Weight Loss Helps Women with Ovulation Problem
Thu Aug 26, 4:45 PM ET Add Health - Reuters to My Yahoo!
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Weight loss appears to improve egg release in obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a disease involving enlargement of the ovaries often associated with obesity, menstrual problems, and infertility, new research shows. This could increase their chances of becoming pregnant.
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"The management of PCOS will be increasingly complicated by the epidemic of obesity, clearly notable in the overall population, but approaching 70 percent in the PCOS population," lead author Dr. Kathleen M. Hoeger, from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York, told Reuters Health.
As reported in the journal Fertility and Sterility, Hoeger and her colleagues assessed the outcomes of 38 obese PCOS patients who completed a 24-week program of diet and exercise with or without the use of metformin, a diabetes drug. Some of the women did not receive any special therapy and served as a comparison group.
Patients in both diet and exercise groups experienced significant reductions in body weight, whereas patients in the comparison group did not. Of the two diet and exercise interventions, the one that also used metformin therapy was best at reaching the patients' weight loss goals.
Women who lost weight were nine times more likely to experience regular ovulation than women who did not lose weight, regardless of whether they used metformin. Moreover, among those who took metformin, women who lost weight were 16-times more likely to ovulate regularly than women who didn't lose weight.
"Physicians should consider the preliminary evidence that modest weight reduction may be as effective as metformin for ovulation restoration," Hoeger concluded. However, they should also recognize "that these data are preliminary in nature and require validation from other trials."
SOURCE: Fertility and Sterility, August 2004.