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Is There a Cure for PCOS?

Is There a Cure for PCOS?

Have you been plagued by irregular periods, unexpected weight gain, or even trouble with fertility? If so, you’re not alone — you could be one of the millions of women struggling with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

In Queens and White Plains, New York, board-certified OB/GYN Daniel S. Kushner, MD, helps women of all ages manage their PCOS symptoms. One of the first questions most PCOS patients ask is whether there’s a cure for this troublesome condition. 

Here’s what you need to know about PCOS and the ways Dr. Kushner can help you find relief. 

What do I need to know about PCOS?

At its core, PCOS is a condition of hormonal imbalance that affects women of reproductive age. When your body has more male hormones (androgens) and insulin than it should, it can cause problems with your reproductive health, leading to PCOS. 

The condition is characterized by the presence of multiple small cysts on the ovaries, although not everyone with PCOS has these cysts. PCOS can cause a range of symptoms, including, but not limited to:

PCOS can also affect your mental health, leading to anxiety and depression, and increase your risk of other health issues, like Type 2 diabetes or sleep apnea. 

Does a cure for PCOS exist?

When it comes to PCOS, the word “cure” is a bit misleading. Currently, there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution to make PCOS disappear forever. 

However, it’s not all bad news. Researchers are working to understand the root causes of PCOS better, exploring everything from genetics to environmental factors. 

Promising areas of study include new hormonal therapies and lifestyle intervention studies aimed at preventing or minimizing the long-term complications of PCOS. These include stem cell-derived therapies to address underlying causes of the condition and new medications to manage symptoms. 

While a cure for PCOS may not yet exist, a number of existing strategies and treatments help manage symptoms and reduce the risk of complications. Each step you take toward managing your symptoms and addressing the underlying hormonal imbalance is a step closer to feeling better and living a healthier life.

What are the treatment options for PCOS? 

Navigating PCOS treatment requires a holistic approach that considers your health from multiple angles. That's why Dr. Kushner assesses your overall health, lifestyle, personal preferences, and where you are in your family planning before recommending a customized PCOS treatment plan, which may include a combination of: 

Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes are the foundation of managing your PCOS. It’s important to embrace a balanced diet rich in whole foods, fiber, and lean protein. Aim to reduce your intake of processed foods and refined sugars to help regulate your insulin levels.  

Weight management is also a key part of managing PCOS. A healthy diet helps keep your weight under control, as does regular physical activity. Exercise also improves insulin sensitivity and reduces PCOS symptoms. 

Chronic stress can make PCOS symptoms worse. Dr. Kushner talks to you about incorporating stress-reduction techniques, like yoga, meditation, or even simple breathing exercises to help improve your handle on stress. 

Treatments to target symptoms

Because PCOS involves an imbalance of hormones, medications can help regulate these imbalances and give you relief from symptoms. For example, metformin, a medication designed to help with Type 2 diabetes, can improve your insulin resistance and can even aid in weight loss and regulating ovulation. 

Birth control pills or other hormonal therapies can help regulate your periods, reduce acne, and help with hair growth. 

You can also talk to Dr. Kushner about alternative and complementary therapies, such as acupuncture or supplements. Just be sure to consult with your provider before starting any therapy. 

Fertility treatments

One aspect of PCOS is infertility, as the condition causes irregular ovulation, making conception a challenge. Treatments like clomiphene citrate (Clomid) or letrozole can stimulate ovulation, improving your chances of conceiving. In some cases, Dr. Kushner may recommend in vitro fertilization or surgery.

While there may not be a cure for PCOS, many solutions out there can help you manage its effects and live well. Get started by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone with Dr. Kushner today.

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