A study has just been released that proves changing your diet and exercising more is your best bet for inducing ovulation and improving your chance of pregnancy. This study divided 348 overweight women with PCOS and infertility into four groups. One group received dietary and exercise advice. The other 3 groups received Clomid, metformin, or a combination of the two drugs.

Clomid is used to stimulate ovulation. Metformin is used to reduce insulin resistance.

The women in the Clomid group had a 12.2% pregnancy rate. The metformin group had a 14.4% rate. The group taking both Clomid and metformin had a pregnancy rate of 14.8%. The group not taking any drugs but only making dietary and exercise improvements had a 20% pregnancy rate. The study authors concluded: “…lifestyle modification may be used as the first line of ovulation induction in PCOS patients.”

I cannot emphasise enough the importance of keeping to a therapeutic diet and exercising 3-4 times a week. I counsel all my PCOS patients on what foods they need to be eating and what foods they need to avoid. Trust me – it does make a difference and this study confirms my advice!

An assessment of lifestyle modification versus medical treatment with clomiphene citrate, metformin, and clomiphene citrate-metformin in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome.

Karimzadeh MA, Javedani M.

Research and Clinical Centre for Infertility, Yazd Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the effect of clomiphene citrate, metformin, and lifestyle modification on treatment of patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). DESIGN: Prospective randomized double-blind study. SETTING: University-based infertility clinic and research centre. PATIENT(S): Three hundred forty-three overweight infertile women with PCOS. INTERVENTION(S): The participating women were assigned to four groups: clomiphene (n = 90), metformin (n = 90), clomiphene + metformin (n = 88), and lifestyle modification (n = 75). The patients in each group received standardized dietary and exercise advice from a dietitian. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): The primary outcome variables were change in menstrual cycle, waist circumference measurements, endocrine parameters, and lipid profile. The main secondary outcome variable was clinical pregnancy rate. RESULT(S): The clinical pregnancy rate was 12.2% in clomiphene group, 14.4% in metformin group, 14.8% in clomiphene + metformin group, and 20% in lifestyle modification group. Lifestyle modification group achieved a significant reduction in waist circumference, total androgen, and lipid profile. CONCLUSION(S): Lifestyle modification improves the lipid profile in PCOS patients. Therefore, lifestyle modification may be used as the first line of ovulation induction in PCOS patients.

Fertil Steril. 2009 May 20.

PMID: 19463994

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