Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is an extremely common condition, affecting up to 6 million women in the United States alone. For some, PCOS goes undetected and undiagnosed, while others are in a constant battle against bothersome symptoms.
From infertility and weight gain to various health complications, PCOS can significantly disrupt your life, both physically and emotionally.
Amy Brenner, MD & Associates is a recognized leader in women’s health and wellness. Our physicians and nurse practitioners create customized treatment programs that allow patients with PCOS to live healthier and happier lives.
Are you ready to talk with an expert about PCOS treatments in Cincinnati? Schedule a consultation today, or keep reading to learn more about your treatment options.
Before we dive into PCOS treatments, it’s important to understand how PCOS affects your body.
Hormones are chemical messengers that tell your body what to do and when to do it. There are over 50 types of hormones in our bodies, all of which perform a unique function.
However, these hormones can only do their job when you have the right amount of each hormone. We refer to this as your hormones being “balanced.”
When you have some hormones in abundance and others that are lacking, it can cause a range of unwanted effects. PCOS is one condition that causes this hormonal imbalance to occur.
Sex Hormones in Women
PCOS affects the production of sex hormones. Women produce two main types of sex hormones—estrogen and progesterone. Additionally, a small amount of testosterone is needed for important body functions.
Let’s break down each of these hormones and their benefits (when they are at the proper level, of course):
The ovaries produce most of your estrogen hormones. Estrogen plays a role in:
- Protecting against heart disease and stroke
- Increasing bone density
- Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- Protecting against vaginal atrophy
- Helping urinary incontinence
- Reducing hot flashes/night sweats
- Decreasing skin wrinkles
- Lowering cholesterol
- Enhancing libido
- Enhancing mood
The ovaries are the main source of progesterone production in females. Progesterone helps to:
- Balance estrogen
- Promote breast health
- Protect against breast cancer, fibrocystic disease, and ovarian cysts
- Get better sleep
The ovaries produce most of the testosterone in women, but the adrenal glands also contribute a small amount. Testosterone in females helps:
- Enhance sexual arousal and satisfaction
- Improve mood regulation
- Improve energy levels
- Maintain bone density and strength
- Support muscle development
PCOS treatments in Cincinnati aim to balance the above hormone levels so you can function at your best.
PCOS & Hormones
So how does PCOS relate to these hormones? When you have PCOS, the body overproduces androgens (or male sex hormones, including testosterone).
When females have an excess of these hormones, it leads to some of the characteristic symptoms of PCOS—excessive hair growth, acne, and male-patterned baldness. Additionally, PCOS can throw off the balance of estrogen and progesterone and result in problems with the menstrual cycle and ovulation.
Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation
Hormonal imbalances resulting from PCOS can lead to several changes in your reproductive health and require you to seek out PCOS treatments in Cincinnati. These include:
- Irregular or painful menstrual cycles
- Heavy or prolonged bleeding
- Infrequent ovulation (making it difficult to conceive)
- Small cysts on the ovaries
Weight and Metabolism
Individuals with PCOS often experience weight gain or difficulty losing weight due to insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance is a common condition in individuals with PCOS. Insulin resistance occurs when the body has a lowered response to insulin, so the pancreas continues to release more and more insulin.
Insulin is a fat-storage hormone. When you have increased insulin in your body, it can lead to:
- Weight gain
- Strong hunger cravings
- Increased appetite
- Impaired impulse control
- Feelings of body dissatisfaction
Studies also show that basal metabolic rate (or the amount of calories you burn at rest) is lower in women with PCOS. This lower metabolism can make it more difficult to lose weight.
PCOS can manifest in more than just physical symptoms. Individuals with PCOS are at an increased risk of developing depression and anxiety as they might face:
- Fertility challenges
- Skipping important events due to unpredictable, painful periods
- Poor body image and low self-esteem from symptoms (weight gain, hair growth, acne, etc.)
- Increased stress due to symptoms
- Strain on intimate and social relationships
Now that you have a better understanding of how PCOS affects the hormones and the body as a whole, it’s time to get into PCOS treatments. In Cincinnati, many patients come to us looking for relief from their PCOS.
However, it’s important to remember that PCOS is a very individualized condition. Because it affects each body differently, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all treatment that works for everyone. At Amy Brenner, MD & Associates, we tailor our treatment plans to fit your needs, goals, and lifestyle.
When treating PCOS, we often recommend lifestyle changes, medications, or a combination of both.
In some patients, lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms of PCOS. These can include:
- Eating a balanced diet
- Reducing sugars and carbohydrates
- Implementing regular physical activity
- Completing practices to lower stress
- Other weight management techniques (including semaglutide peptide therapy)
Hormone Replacement Therapy for PCOS
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment that rebalances your body’s hormone levels. For PCOS we use medication (in the form of creams or oral medications) to consistently deliver the hormones your body needs.
How does this help with PCOS? By balancing out your estrogen and progesterone levels, HRT can help counteract the effects of excess androgen. This can rebalance your hormone levels and decrease the severity of your symptoms.
The first step to getting your hormones back in line is by scheduling a consultation for PCOS treatments in Cincinnati. During this consultation, you’ll sit down with one of our providers to discuss your medical history, symptoms, and goals for treatment.
If we suspect that you may have a hormone imbalance, we will order blood work. Based on the results, we can determine if HRT might be beneficial for you, and if so, which delivery method would be best.
At Amy Brenner, MD & Associates, we offer multipleroutes of hormone delivery for patients with PCOS—creams, and oral medications. The best option for you will depend on your unique needs and lifestyle.
We also offer HRT in the form of creams. Creams require more time and compliance to work because you need to use them every day and spend several minutes rubbing in the cream.
Because there are so many extra variables with creams (how much you absorb will depend on the thickness of your skin, how much you apply, how long you rub in the medication, etc.), creams can be less effective.
The other form of HRT for PCOS is via oral medication. If you only need progesterone in your treatment, you may be a candidate for oral HRT. Your provider will determine your candidacy after your consultation and bloodwork.
HRT at Amy Brenner, MD & Associates
When you come to us for PCOS treatments in Mason, OH, we want to make the process as easy as possible. One way we do this is by billing insurance for every part of the process that we can—so you don’t have to worry about financial strain.
There are 4 main types of visits you’ll have for HRT—an initial consultation, initial lab work, lab follow-up visits, and hormone management visits. In most cases, we can bill for many of these services.
Your consultation is where you will talk to one of our providers about your symptoms and options for treatment.
Initial Lab Work
Your initial lab work provides us with information on your baseline hormone levels.
Lab Follow-Up Visits
You’ll get follow-up labs throughout the treatment process to check your hormone levels. Based on these results, we will make adjustments to your dosage if needed.
Hormone Management Visit
Depending on your care plan, you will have a visit with your provider at least once a year to discuss your treatment, care plan, and medications.
Visit Amy Brenner, MD & Associates for PCOS Treatments in Cincinnati, OH
Patients visit us from all over the country for expert, transformative wellness services. We offer a friendly environment and provide the highest-quality treatments and wellness plans to help you feel your best.
If you’re living with PCOS, we know how challenging it can be. Our team is dedicated to finding the best treatments to help relieve your symptoms and allow you to live a more worry-free lifestyle.
Conveniently located in Mason, OH, we serve patients from Cincinnati, Kenwood, Hyde Park, Blue Ash, Beckett Ridge, and other surrounding areas.