Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Women's Health

Font Size
A
A
A

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) - Treatment Overview

Regular exercise, a healthy diet, weight control, and not smoking are all important parts of treatment for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). You may also take medicine to balance your hormones.

Treatments depend on your symptoms and whether you are planning a pregnancy.

Recommended Related to Women

7 Childhood Conditions You Can Still Correct

Josie Richardson was surprised when her dentist suggested she get braces. Although she'd always been embarrassed by her overlapping teeth, at 46 she'd resigned herself to her imperfect smile. But when the dentist pointed out that it was more than just a cosmetic issue -it's harder to clean between crooked teeth -Richardson, a jewelry designer in Boca Raton, FL, signed on for the mouthful of hardware normally associated with teens. Indeed, soon after, she and her 14-year-old son became a matched pair...

Read the 7 Childhood Conditions You Can Still Correct article > >

There is no cure for PCOS, but controlling it lowers your risks of infertility, miscarriages, diabetes, heart disease, and uterine cancer.

Healthy lifestyle

  • If you are overweight, weight loss may be all the treatment you need. A small amount of weight loss is likely to help balance your hormones and start up your menstrual cycle and ovulation.
  • Eat a balanced diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.
  • Get regular exercise to help you control or lose weight and feel better.
  • If you smoke, consider quitting. Women who smoke have higher levels of androgens than women who don't smoke.1

For more information, see Home Treatment.

Hormone therapy

If weight loss alone doesn't start ovulation (or if you don't need to lose weight), your doctor may have you try a medicine such as metformin or clomiphene to help you start to ovulate.

If you aren't planning a pregnancy, you can also use hormone therapy to help control your ovary hormones. To correct menstrual cycle problems, birth control hormones keep your endometrial lining from building up for too long. This can prevent uterine cancer.

Hormone therapy also can help with male-type hair growth and acne. Birth control pills, patches, or vaginal rings are prescribed for hormone therapy. Androgen-lowering spironolactone (Aldactone) is often used with combined hormonal birth control. This helps with hair loss, acne, and male-pattern hair growth on the face and body (hirsutism).

You can use other methods to treat acne and remove excess hair. For more information, see Home Treatment.

Taking hormones doesn't help with heart, blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes risks. This is why exercise and a healthy diet are key parts of your treatment.

To learn more about hormones, see Medications.

If weight loss and medicine don't restart ovulation, you may want to try other treatments. For more information, see the topic Fertility Problems.

Regular checkups

Regular checkups are important for catching any PCOS complications, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, uterine cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 26, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
1
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Test your knowledge.
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
 
birth control pills
Learn about your options.
insomnia
Is it menopause or something else?
 
woman in bathtub
Slideshow
period
VIDEO
 
bp app on smartwatch and phone
Slideshow
estrogen gene
Quiz
 

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Blood pressure check
Slideshow
hot water bottle on stomach
Quiz
 
question
Assessment
Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror
Quiz