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Weight control and polycystic ovary syndrome

If you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), being at a healthy weight can help you have regular menstrual cycles. Studies have shown that a weight loss of as little as 5% lowers insulin levels, lowers androgen levels, reduces male-pattern hair growth (hirsutism), and restores normal ovulation cycles.1

Women with PCOS who are very overweight may have a difficult time losing weight and keeping their weight down because of the effect of insulin and glucose on their metabolism. Using a diabetes medicine like metformin can help control insulin and can help with weight loss.1

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For more information on how to lose weight, see the topic Weight Management.


  1. Speroff L, Fritz MA (2005). Anovulation and the polycystic ovary. Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility, 7th ed., pp. 465-498. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Anne Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised January 28, 2010

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 28, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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