PCOS impacts a woman’s reproductive system by producing tiny, fluid-filled sacs. These follicles house immature eggs that never fully develop into mature eggs that are released by the body. Therefore, women with PCOS have irregular periods. These women can go months without having a regular period, and conceiving is difficult when the body is not regularly menstruating. Here are some symptoms of PCOS:
- Irregular periods
- Excessive hair growth on the face and body
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
Researchers still do not know what causes the body to develop PCOS. However, many doctors believe that factors like insulin resistance, low-grade inflammation, and genetics play a role in PCOS development. There is no cure, but PCOS can be managed and controlled with the proper medical intervention.
What can I take to regulate PCOS?
Hormonal birth control is one of the most effective ways to regulate PCOS. Birth control can stabilize the body’s hormone levels, reducing the level of male hormones the body produces. Birth control can also relieve PCOS symptoms like heavy menstrual bleeding and acne. Birth control comes in many forms, including pills, patches, implants, and intrauterine devices (IUDs).
What are the benefits of taking birth control for people with PCOS?
Birth control medication contains estrogen and progestin, both hormones that naturally occur in a woman’s body. Doctors can prescribe birth control with varying levels of the hormones or with just one of these hormones. This medication can increase estrogen levels while decreasing testosterone to create a regular menstrual cycle.
Reduce cramping and bloating
Painful periods accompanied by heavy cramping and bloating are common side effects of PCOS. Birth control decreases the prostaglandin chemicals in the body that makes the uterus contract, thus creating painful cramps and bloating. Birth control can also reduce the amount of blood produced during a period.
Hormonal birth control improves acne by reducing androgen levels in the body. Androgens are linked to increased sebum production, and sebum builds up under the skin to produce acne. There are brands of birth control on the market that are used primarily to treat acne.
What type of birth control should I use?
Patients interested in birth control should speak to a physician, especially a gynecologist. Schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider as soon as possible to discuss PCOS. A gynecologist can also perform tests to accurately diagnose a patient with PCOS and develop a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses all patients’ issues.