Medications to treat PCOS

Medications to Treat PCOS
Author: Dr Peter England, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

This article covers medications to treat PCOS that your healthcare provider will consider for you.

For more information about what Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is, you can first read the following articles:

What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Fertility

Text reads: Medications to treat PCOS

If your doctor has diagnosed you previously with PCOS, they will then discuss with you a range of ways that you can treat PCOS.

The oral contraception pill can be used to manage PCOS. This will ensure a regular period and prevent the uterine lining from becoming excessively thick.

The oral pill also provides the benefit of contraception for any woman who requires it.

Two types of pill are specifically designed to help women with PCOS, these act against the male hormones that are present.

One of these contains a hormone called cyproterone.

These brands are often under the names:

  • Brenda
  • Estelle
  • Juliet
  • Diane

An alternate hormone is drospirenone and can be found in the oral pill under the trade names of:

  • Yaz
  • Yasmin

Commencing on these oral pills will lead to regular, more predictable periods, which is a great improvement, given that often women with polycystic ovaries have very irregular, and often very heavy or prolonged periods. Over several months, the pill will help to improve some of the annoying symptoms that can be quite depressing for some women.

Over 3-6 months, you will notice an improvement in skin and hair distribution.

It’s important for the lining of the uterus to shed for women with PCOS.

As mentioned, many women with PCOS don’t ovulate, this leads to a build-up in the lining of the uterus. Not only does the lining of the uterus become thick and prone to heavy bleeding, but the lining can become unhealthy and increase your risk of endometrial or uterine cancer later in life.

Being on the oral pill with an appropriate formulation for you can prevent this risk from happening.

If you would prefer not to use the oral contraceptive pill, another option to consider is:

Medications to treat PCOS

  • Metformin

Metformin is used to treat high blood sugar levels that are caused by a type of diabetes mellitus or sugar diabetes called type 2 diabetes. 

If the pill is not tolerated to treat thinning scalp hair, you might be prescribed a diuretic called Spironolactone.

Dermatologists will use other kinds of treatments.


If you don’t like the oral contraceptive pills that are mentioned above you can consider a progesterone-containing IUD – you may know it as Mirena or Kyleena – it keeps the periods noticeably light and the uterus in a strong healthy state, rather than the overstimulated state that tends to occur in the PCOS condition.

If you elect to use an IUD to help with PCOS instead of the oral contraceptive pill, it’s important to note that the IUDs do not have any beneficial effect on acne or hirsutism. You must speak to your doctor if you need additional treatment for these issues.

Read more about Mirena.

To discuss your PCOS medication treatment, call the rooms today to make an appointment.

Author: Dr Peter England, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist.
Read more about Dr Peter England