Study shows exercise and diet can improve fertility in women with PCOS.
A new study says that overweight women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can increase their chances of getting pregnant with weight loss and exercise, says a report on medicaldaily.com.
Researchers looked at the differences in pregnancy outcomes for 149 women between the ages of 18 and 40 with PCOS, an endocrine disorder and a common cause of infertility, and found the combination of healthy lifestyle habits could improve ovulation.
Levels of androgens, male sex hormones, are higher in women who have PCOS, and that causes an increase in male traits and hormonal imbalance. Frequently PCOS sufferers have irregular menstrual periods, weight gain, acne and excessive facial and body hair.
It is estimated that five million women in the United States have PCOS, according to The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Women’s Health.
Dr. Richard S. Legro, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and public health sciences at Penn State University said in a recent press release, “The findings confirm what we long suspected — that exercise and a healthy diet can improve fertility in women who have PCOS. Making preconception lifestyle changes is beneficial, either alone or in combination with other pre-treatment options. ”
The study participants were either overweight or obese, but without any other medical conditions, and went through a course involving birth control, lifestyle changes or a combination of both over a four-month period. After the completion of the course, the participants went through four cycles of ovulation induced by medication.
The results showed that women who were involved in both lifestyle change and courses of birth control were more likely to ovulate than that women just provided birth control. As a sidebar, the researchers noted the women with the combination of interventions had lower levels of triglycerides and better insulin sensitivity.
The results of the study were published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.