If you have spent years dealing with the weight gain, insulin resistance, irregular menstrual cycles, and ovarian cysts that Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, often causes, you may have been looking forward to menopause. Unfortunately, since PCOS affects so many different parts of the body, menopause is not always the solution that you hope it will be. However, there are treatment options that can help you deal with both menopausal and PCOS symptoms, so you can improve or maintain your health during this challenging time.
Understanding Your Hormonal Changes and Ovarian Cysts
Impaired hormonal levels associated with PCOS do not automatically lessen when menopause occurs. In addition, the lack of a menstrual cycle can be attributed to both PCOS and menopause, so knowing when menopause has started may require medical intervention. Weight loss may be suggested, when applicable, since many women with PCOS are overweight and maintaining a healthy weight can make it easier to manage your hormonal fluctuations.
It is also important to note that if you have ovarian cysts, they may linger after menopause. A physician, like Bay Area Women's Care, may discuss the possibility of removing the cysts surgically, minimizing their size through medication or even by removing the affected ovary.
Insulin resistance is one of the most common symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and there is a suspected link between insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances. You may be prescribed an insulin sensitizer to treat that issue, which will often allow the hormonal levels to level out. If the blood work shows elevated testosterone levels, which is a common complaint of women with PCOS, you may be advised to take different amounts of hormonal supplements than someone without the illness would.
Know What To Expect With The Excess Hair And What You Can Do About It
Unfortunately, menopause and PCOS have numerous shared symptoms, but one that is particularly frustrating is excess body and facial hair. Most people know a woman who went through the change of life and soon after, could grow lots of peach fuzz. The same is true of PCOS sufferers, due to elevated testosterone levels; so combing both PCOS and menopause makes for extra challenges.
In addition to the obvious hair removal methods like electrolysis, there are also prescription creams that can be applied topically to inhibit the growth of unwanted hair. However, the best way to manage excess hair growth is to address the hormonal issues, as previously mentioned. By doing so, it is frequently possible for some or all of the physical symptoms of both PCOS and menopause to diminish or disappear entirely.
In conclusion, menopause can impact some of the symptoms of your PCOS, but it does not negate them all. Therefore, it is important to know what you can do to look and feel healthy throughout this new phase of life.