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  POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME


Minerva Ginecologica 2004 February;56(1):63-80

language: English

Metformin for the treatment of the polycystic ovary syndrome

Barbieri R. L., Gargiulo A. R.


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The polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is characterized by increased secretion of LH, insulin and androgens. The main clinical complaints of women with PCOS include: oligo- or amenorrhea, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, hirsutism, obesity and/or anovulatory infertility. The first line treatment for these problems include: 1) estrogen-progestin therapy for oligomenorrhea and dysfunctional uterine bleeding; 2) estrogen-progestin therapy and/or antiandrogens for hirsutism; 3) lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise for obesity and 4) weight loss or clomiphene for anovulatory infertility. However, clinical trials have indicated that metformin is effective second line therapy when first line therapy has not been effective, is not acceptable to the patient or is medically contraindicated. The addition of metformin to the armamentarium of the gynecological endocrinologist represents an important advance.

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