A recent study, the results of which will be published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), states that early, long-term treatment with metformin (a diabetes drug) may prevent or delay the development of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) during puberty.
PCOS is detected in 7-10% of women of childbearing age, it is also the most common cause of infertility – affects up to 6 million women in the United States.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is often manifested during adolescence, the characteristics are irregular menstrual cycles, acne or too abundant hair. Researchers believe that the critical period for PCOS development may be childhood and adolescence when there are more fat stores. “This excessive weight gain exposes the ovaries to too high levels of insulin, causing them to stop ovulation and start producing men’s hormones characteristic of PCOS,” said the researcher, Professor Lourdes Ibañez from the University of Barcelona.
The study involved 38 girls with low birth weight and early puberty, and researchers investigated the efficacy of early metformin treatment compared with subsequent treatment initiation to prevent juvenile PCOS. A group of 19-year-olds received metformin daily for four years. A second group of 19 girls waited five years to start metformin therapy at age 13 and continued treatment for one year. The results of the study showed that early metformin treatment prevented or delayed the development of hirsutism, reduced the excess of androgens and PCOS more effectively than the subsequent metformin therapy.
The positive effects of Metformin
Metformin with PCOS has several positive effects on the body. Patients noted a general improvement in well-being, and the normalization of individual processes in the body – the restoration of weight, regularity of the menstrual cycle, the elimination of acne, etc.
Similarities of diabetes and polycystic
Diabetes, as well as polycystic ovary – a consequence of hormonal imbalance in the female body. In PCOS, there is a high level of testosterone, and in every second patient there is a decrease in insulin susceptibility, which is characteristic of diabetes. That is why antidiabetic agents are simultaneously used to treat both diseases.
Metformin vs diabetes
This drug increases insulin sensitivity, which is a positive quality for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Metformin is also able to be used in the pre-diabetic state – the timely start of treatment will prevent the development of the disease, improve the patient’s hormones. To increase the effectiveness of therapy, the medicine should be combined with a diet.