Ovarian Cysts Treatment Pcos Contraceptive Pill

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) treatment depends, in part, on which symptoms and conditions the affected woman wishes to treat. PCOS contraceptive pill treatments may help control unwanted acne and hirsutism, while also promoting regular menstruation cycles.

Using the Pill for PCOS Symptoms

PCOS birth control treats several symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome. One of the defining characteristics of PCOS is the production of androgens (male sex hormones) by the ovaries. Under normal circumstances, the ovaries produce a small amount of androgens. Women with these types of cysts produce male hormones in excessive amounts, which may contribute to acne and unwanted hair growth.

Treatment of excessive hair growth usually involves a combination of a PCOS contraceptive pill and an anti-androgen hormone. These combined oral contraceptives contain both estrogen and progesterone. Some PCOS birth control pills contain a form of progesterone known as cyproterone acetate, which is an anti-androgen.

Acne related to PCOS can also be improved with combined birth control pills. Progesterone-only pills should be avoided as a PCOS treatment, as they may worsen acne symptoms.

Taking the pill for PCOS-related acne and hirsutism does not produce immediate symptom relief. It can take several months of PCOS contraceptive pill treatment before results are observed.

Menstruation, Reproductive Health and PCOS Birth Control

The PCOS contraceptive pill has other advantages. Proper use of the pill for PCOS encourages lighter, more regular periods. Many types of cysts are tied to ovulation, and are less likely to develop when women are “on the pill.”

PCOS is also associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Women using the pill as an ovarian cyst treatment cut their risk of ovarian or uterine cancer by about 50 percent. PCOS birth control treatments also reduce the risk of endometriosis (the growth of uterine-lining tissue outside of the uterus).

Disadvantages of the Pill for PCOS

PCOS contraceptive pill treatment comes with a price. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a major cause of infertility in women. For women trying to conceive, the pill is obviously not a desirable ovarian cysts treatment option. PCOS treatment often requires making a decision between increasing fertility and controlling unwanted symptoms.

Regardless of whether or not a woman has PCOS, birth control pills can produce unwanted side effects in any woman. In most cases, side effects are mild and disappear within a few menstrual cycles.

These side effects include:

  • Headaches
  • Menstrual spotting
  • Mood changes
  • Nausea
  • Sore or enlarged breasts.

Women who suffer from migraines may find that their symptoms worsen when taking oral contraceptives. You’ll want to discuss this possibility with your doctor before starting any PCOS contraceptive pill regimen.

In addition, women are more likely to develop blood clots while on the pill if they:

  • Are overweight/obese
  • Sit for long periods of time (such as on airplane trips)
  • Smoke.

Although rare, oral contraceptive use can cause blood clots in the legs or lungs. Women taking the pill for PCOS should report any of the following symptoms to a medical professional immediately:

  • Chest pain (possibly accompanied by cough)
  • Numbness, dizziness or weakness
  • Pain, swelling or warmth in the calf or thigh
  • Redness in the calf or thigh
  • Severe abdominal or stomach pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden, severe headaches
  • Vision or speech problems.

Resources

Alpert, I. (2007). Polycystic ovary syndrome. Retrieved February 22, 2010, from the KidsHealth Web site: http://kidshealth.org/teen/sexual_health/girls/pcos.html#a_How_Is_It_Treated_.

Center for Young Women’s Health Staff. (2009). PCOS guide for teens: The oral contraceptive pill and PCOS. Retrieved February 22, 2010, from the Center for Young Women’s Health Web site: http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/pcos_and_the_pill.html.

Molloy, D. (2007). Treatment of PCOS/other ovulation problems. Retrieved February 22, 2010, from the Gynecology Molloy Web site: http://www.gynaecologymolloy.com/polycystic-treatment.html.

Tricker, J. (n.d.). PCOS: Causes and treatments. Retrieved February 22, 2010, from the Women’s Health London Web site: http://www.womenshealthlondon.org.uk/leaflets/ovarian/ovapcostreat.html.