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Dr Ting Sze Man
Pesky Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complicated medical syndrome, which means much more than just cysts in the ovaries. It interferes with our hormones, which may lead to excessive body hair, acnes, irregular menstrual cycles and trouble with getting pregnant. It is also associated with an increased risk of high blood sugar, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer of the womb. If you have irregular mense, acne prone skin or hair growing above the upper lip or below the naval, then you should be alerted and consult a doctor to see whether there is a hormone problem going on.

PCOS cannot be completely cured, but treatments are available to deal with the symptoms. For example, BPO or Adapalene acne cream may be prescribed for external application to alleviate acne problem. It is easy to apply and they have minimal side effects. However, as the hormonal level isn’t addressed through such treatment, recurrence is likely when medication is discontinued. Another option is taking oral contraceptive pills to balance your internal hormone level. This will improve the androgen-related symptoms such as acnes and excessive body hair growth.

For severe acne problem, doctors may prescribe oral or topical antibiotics, but the problem of antibiotic resistance should not be overlooked. If you wish to avoid antibiotics, LED phototherapy can be used to treat acnes by controlling sebum secretion and bacteria overgrowth, which are two key contributing factors of acne problem. It is an FDA approved, safe and effective treatment for acnes.

If you are trying to get pregnant, you should discuss with your doctor on ovulation induction. Clomid is a drug which can stimulate the ovary to release an egg regularly each month, so to increase the chance of conceiving. In terms of diet, PCOS ladies don’t respond as good to insulin. You should avoid food with high sugar content or refined carbohydrates which would stimulate insulin secretion and aggravate androgen-related symptoms (such as acne and body hair problems).

Our health is in our hands. Healthy lifestyle is very helpful for maintaining hormonal balance. Exercise more and maintain a healthy low-sugar high-fibre diet, and you will be healthier and more beautiful naturally.

The above information is provided by Dr Ting Sze Man