There is much written about treatment for PCOS and drug companies have answered the demand for treatment with many options. This is helpful, but the mainstay of treatment begins with you.
The first rule is: CHANGE YOUR DIET. If you are affected by PCOS, you probably have some problems with carbohydrate metabolism, even if all of your blood sugar and insulin levels are measured as normal. Avoid all processed starches and minimize sugar. A good rule of thumb is to avoid the “white stuff.” White flour, pasta, rice potatoes, bread and sugar. Learning about the glycemic index can be extremely helpful. This is a measure of how foods stimulate insulin in your body. It is now felt that insulin resistance may be the root cause of PCOS. Helpful books include: Fertility Foods, by Dr. Jeremy Groll, The South Beach Diet, and Sugarbusters! Most studies indicate that lowering insulin levels helps to correct irregular ovulation associated with PCOS, even in lean women.
The second rule is: EXERCISE REGULARLY (at least 150 minutes a week). Exercise lowers insulin levels even in the absence of weight loss. This can help lessen the risk of diabetes, which is higher for women with PCOS, as well as help correct cholesterol and other lipid abnormalities commonly seen with this disorder. This may be why exercise has been shown to lessen menstrual abnormalities of all types. Anovulatory women may start having regular periods just from initiating good eating and exercise habits. To not do so is to simply patch the problem without a real correction of your metabolism.
After the first and second rules, there are many treatments depending on whether or not you are trying to get pregnant. If not, low-dose contraceptives such as the pill or the ring can reverse many of the symptoms, lessen irregular bleeding, suppress ovarian cyst formation and suppress facial hair and acne. If you are trying to become pregnant, you may need medications to help you ovulate. Many women may benefit from the addition of drugs, such as one called Metformin, to increase insulin sensitivity. The outlook is very positive with these treatment approaches. Advances in medications to induce ovulation and regulate blood sugar are extremely important, but they are in no way as significant as the lifestyle approach to this disorder.