Information and instruction sheet for patients with Polycystic Ovaries (PCO) or PCO like Syndrome

This is a common condition in adolescent girls and young women. Usually, the person is overweight and her menses are irregular. She may complain of excessive hair on the face or body. All features are not present in all the people with this condition.

As of now, there is no medicine which permanently cure this condition. It can go away on its own or stay the same. But bringing the body weight to ideal levels offers the best hope for natural relief of symptoms. It is not a tumour.

The following facts must be remembered.

  1. It is important to have normal weight since this can improve symptoms. Diet and exercise are important to watch. Your ideal body weight is approximately 46 kg if you are 5 ft tall and 57 kg if you are 5’5″ tall. Read the guidelines for weight reduction given in the accompanying sheet. You should try to reduce half to one kg per month till you reach your target, but even a weight loss of 3-5 kg will help.
  2. If 60 days go by without a bleed, take the progesterone medication prescribed by your doctor for 10-14 days . Expect a bleed in 3-10 days of stopping the medicine. Keep a diary of menstrual cycles. If bleeds are heavy, the doctor can prescribe you other medicines.
  3. If excessive facial hair is a problem, you can consider medication, but these medicines have to be taken exactly as the doctors prescribe. These medicines :

(a). Usually take 6 to 12 months to show an effect.

(b). Don’t usually give 100% relief, but do result in decreased frequency of plucking or waxing and also decreased thickness of individual hairs.

(c). Do not give a permanent cure for the hair but as long as medicine is taken the relief may be present.

(d). They do have side effects, but the doctor will monitor for those, and they will usually subside on stopping the medicine.

  1. If you are overweight, blood pressure must be measured every 6 months and a record maintained. If BP is greater than 130/90, consult your doctor.
  2. This condition is often associated with difficulty in becoming pregnant. If conception does not happen spontaneously, there are medicines for inducing ovulation, though they may not have a 100% success rate. These medicines are different from the medicines for menstrual periods or for excessive hair. They need to be taken only while planning a pregnancy.
  3. This condition puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes. Ask your doctor about blood sugar and cholesterol testing.