Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Ovarian Cysts Common in Women With Type 2 Diabetes

WebMD Health News

March 8, 2000 (Indianapolis) -- Type 2 diabetes mellitus and having multiple ovarian cysts are both common conditions associated with insulin resistance and high levels of insulin in the blood. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the body's ability to burn carbohydrates and fats, especially glucose, a blood sugar.Insulin therefore helps the body lower its blood glucose level.

Previous studies have shown that impaired glucose tolerance -- a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than they should be because the body's cells fail to respond to insulin -- and diabetes are both common in women who have many ovarian cysts and a high level of male hormones called androgens.

Now another study published in Clinical Endocrinology adds to the growing body of evidence by reporting that women with type 2 diabetes are more likely to have multiple ovarian cysts and high androgen levels -- a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) -- than similar women in the general population.

"These are both very common conditions that often coexist together," says Roger A. Lobo, MD, professor and chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, in an interview with WebMD.

PCOS affects about 3% to 6% of young women. Women with this syndrome usually complain of longstanding problems with ovulation, such as infertility or heavy, irregular, or absent periods. A blood test will show high levels of androgens, and an ultrasound scan will show the cysts on the ovaries.

"If you are a diabetic, there is also a good chance that you have PCOS. In those women who get hair growth, irregular periods, or other symptoms of the syndrome, they will need to be addressed in addition to the diabetes," Lobo says.

"There is mounting evidence that insulin resistance and associated high levels of insulin in the blood play a central role in the development of PCOS," writes study co-author Gerard S. Conway, MD, and his colleagues from the Cobbold Laboratories at Middlesex Hospital in London.

Ann E. Taylor, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard University Medical School, says this article is relevant to women with diabetes who also begin to develop menstrual problems.

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
kenneth fujioka, md
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
Home Healthcare

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner