Birth Control Options For Pcos Management

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder affecting around 12% of women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dealing with this condition means struggling with hyperandrogenism, ovulatory dysfunction, multiple small cysts, etc. While there is no absolute cure for PCOS, there are many ways to manage its symptoms, and one effective approach is through hormonal birth control IUD.

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    Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) and PCOS

    Hormonal birth control is often the “first-line medical treatment” to manage the menace of PCOS. If getting pregnant is not on your list, several birth control methods, such as the pill, a vaginal ring, patches, and hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs), can be beneficial.

    IUDs are quite popular because of their low maintenance and long-lasting life; they are still not always the best choice. Their association with increased weight gain and inflammation worsens existing issues for those with PCOS. While research does not necessarily raise the same concerns about IUDs, they may not be suitable for everyone.

    Hormonal IUDs help irregular menstruation associated with PCOS, but copper IUDs won’t impact PCOS symptoms. Those with a history of STIs or recent pelvic inflammatory disease should avoid them.

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    Types of Birth Control for PCOS

    Hormonal birth control is a prescription-based management for PCOS because it addresses various symptoms of the disorder. The benefits you can get from its use include regulating periods, reducing menstrual bloating and cramps, minimizing acne, and controlling excess body hair. However, it is crucial to be aware of the potential drawbacks.

    Considerations for Hormonal Birth Control

    Both PCOS and hormonal contraceptives put you at an increased risk of developing blood clots. Depending on your health and past medical history, birth control may be a risky choice.
    Since all hormonal birth control contains progestin, and some progestins mimic androgens more than others, choosing a birth control option with low-androgenic activity is crucial to avoid worsening symptoms.

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    Other Birth Control Options for PCOS

    If you and your women’s wellness care expert decide that birth control is the right choice for managing your specific PCOS, here are some options to consider:

    1. Oral Contraceptives
      Oral contraceptives are commonly referred to as “the pill,” and they come in two types:
      • Combination pills – containing both estrogen and progestin,
      • Progestin-only pills.

      Combination ones are the most popular choice for managing PCOS symptoms, but if you experience adverse reactions to estrogen, progestin-only pills may be a better fit.

    2. Skin Patch
      If you are in search of a low-maintenance option, the hormonal patch is a great choice. It is worn on the upper arm for 21 days and contains both estrogen and progestin.
    3. Vaginal Ring
      Physically, it is a small, soft ring placed inside a vagina for 21 days at a time that releases small doses of estrogen and progestin locally and into the bloodstream.

    Closing Note

    While there is no absolute cure for this condition yet, birth control is a valuable tool in managing its symptoms. Do not hesitate to reach out to our expert obstetrician and gynecologist, Dr. Munira Dudhbhai, MD, FACOG, certified with the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology from Lewisville Women’s Care. We are just a call away to help you. Call us at (972) 956-8008 to schedule an appointment today.


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