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Do I have to take birth control pills if I have PCOS?

For women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), birth control pills are frequently prescribed to return menstrual cycles to normal. However, you can instead take a course of progesterone, such as medroxyprogesterone acetate, micronized progesterone or norethindrone acetate periodically. You take it for seven to 14 days every one to three months. Progesterone-induced menstruation is essential, because it sloughs off the endometrial lining, helping prevent uterine cancer. Cyclic progestin does not suppress male hormones levels, while birth control pills will.

This content originally appeared on HealthyWomen.org.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.