So we know that an estimated one in every five women is affected by polycystic ovary syndrome. We also know that PCOS can impact more than just our ability to give birth. Now the question is, what could and should we do about it?

We asked Dr. Rebecca Singson, an OB/GYN at St. Luke’s Medical Center, for general lifestyle habits you’d need to adopt if you have PCOS.

1. Diet

Dr. Singson recommends staying away from rice, especially white rice! You should also avoid pasta, bread, cakes, candies, and all your favorite things in life. To be fair, this isn’t exactly brand new information. Any nutritionist can tell you that most of our meals should consist of fruits and vegetables anyway. You should also be careful about the kind of sugar and carbs that you take in. Focus on low-glycemic fruits like apples, oranges, and pears. With PCOS, it’s really about choosing your health over comfort.

2. Exercise

During the diet, Dr. Singson advises her patients not to do too many rigorous workouts. This is because exercising doesn’t actually help you lose weight; it only maintains it. Also, when you exercise, you tend to eat more afterwards, which will defeat the purpose of going on a diet that’s meant to be a lifestyle change. Once you’ve adjusted to your new eating style, exercise will then be the key to burning all the sugar you’re ingesting.

3. Birth control

You’ll need to start taking birth control pills to balance your hormones. Each pill is different so it might take some time to find a formulation that works for you. In terms of cost, there are birth control pills that go for as low as P50 per pack. The anti-testosterone pills cost somewhere between P300 to P700 per pack, which should last you a month. Dr. Singson also suggests taking an insulin sensitizing drug, commonly used by diabetes patients, and this is around P500 a month.

4. Progesterone tablets

If you’re anxious about birth control pills, there are available progesterone tablets out there. The disadvantage of this is that it may not necessarily reduce the testosterone hormone levels in your system.

This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.

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