Can PCOS Be Cured?

Is There A Cure For PCOS?

No, there is no cure for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Instead treatment is aimed at relieving symptoms (mainly because doctors still do not know for sure what causes the condition). Any person, website or advert that tells you they can cure PCOS is misleading you - some sites claim to have the natural cure for PCOS while others promote pills for lowering insulin levels (one of the suspected underlying causes). If you come across these merchants, avoid them; there are no significant medical studies to back up their claims.

The Good News

Fortunately there is still much that you CAN do to overcome some of the worst symptoms of PCOS. When choosing a treatment your doctor should first discuss the end goal of the therapy. For example, do you want to regularize your periods, lower your risk factors for diabetes or treat infertility? The primary treatment for women not planning a pregnancy is still the oral contraceptive pill because it helps to regularize the menstrual cycle. For those who do want to become pregnant, options include losing weight, taking fertility drugs, undergoing ovarian drilling surgery, starting IVF treatment or egg donation. Other symptoms like excess facial hair and acne are treated with antiandrogen (male hormone) medications and if insulin resistance is a concern, metformin may be prescribed. For more, see: PCOS treatment. In addition there are many natural therapies (like yoga and acupuncture) and supplements which can help improve symptoms, for more see: natural treatment for PCOS.

Does PCOS Get Worse Over Time?

It is quite common for symptoms to worsen during a woman's reproductive years (ages 20 to 40). This is particularly true for women who gain lots of weight. However, as you approach menopause the severity of the symptoms often subsides.

Personal Stories

I diagnosed myself before I even went to a doctor with PCOS, it was a no-brainer. I had irregular periods, I was suffering insulin resistance and had been overweight since I was a child. I continued to steadily gain weight, the skin under my arms was discolored and I had hairs where they shouldn't be (hirsutism). I've been taking a range of meds to control the symptoms, and its working. Haven't tried to have kids yet, still only 21, so not sure how my fertility is affected.
Andrea, New York

I had irregular periods, gained weight really easy and was told I was insulin resistant. I rapidly gained weight 5 years ago and then was diagnosed with PCOS. I followed a strict diet, exercised regularly and lost weight. I've been taking metformin to get the insulin under control. It's all working well, I'm expecting a baby girl in 2 months without the need for fertility treatment.
Sharon, Newcastle
See: Can I lose weight with PCOS?

I'm 17 and was diagnosed a few months ago. Had irregular periods like everyone else, hair was growing on my stomach, the hair on my head was thinning and falling out, I gained weight uncontrollably and found it really difficult to lose it. I've been put on the Pill and am taking flutamide for hirsutism and acne. Starting to lose weight now, which was the thing that upset me the most. Guess I'll never be a skinny model, but just 'normal' would be good. :)
Precious, New Orleans
See: Does PCOS cause hair loss?

Related Questions
Does PCOS cause fatigue?
Can PCOS cause pain?

• Need more information about PCOS? See: Guide to PCOS
• Got another question? See: Womens Health Questions

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WOMENS HEALTH ADVICE: ABOUT QUESTIONS ON FEMALE HEALTH
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