TLDR Metformin helps manage polycystic ovary syndrome by improving insulin resistance and ovulation, but more research is needed on its full effects.
The document from February 1, 2010, provides a comprehensive review of metformin's role in treating polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition affecting 6.6-6.8% of women of reproductive age. Metformin, primarily known as an insulin sensitizer, has been found to have multiple benefits in PCOS management, including improving insulin resistance, ovulation rates, and reducing androgen levels. It also shows potential in reducing the risk of gestational diabetes and possibly early miscarriage in pregnant women with PCOS, although more research is needed to confirm these findings. The drug's impact on weight loss and fat distribution is debated, with some studies indicating benefits, especially when combined with lifestyle changes. Metformin may also improve metabolic syndrome components, endothelial function, and reduce cardiovascular risk factors, but its effects vary depending on the patient's baseline BMI and other factors. While metformin's effectiveness in managing hirsutism in PCOS is less clear, it is generally considered safe with manageable side effects, such as gastrointestinal issues and a low risk of serious adverse events like lactic acidosis. The document underscores the need for further research to establish the efficacy and safety of metformin, particularly during pregnancy and in managing PCOS's dermatological manifestations.View this study on academic.oup.com →
The report concludes that PCOS is mainly a condition of excess male hormones and its definition may change as new information is discovered.
Metformin helps with menstrual cycles and insulin levels in PCOS but is less effective for hair growth, diabetes prevention, and weight loss, and may improve fertility and reduce diabetes risk.
Insulin sensitizers may slightly reduce hirsutism but are less effective than other treatments.
Women with PCOS have lower ghrelin levels and a weaker response to sugar, which might affect their feeling of fullness and lead to overeating.