PCOS Infertility Improves With Weight Loss


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder among women of reproductive age. PCOS is usually marked by ovaries containing small collections of fluid filled follicles that are visible during an ultrasound. Often the symptoms can appear as soon as the menstruation cycles begin; but it can also develop in response to substantial weight gain.

There are a wide range of complications that accompany PCOS and all of these can worsen if accompanied by obesity:

  • Elevated cholesterol, elevated triglycerides, and low levels of “good” cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Infertility
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Sleep pattern interruption
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Increased risk for endometrial cancer (uterine lining)

The results of a clinical trial, recently published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, give hope to women with PCOS and obesity who are struggling with infertility. The study divided 149 women into three groups:

  • The first group received oral contraception pills alone. Oral contraception pills or OCPs are a standard preconception step which helps to boost ovulation.
  • The second group underwent a 16 week diet and exercise intervention with the aid of a weight loss medication for those with a BMI of 30 or higher.
  • The third group received both the OCPs and the weight loss intervention.

All three groups then underwent the standard treatment to force ovulation. 12% of the women in the group that did not address the obesity issue, successfully gave birth. While 24-26% of women in the two groups that did address weight delivered successfully.

What is the take away? The doctors of The Woman’s Clinic of Jackson and Madison often refer their patients who are considered obese to their weight loss program. Obesity, not just associated with PCOS, often interferes with a woman’s ability to get pregnant and maintain a healthy pregnancy. Your overall health is encumbered by excess weight. Obesity is linked with an increased risk of breast and colon cancer, as well as a myriad of other health problems. If you suffer from PCOS and are also overweight, we offer the Ideal Protein program. Our registered dietitian will help you take on this obstacle to good health. Make an appointment today or use this form and we will contact you.