What do you need to know about picking a birth control method that will not exacerbate your PCOS symptoms?
If you have PCOS, your reproductive endocrinologist may well recommend that you use a particular brand of birth control pill to reduce the PCOS symptoms you are suffering from, if you are not trying to conceive, that is. It is true that contraceptive pill may help you in the fight against symptoms, and that the pill may well be an excellent solution for you. However, it is also a good idea to look at reasons not to use the contraceptive pill. Research has shown that the pill can increase insulin resistance in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, something that you have to take into account before you go on the pill.
The birth control pill also interferes with the way in which your body absorbs nutrients, including zinc, magnesium, and folic acid. You need those nutrients in sufficient quantities to maintain your general health, and some nutritional deficiencies also affect PCOS symptoms. The pill comes with some general risks as well, for every woman so including PCOS ladies. Take a higher risk for breast cancer, something that goes up the longer you use the pill, as well as a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes. In some women, the pill creates a lower libido and weight gain.
Which pill might be right for you?
Many PCOS patients suffer from acne, and this is something that you may hope to combat with the use of the contraceptive pill. If so, you'll want to know that contraceptive pills that have higher amounts of estrogen will be more suitable for this particular purpose. These pills will also help you to combat the excessive hair growth many women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome suffer from. Ask your doctor which pill is suitable if you want to bring these two PCOS symptoms under control, but do not forget to discuss the possible side effects of pills with a high estrogen content as well. If you have breakthrough bleeding, you could do well with a pill that has higher estrogen as well as progestin levels but because of your PCOS, you will also need a pill that doesn't strimulate male sex hormones, and which might thus actually make your symptoms worse. Desogen, Estrostep Fe, and Ovcon are examples of such pills.
Do you have sore breasts? Alesse, Levlite, or other contraceptive pills that are high in estrogen but lower in progestin could help you reach a good balance. Such pills could also be a good option for women who suffer from depression and mood swings, because progestin can affect your emotional state. Do you suffer from heavy and painful menstrual periods, but don't have a problem with depression or sore breasts? You might benefit from a contraceptive pill that has more progestin, such as Yasmin or Zovia. These options may also be helpful for you if you struggle with weight gain, another very common problem among women who have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
You can still get pregnant if you have PCOS
When you were diagnosed with PCOS, you found out that women with PCOS are more likely than others to struggle with infertility, because they may not ovulate during every menstrual cycle. This is an important point to be aware of if you are planning on having a baby, because there are steps you can undertake to increase your chances of getting pregnant. Losing even five percent of your weight if you are overweight with PCOS might help you conceive, for instance.
Women who can't manage this on their own often benefit from medications like Metformin to help them shed the right amount of weight. However, you should be aware that PCOS doesn't necessarily mean you cannot get pregnant naturally. This is as important to know for women who are trying to avoid a pregnancy as it is for those who would love to conceive. You'll still need some form of contraception if you do not want to get pregnant and have PCOS. Birth control pills may be the right option for you, but you may also ask your doctor about non-hormonal contraceptives including the Paragard intrauterine device (IUD), or you could use condoms.