Adrenal PCOS Treatment: Navigating Hormonal Harmony

adrenal pcos treatment

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a complex hormonal disorder that affects a significant number of women worldwide. Among the variations of PCOS, one that has gained attention is Adrenal PCOS. In this article, we will talk about the nuances of Adrenal PCOS, learning its symbols, and diagnosis, exploring its treatment options, medical approaches and more.

What Is Adrenal PCOS? What Is Adrenal PCOS?

Adrenal PCOS, also known as Adrenal Androgen Excess or Adrenal Hyperandrogenism, is a subtype of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) that involves increased production of androgens (male sex hormones) by the adrenal glands. PCOS is a common endocrine disorder that affects individuals with ovaries, and it is characterized by a range of symptoms related to hormonal imbalances.

In traditional PCOS, the ovaries are the primary source of elevated androgen levels, leading to symptoms such as irregular menstrual cycles, ovarian cysts, and symptoms related to excess androgens, like hirsutism (excessive hair growth) and acne. However, in Adrenal PCOS, situated atop the kidneys, the adrenal glands generate elevated levels of androgens, predominantly DHEA-S and testosterone. These excess androgens have the potential to disturb the intricate hormonal equilibrium within the body, playing a role in the onset of symptoms associated with PCOS.

Symptoms Of Adrenal PCOS

Adrenal PCOS, a subtype of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), presents with a combination of symptoms related to hormonal imbalances. Common symptoms include:

  • Irregular Menstrual Cycles
    Women with Adrenal PCOS may experience irregular or absent menstrual cycles, a hallmark feature of PCOS.
  • Hirsutism
    Excessive hair growth in areas where men typically grow hair, such as the face, chest, and back, is a common symptom.
  • Acne
    Increased androgen levels can contribute to the development of acne, particularly on the face, chest, and back.
  • Hair Loss
    Thinning of hair on the scalp, known as androgenetic alopecia, may occur in some cases.
  • Normal Ovulation
    Unlike other forms of PCOS, women with Adrenal PCOS may still ovulate regularly, leading to regular menstrual cycles.
  • Insulin Resistance
    Insulin resistance is often associated with Adrenal PCOS, contributing to metabolic disturbances.
  • Weight Changes
    Some women may experience weight changes, with an increased tendency to gain weight, especially around the abdominal area.
  • Fatigue
    Hormonal imbalances and associated metabolic changes can lead to fatigue and decreased energy levels.

How Do I Know If I Have Adrenal PCOS?How Do I know If I have Adrenal PCOS? 

Diagnosing Adrenal PCOS involves a thorough evaluation by a healthcare professional, as the symptoms and hormonal imbalances associated with this condition can overlap with other forms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Diagnosing Adrenal PCOS involves a comprehensive evaluation that may include:

  • Medical History and Physical Examination

The healthcare provider will assess symptoms, and menstrual history, and conduct a physical examination to identify signs such as hirsutism and acne.

  • Hormonal Blood Tests

Blood tests measure levels of androgens, including testosterone and DHEA-S, as well as other hormones such as LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone).

  • Insulin Resistance Assessment

Evaluation of insulin resistance through tests like fasting glucose or insulin levels may be performed.

  • Pelvic Ultrasound

An ultrasound of the ovaries may be conducted to identify any cysts or abnormalities.

  • Cortisol Levels

Since Adrenal PCOS involves adrenal glands, cortisol levels may be assessed to evaluate adrenal function.

  • Thyroid Function Tests

Thyroid function tests may be included to rule out thyroid-related causes of hormonal imbalances.

  • Clinical Criteria

Diagnosis is often based on a combination of clinical criteria, including symptoms and laboratory findings, following established diagnostic guidelines for PCOS.

A thorough diagnosis is essential for developing an effective treatment plan. It is important for individuals experiencing symptoms suggestive of Adrenal PCOS to seek the guidance of a healthcare professional, who can conduct the necessary evaluations and provide tailored recommendations for management and symptom relief.

Is Adrenal PCOS Treatable?

Yes, Adrenal PCOS is treatable, and management typically involves a combination of lifestyle modifications and medical interventions. The treatment approach aims to address hormonal imbalances, alleviate symptoms, and improve overall well-being.

