PCOS and Birth Control: Finding Balance and Relief

Rahul Gupta
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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pcos and birth control

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a hormonal disorder responsible for irregular periods and infertility.

It affects an estimated 20 percent of women worldwide.

Birth control options offer a means of finding balance and relief in managing PCOS. 

However, managing the condition requires early detection and effective practices.

Continue reading to learn more about the connection between PCOS and birth control.

Fact:
There is no cure for PCOS. But, birth control pills can be used for long-term treatment in women who do not wish to conceive.

Hormonal birth control for PCOS

Taking medicine and water glass Source: InkkStudios_from_Getty_Images
Taking medicine

Women with PCOS often use hormonal birth control to manage the symptoms and restore hormonal equilibrium.

The hormones Estrogen and Progesterone associated with PCOS are controlled using the pills.

Some of the hormonal methods of contraception that your doctor might prescribe are:

  • Patches
  • Injections
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)

Additionally, hormonal contraception can be used to address various symptoms associated with PCOS. 

These include, 

  • Acne
  • Excessive hair growth
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Fluctuating Testosterone levels
  • Increased risk of Endometrial cancer

Selecting a suitable birth control pill for PCOS involves considering various options that effectively address its symptoms. 

Remember, the ideal choice can differ among individuals.

So consulting a healthcare professional is vital to find the best fit for you.

Here are a few options that your doctor might prescribe.

Combination birth control pills

Combination birth control pills with Estrogen and Progestin are often used for PCOS. 

They regulate hormones, suppress ovulation, and lower androgen levels. 

Yaz or Yasmin are among the most preferred choices by doctors.

These pills contain a form of anti-androgenic Progestin called Drospirenone. 

It helps decrease excess Androgens, improving acne and reducing unwanted hair growth.

Ortho Tri-Cyclen is another popular combination pill. 

It contains Norgestimate, a progestin with anti-androgenic properties. 

It’s commonly recommended for PCOS patients seeking to regulate their menstrual cycles and alleviate symptoms.

Order Now:
Your doctor might prescribe Activelle (1+0.5) mg with Estradiol and Norethindrone Acetate as an oral hormone replacement therapy to relieve menopausal symptoms.

Progestin-only pills (mini-pills)

Consult a doctorSource: studioroman
Consult a doctor

Apart from combination pills, Progestin-only pills (mini-pills) are another choice for individuals with PCOS. 

As the name suggests, these pills contain only progestin, without any estrogen. 

Norethindrone is one of the most commonly used progestin-only pills. 

This medication thickens cervical mucus, making it harder for sperm to reach the egg, and helps regulate menstrual cycles. 

They are a suitable alternative for those who cannot take Estrogen-containing pills due to specific health concerns or risk factors.

The ideal birth control pill for PCOS varies based on factors like symptom severity, medical history, and personal preferences. 

Consulting a healthcare professional helps in selecting a pill that effectively manages PCOS symptoms.

They will even help you consider individual risks and contraindications.

Non-hormonal birth control for PCOS

PCOS women who want to avoid using hormones for birth control have a number of options. 

Using diaphragms and condoms can physically block the path sperm take to the egg.  

Additionally, Copper Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) are long-term and hormone-free. 

Permanent contraceptive methods include sterilization. These consist of vasectomy for men and tubal ligation for women.

These options for contraception are just as effective as conventional techniques.

Plus, they have no hormonal side effects that can exacerbate PCOS. 

Women with PCOS can benefit from having access to information about their reproductive health.

Choosing the right birth control for PCOS

Several factors influence the choice of contraception for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

The primary option is selecting between a single hormone or a combination of hormones.

However, there are benefits and drawbacks to each.

Hormonal contraception may have more severe side effects in some women.

So, it is crucial to understand the side effects of such birth control options fully.

These include changes in period length and heaviness, breast tenderness, and potential weight gain.

Additionally, it is vital to look after non-contraceptive benefits. These include,

  • Less acne
  • Improved menstrual cycle regularity
  • Control of other PCOS-related symptoms

Effective contraception while also treating PCOS-related problems calls for a tailored strategy.

Your doctor will recommend the best birth control based on your wants and goals.

So it’s essential to coordinate with them before making any decisions.

Warning:
Always seek medical attention if you develop PCOS symptoms.

Conclusion

PCOS and birth control offer options for finding balance and relief in symptom management. 

Lifestyle changes and medications like Metformin might help alleviate the symptoms.

Finding the right balance is crucial, considering individual needs and potential side effects.

Further research is needed to understand the effectiveness and personalize treatment plans. 

You can improve your quality of life by staying informed and working with healthcare professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best birth control for PCOS?

Combination birth control pills like Yaz or Yasmin and Ortho Tri-Cyclen, and progestin-only pills (mini-pills) are some of the best birth control for PCOS. Always check with your doctor before taking these medications. They will guide you through the usage and potential side effects, if available.

Does birth control make PCOS better or worse?

The impact of birth control on PCOS can differ for individuals. It may provide relief for some symptoms, but its effectiveness varies. Seeking guidance from a healthcare professional is essential to tailor the approach to specific needs and circumstances.

Does birth control help PCOS lose weight?

The impact of birth control on weight loss in PCOS individuals may differ. While it can assist with symptom management, direct weight loss effects may not be guaranteed. A holistic approach that includes lifestyle adjustments and medical guidance is essential for effective weight management in PCOS.

Why shouldn’t you take birth control with PCOS?

Birth control pills might not be suitable for some women with PCOS. They might develop side effects including mood changes, weight gain, and increased risk of cardiometabolic diseases. So it is advised to see a doctor before taking birth control pills during PCOS.

Citations:
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