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What is optimal hormonal treatment for women with polycystic ovary syndrome?

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Treatment of PCOS in women who are carriers of the Factor V Leiden mutation

The Factor V Leiden allele is associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism. Estrogen-progestin contraception is contraindicated in women with the Factor V Leiden mutation. The prevalence of this mutation varies by race and ethnicity. It is present in about 5% of white, 2% of Hispanic, 1% of black, 1% of Native American, and 0.5% of Asian women. In women with PCOS who are known to be carriers of the mutation, dual therapy with metformin and spironolactone is highly effective.13-15 For these women I also offer a levonorgestrel IUD to provide contraception and reduce the risk of endometrial hyperplasia.

Combination triple medication treatment of PCOS

Optimal treatment of the reproductive, metabolic, and dermatologic problems associated with PCOS requires multimodal medications including an estrogen-progestin contraceptive, an antiandrogen, and an insulin sensitizer. In my practice, I initiate treatment of PCOS by offering patients 3 medications: a COC, spironolactone 100 mg daily, and metformin extended-release formulation 750 mg daily. Some patients elect dual medication therapy (COC plus spironolactone or COC plus metformin), but many patients select treatment with all 3 medications. Although triple medication treatment of PCOS has not been tested in large randomized clinical trials, small trials report that triple medication treatment produces optimal improvement in the reproductive, metabolic, and dermatologic problems associated with PCOS.16-18


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