Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
As part of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) treatment, medicines can be used to help control reproductive hormone or insulin levels.
Medicines to treat reproductive or metabolic problems include:
- Reference Combination estrogen and progestin hormones in birth control pills, vaginal rings, or skin patches. These hormones correct irregular menstrual bleeding or absent menstrual cycles. They may also improve your Reference androgen Opens New Window-related acne problems, male-type hair growth, and male-pattern hair loss.
- Synthetic progestin. If you are not able to use the hormone estrogen, talk to your doctor about using progestin shots or pills for part of your cycle. The progestin makes your endometrial lining build up and shed, similar to a menstrual period. This monthly shedding is what prevents uterine cancer.
- Androgen-lowering Reference spironolactone (Aldactone), which is a Reference diuretic Opens New Window. It is often used with estrogen-progestin therapy. This reduces hair loss, acne, and abnormal hair growth on the face and body (hirsutism).
- Reference Metformin (Glucophage). This diabetes medicine is a newer PCOS treatment for controlling Reference insulin Opens New Window, blood sugar levels, and androgen levels.
- Reference Clomiphene (Clomid, Serophene) (fertility medicines) and Reference gonadotropin injections (LH and FSH).
Eflornithine (such as Vaniqa) is a prescription skin cream that slows hair growth for as long as you use it regularly. Talk to your doctor about whether it is right for you.
Treatment for acne includes nonprescription and prescription medicines that are applied to the skin (topical) or taken by mouth (oral). For more information, see Reference Acne.
Combination hormone pills may improve acne that is related to high androgen levels.Reference 4
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference February 7, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology