.