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Treatment of PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition causing hormonal problems where small cysts appear on the ovaries.

Our evidence-based analysis on treatment of pcos features 3 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by and reviewed by the Examine team.
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Summary of Treatment of PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome[1] (PCOS) is an endocrine and reproductive disorder characterized by an excess of hormones that regulate male characteristics (androgens) and ovulatory dysfunction. It affects about 6–20% of pre-menopausal women (depending on how it’s defined; see the sidebar below for more info on the definition of PCOS) and is associated with insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and visceral adiposity[2] (fat that surrounds vital organs like the liver and intestines). Some of the metabolic consequences of PCOS are depicted in Figure 1.

Figure 1: The metabolic consequences of PCOS

Adapted from: Escobar-Morreale. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2018 May.[1]

There is no universal treatment for PCOS. Since PCOS affects endocrine, reproductive, and, ultimately, metabolic health, treatment is individualized to the needs of the patient following first-line therapy[3] that involves lifestyle, diet, and/or exercise modifications. However, beyond energy restriction, no consensus exists for specific PCOS dietary guidelines, as research is quite scarce for this common, yet often scientifically-neglected, condition.

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Human Effect Matrix

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The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies to tell you what supplements affect Treatment of PCOS.

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Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Supplement Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-b Notable Very High See all 14 studies
Supplementation of inositol in the range of 200-4,000mg daily appears to be effective in improving fertility in women with PCOS, while doses in the 2,000-4,000mg range appear effective in improving testosterone levels and insulin sensitivity.

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Click here to see all 3 references.