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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 2008 February;60(1):53-61

language: English

Ovulation induction in polycystic ovary syndrome

Nader S.

Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Internal Medicine (Endocrinology), University of Texas Medical School, Houston, TX, USA


Management of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) usually spans a woman’s reproductive years. While treatment of androgenic symptoms is often a primary concern, periodically, the regimen has to be modified because of a desire for pregnancy. As these women are usually anovulatory, ovulation induction is generally required. The premise on which ovulation induction in PCOS is based is two-fold: increasing ovarian exposure to follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and/or correcting hormonal derangements. Potential differences in pathogenesis, evidenced clinically by phenotypic diversity, suggest that treatment should be individualized. This paper is an overview of treatments available and also provides a critical appraisal of management options. These options include the use of clomiphene citrate, insulin sensitizers, and the combination. Protocols for ovulation induction with FSH injections are outlined and the relative risks of multiple gestation and severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome of these various protocols discussed. The use of aromatase inhibitors and the occasional use of glucocorticoids are briefly reviewed. Finally, the role of laparoscopic ovarian diathermy in the management of anovulatory infertility in PCOS is outlined.

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