PCOS and Fertility

Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a disorder in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance, leading to the formation of small, cyst-like sacs on the ovaries (ovarian cysts). Women with PCOS might have insulin resistance, a prediabetes condition, and, when left untreated, PCOS can carry a risk of long-term complications, such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Recently, an analysis funded by the National Institutes of Health reported that overweight and obese women with PCOS who are planning to have fertility treatments might have a better outcome if they lose weight before beginning the procedure.

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The authors of the report analyzed two studies on overweight and obese women with PCOS. In the first study, 187 women were treated with clomiphene (brand names Clomid, Serophene), which is a drug that induces ovulation. The second study looked at 142 women who started a weight-loss program before starting to take clomiphene. The weight-loss program involved reducing calorie intake, getting more exercise, and using anti-obesity medication. The authors reported that women who used clomiphene without a weight-loss program had an ovulation rate of 44.7% and a live birth rate of 10.2%. However, the women who combined clomiphene with a weight-loss plan had an ovulation rate of 62% and a birth rate of 25%.

Just one more reason to lose weight.

Want to learn more about PCOS? Read “PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and Diabetes” and “Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).”