Polycystic Ovaries and Health

Polycystic ovaries and health

Attention to a healthy weight, diet, and exercise in polycystic ovaries (PCOS) can improve fertility and overall health and wellbeing. PCOS in an unhealthy weight range can increase the risk of:

  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Acne and excess hair growth
  • Anovulation (absence of periods) and delay to conceive
  • Irregular and heavy cycles
  • A higher risk of pregnancy complications including miscarriage and gestational diabetes

Our philosophy is that alteration to lifestyle, incorporating gentle exercise and dietary retraining, can greatly improve PCOS and infertility, leading to life-long benefits and long-term results. As little as 2-5% of weight reduction can be effective in restoring ovulation for some women, 5-10% of weight reduction can vastly improve:

  • Insulin stability
  • Menstrual regularity
  • Restore ovulation and
  • Help to settle abnormally long cycles and heavy flow

What to do next

Before embarking on your fertility journey, we encourage setting an attainable weight goal and implementing changes to lifestyle including:

  • Diet retraining and exercise
  • Moderating alcohol consumption and,
  • Social stressors (i.e., work/home). We recommended seeking the advice of a fertility dietician of whom we can refer you to.

Achieving more regular cycles

Metformin is an oral anti-diabetic medication that can lower sugar levels. It is recommended for women with polycystic ovaries to assist with weight loss and minimise the risk of diabetes and hyperinsulinemia. Metformin alone may be effective in increasing ovulation rates and pregnancy.

Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) and letrozole are long-established treatments for women with PCOS who have irregular ovulation and wish to conceive. Approximately 60% of women will conceive after 6 regular cycles. For some, a surgical procedure to reduce some of the ovarian volume can be just as effective.

We will work with you to achieve your treatment goals.

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