Medical Q&As

Polycystic ovaries - best treatment?

My wife has recently been told by her doctor that she has polycystic ovaries. What is the best form of treatment for her?

PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) is a complex metabolic disorder that is also known by the alternative names of polycystic ovary syndrome or polycystic ovary disease. The pattern of symptoms can vary greatly from one person to the next but they will all have the common denominator of having ovaries with multiple cysts. Some women may present to their doctor because of menstrual difficulties whereas others will seek help because of infertility or even acne. In other words the pattern of symptoms is unique in each case of the syndrome. Recently it has been recognised that women with PCOS are resistant to insulin, which means that they require the pancreas to produce extra amounts of insulin in order to regulate the blood sugar. Many women with PCOS have benefited from using metformin, an anti-diabetic drug, which helps to counteract the insulin resistance. Depending on a woman’s presenting pattern of symptoms the treatment could include such diverse treatments as the contraceptive pill, anti-androgen hormones, the previously mentioned metformin, a weight reduction programme or even surgery. There is no best “one size fits all” form of treatment. Each case has to be individually assessed and treated accordingly. You can learn more about PCOS by reading our discussions on this topic. This can be accessed at: http://www.irishhealth.com/discussion/message.html?dis=5&topic=548&con=493.