Adrenal PCOS Treatment Options Adrenal PCOS Treatment Options 

The treatment of Adrenal PCOS typically involves a comprehensive approach aimed at managing symptoms and addressing hormonal imbalances. It’s important to note that individual responses to treatment may vary, and healthcare professionals often tailor interventions based on specific needs. Here are various treatment options for Adrenal PCOS:

Lifestyle Modifications

  • Dietary Changes: Adopting a balanced, low-glycemic diet that focuses on whole foods and limits processed sugars can help manage insulin resistance associated with Adrenal PCOS.
  • Regular Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity can improve insulin sensitivity, support weight management, and contribute to overall well-being.

Hormonal Therapy

  • Oral Contraceptives: Birth control pills containing estrogen and progestin can regulate menstrual cycles, reduce androgen levels, and alleviate symptoms like acne and hirsutism.
  • Anti-Androgen Medications: Medications like spironolactone may be prescribed to block the effects of androgens and manage symptoms such as hirsutism and acne.

Insulin-Sensitizing Medications

  • Metformin: This medication is commonly used to improve insulin sensitivity and is often prescribed to manage insulin resistance in women with Adrenal PCOS.

Nutritional Supplements

  • Inositol: Some studies suggest that inositol supplements may help improve insulin sensitivity and ovarian function in women with PCOS, including those with Adrenal PCOS.
  • Vitamin D: Adequate vitamin D levels are essential for overall health, and supplementation may be recommended if levels are insufficient.

Weight Management

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight through a combination of diet and exercise can positively impact hormonal balance and reduce symptoms associated with Adrenal PCOS.

Fertility Treatments (if needed)

For women with Adrenal PCOS who are trying to conceive, fertility treatments such as ovulation induction medications or assisted reproductive technologies may be considered.

Individuals with Adrenal PCOS must work closely with healthcare professionals to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses their specific symptoms and concerns.

Medical Approaches For Adrenal PCOS Treatment  Medical Approaches For Adrenal PCOS Treatment  

Medical approaches for treating Adrenal PCOS focus on managing hormonal imbalances, alleviating symptoms, and improving overall health. These approaches often involve medications and may be combined with lifestyle modifications. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on individual needs. Here are some medical approaches for Adrenal PCOS treatment:

Fertility Medications (if needed)

  • Clomiphene Citrate: Women with Adrenal PCOS who are trying to conceive may be prescribed clomiphene citrate to induce ovulation.
  • Letrozole: Another medication that may be used to stimulate ovulation in women with Adrenal PCOS.

Corticosteroids (if necessary)

In some cases, where adrenal function is significantly affected, low-dose corticosteroids may be prescribed to manage adrenal hormone levels. This approach requires careful monitoring by a healthcare professional.

Androgen Receptor Blockers

Medications that directly block androgen receptors, such as flutamide, may be considered in certain cases to reduce the impact of androgens on target tissues.

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) Agonists

Healthcare providers may use GnRH agonists in specific situations to temporarily suppress ovarian function, resulting in reduced androgen production.

Regular Monitoring and Adjustments

Ongoing monitoring of hormonal levels and symptom management is essential. Healthcare providers may adjust medications or treatment plans based on individual responses and changing needs.

Adrenal Support

Healthcare providers may recommend mindfulness and relaxation techniques as strategies to manage stress and support adrenal function.

Individuals with Adrenal PCOS need to collaborate closely with healthcare professionals to tailor a treatment plan that addresses their specific symptoms and health goals. Regular follow-up appointments allow for adjustments to the treatment plan as needed, ensuring optimal management of Adrenal PCOS and associated symptoms.


In conclusion, Adrenal PCOS presents a distinct facet of the broader spectrum of PCOS. Understanding its intricacies, embracing lifestyle modifications, and considering both natural remedies and medical interventions empower individuals to navigate the complexities of this condition. By fostering a community of support and staying informed, those with Adrenal PCOS can take charge of their health journey.

If you are facing PCOS related issues, PCOS treatment at HerMantra can help. Book your free trial online pcos treatment session now.