Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common cause of female infertility, affects an estimated 5 million women across the U.S. New research adds to the growing body of evidence that losing weight and exercising regularly may improve their fertility
Published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, the study was designed to compare different treatments for PCOS, including lifestyle changes, the birth control pill and both, to assess the impact they had on fertility on 149 18–40-year-old women with PCOS who were either overweight or obese—a known risk factor for both PCOS and female infertility—but otherwise healthy.
The researchers found that five of the 49 women in the birth control pill group gave birth, 13 of the 50 women in the lifestyle modification group and 12 of the 50 women in the combination group delivered babies. Women who combined birth control pills with lifestyle modification were more likely to ovulate than those who were given birth control pills alone, while also having better insulin sensitivity and lower levels of triglycerides in the blood.
If you have been diagnosed with PCOS, be sure to ask your doctor about this research.