Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 7-10% of women. The symptoms of PCOS usually present at puberty, but it may take many years before patients are correctly diagnosed. Diagnosing PCOS can be tricky because not all women will have the same symptoms. To be diagnosed with PCOS, a woman must have 2 of 3 possible findings: irregular periods, high levels of certain hormones (such as testosterone), and ovaries that contain multiple very small cysts. PCOS is associated with a number of medical issues, including: endometrial cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The benefits of taking a drug called metformin have recently been studied and have show that taking metformin may increase full-term delivery in women with PCOS.
Metformin is an insulin sensitizer that is frequently used to treat some of the metabolic effects of PCOS. A recent study published in the Lancet found that metformin may increase the chance of a full-term delivery in women with PCOS. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, pregnant women with PCOS were assigned to take either metformin or placebo pills from the end of the first trimester until delivery. In the metformin group, there was a significantly lower risk of late miscarriage and preterm birth. These research findings suggest that metformin should be an important consideration for pregnant patients with PCOS.
PCOS is a well-known cause of infertility. There are many treatment options for women with PCOS. Our physicians at Fertility Centers of New England have an extensive breadth of expertise in managing PCOS. If you have been diagnosed with PCOS or have further questions about the best treatment path for you, please contact us today!