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What is the Most Effective Treatment for PCOS?

Medically reviewed by Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated May 28, 2021

What is the Most Effective Treatment for PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS happens due to an imbalance in a woman’s reproductive hormones. The condition often results in weight gain, hair and skin concerns, and most notably, period and fertility issues. What’s the most effective treatment for PCOS? Find out below.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): All You Need To Know

PCOS treatment options

Since the exact cause of polycystic ovary syndrome is still unknown, there’s no single medication to treat the condition. Generally, the most effective treatment for PCOS depends on the symptoms experienced by the woman.

For instance, some ladies only experience period irregularities, so her treatment will focus on that symptom alone. Likewise, other women experience numerous issues; hence, their doctor may recommend a combination of drugs.

If you have PCOS, your treatment options include:

Weight reduction

Perhaps, the first thing that your doctor will advise you on is weight reduction.

Reports show that many women who have PCOS also have above normal Body Mass Index. The problem is that being overweight and obesity are associated with PCOS symptoms, such as anovulation or lack of menstruation.

Additionally, being overweight or obese may reduce your response to some PCOS medications.

For these reasons, your doctor may recommend a low calorie or low carbohydrate diet. Additionally, they may formulate an appropriate workout plan for you to aid weight loss.

Since experts say that losing even just 5% of your body weight can improve your condition, you can consider weight reduction as one practice to treat PCOS naturally.

Contraceptive pills to help regulate your period

Women who ovulate but experience irregular menstruation because of their PCOS may benefit from taking oral contraceptive pills.

Combination pills containing progestin and estrogen and progestin-only pills or the mini-pill, can help restore the balance of reproductive hormones. For this reason, they can also help regulate your menstrual cycle.

Additionally, taking oral contraceptive pills may reduce the risk of developing endometrial cancer (cancer of the womb lining). However, please note that prolonged use is associated with increased risk for cervical and breast cancers.

what is the most effective treatment for PCOS?

Medications to help you conceive

Most polycystic ovary syndrome cases are characterized by anovulation, or the inability of the ovaries to release egg cells. Anovulation subsequently leads to menstrual issues, such as infrequent periods (can be less than 9 in a year) or infertility.

For some women, the most effective treatment for PCOS is to receive medications that induce ovulation, as prescribed by their doctor.

Examples of these medications are:

Clomiphene citrate or CC

This drug treats infertility in women, and it’s also one of the first-line treatment for PCOS since it promotes ovulation. According to reports, women often take it during the first part of their menstrual cycle. More than being economical, CC also has few adverse effects and requires little monitoring.


People searching for the most effective treatment for PCOS sometimes get surprised that metformin is an option; after all, isn’t it a drug for diabetes?

But, as it is, most women with PCOS also experience insulin resistance, so metformin could potentially help them.

Moreover, using this medication is also associated with increased menstrual cycles and better ovulation. In fact, if a woman doesn’t get pregnant with CC medication, the doctor will most likely add metformin to the treatment plan.

Finally, metformin also helps in lowering the levels of androgens, a group of hormones responsible for the development of male characteristics. Women with PCOS often experience acne and excessive hair growth in unwanted body parts due to increased androgen levels.

Anastrozole and letrozole

Anastrozole and letrozole are medications that treat breast cancer, but women with PCOS may also benefit from them since they stimulate the ovaries.


Finally, to induce ovulation and treat infertility, the doctor may give you gonadotrophins via injection. However, this medication can overstimulate your ovaries and increase the chance of multiple pregnancies.

Getting Pregnant with PCOS: Is it Possible?

Key Takeaways

Currently, there’s no specific, singular medication to treat polycystic ovary syndrome.

The most effective treatment for PCOS depends on the symptoms you’re experiencing. To manage your condition, you may need to reduce your weight and take some medications to improve period irregularity or infertility.

As always, seeking medical attention to help tailor an effective treatment plan is the best first step.

Learn more about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome here. 


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, MD

General Practitioner

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated May 28, 2021

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