Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a prevalent condition in girls of adolescent age and women of reproductive age that is a prime causative factor of female subfertility. Millions of women around the world suffer from the devastating health and fertility effects of PCOS, but things are about to change in the near future.
A new study found out that the early diagnosis and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS may help prevent a later decrease in a woman’s fertility.
PCOS and Infertility
Women and girls with PCOS often have an abnormal amount of liver fat and abdominal visceral fat. Bringing down the amount of fat to normal levels restores ovulation and counters the symptoms of androgen excess, thereby possibly preventing future subfertility, as found in a new research from Spain. The findings of this study have been presented in Orlando Florida USA during ENDO 2017, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society.
Professor of pediatrics Lourdes Ibáñez, M.D., Ph.D at the Institut de Recerca Pediàtrica Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, in Barcelona, Spain, the study’s lead author said that PCOS is the main cause of female subfertility in women and girls diagnosed with it. She stated that if women and girls with PCOS are prescribed a low-dose combination of insulin-sensitizers and an anti-androgen such as SPIOMET, their ovulation would be restored following a reduction in ectopic fat. This return of ovulation can prevent future fertility issues and have to resort to expensive and time-consuming fertility treatments just to conceive.
Spanish Study Sheds New Light on Infertility Related to PCOS
Ibáñez and her colleagues picked out 36 young women with PCOS averaging 16 years of age, not sexually active, and not obese and enrolled them in their treatment plan. The study subjects had had their menstrual cycle for at least 2 years, and irregular menses and their excess body hair could not be linked to specific causes. 34 of the 36 girls completed the study.
The study respondents were randomized to receive one of two different drug combinations used for the study daily. One group was given a combined oral contraceptive pill containing 20 mcg ethinylestradiol plus 100 mg levonorgestrel and another group of study respondents was given SPIOMET, a combination of spironolactone 50 mg, pioglitazone 7.5 mg, and metformin 850 mg. The respondents were then encouraged to eat a Mediterranean diet and engage in regular exercise. They took the medications for a full year followed by another full year without medical intervention.
Researchers pored over the respondents’ weekly measurements of salivary progesterone and menstrual diaries. They counted the ovulations that occurred between 2 and 6 months after treatment and did it again at between 9 and 12 months after treatment. The researchers also assessed and noted circulating androgens, body composition, cholesterol and insulin, amount of abdominal fat, carotid artery thickness, and visceral and hepatic fat.
Results Can’t Be Ignored
The authors found out that prior to treatment, the respondents had more visceral and hepatic fat than age-matched controls, had altered markers of cardiovascular health, and had higher levels of androgens and insulin.
During treatment, those who took SPIOMET had a more normalized cardiovascular health, insulin and androgen levels, and lower levels of visceral and abdominal fat as compared to those who took the oral contraceptive combination.
The scientists also found out that those who have been taking SPIOMET had a 2.5X higher ovulation rate and 6X prevalence of normal ovulation as compared to those who were on the OCP medication. They had a higher prevalence of their menstrual cycles getting back to normal and staying within normal parameters for researchers to deduce that they have better fertility.