The main cause of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is not known. However, this disease may be caused by a hormonal imbalance in women. Hormonal imbalances can lead to menstrual irregularity, ovarian cysts, and excess androgens.
Most women with PCOS have high insulin levels. This can cause weight gain, hypoactive sexual desire disorder, and even dark patches on their skin. For this group of women, regular dosages of Metformin are prescribed, which helps them to ovulate and become pregnant.
The Effect of Metformin for Fertility and PCOS
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which the ovaries do not release eggs regularly. This leads to irregular menstrual cycles, problems with female hormones, and an increase in male hormones called androgens. This can also lead to weight gain. On the other hand, another complication of polycystic ovary syndrome is the presence of insulin resistance.
This increases the level of insulin in the blood. High blood glucose and insulin increase the secretion of LH hormone. The significant increase of this hormone compared to the FSH hormone (follicle growth stimulating hormone) can lead to inducing ovulation disorders. This will increase the production of male hormones and thus results in more hormonal disorders.
Symptoms of PCOS
- Irregular menstrual cycles or permanent absence of them;
- Difficulty getting pregnant as a result of irregular ovulation or lack of ovulation;
- Excessive growth of hair (hirsutism) usually on the face, chest, back, or buttocks;
- Weight gain;
- Alopecia and hair loss (head);
- Oily skin or acne.
The best way to control polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is through lifestyle modification. It means exercising, losing weight, following a healthy diet, and correcting sleeping and waking hours.
Along with lifestyle modification, the following medications can be used for conceiving a baby:
- Clomiphene: This oral estrogen blocker medication is used in the first half of the menstrual cycle.
- Letrozole: This medication can be useful for stimulating the ovaries.
- Metformin tablets can help improve egg quality in women with type 2 diabetes. The medication works by increasing insulin resistance and decreasing insulin levels.
- Gonadotropin medicines: This can increase gonadotropin.
Natural Remedies for PCOS
Some simple natural remedies, medications, and lifestyle changes can help you control your symptoms and reduce the complications of PCOS.
Researchers from Columbia University found that cinnamon can help regularize the menstrual cycle in women with PCOS. It can also improve insulin resistance.
Remember to use only two teaspoons of cinnamon per day. Plus, consult your doctor before using cinnamon if you want to reduce insulin resistance. It is because it may lower your blood sugar.
Fenugreek can also help fight PCOS because it reduces the level of androgens or male hormones. The seeds contain various lignans that help the body produce more sex hormone-binding globulin. This protein binds to testosterone in the blood and reduces its harmful effects. To use fenugreek, either drink it as pounded and mixed with water or add it to food, soups, and salads.
Mint tea is effective in treating PCOS due to its anti-androgen properties. Drinking mint tea can help reduce hirsutism or body hair. It can also reduce free testosterone levels and increase corpus luteum (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH).
To make mint tea, put some dried mint leaves in a cup of boiling water. Then let it steep for 10 minutes and drink it.
Apple cider vinegar is also beneficial for controlling PCOS. It is because it helps control blood sugar and prevents the body from producing too much insulin. As mentioned earlier, less insulin means less testosterone, and as a result, the symptoms of the disease will gradually decrease.
In addition, apple cider vinegar helps you lose weight. To help reduce the symptoms of PCOS, drink two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. Remember that it must be diluted in water and drank once a day for a few weeks.
The best way to get rid of insulin resistance in women with PCOS is to lose weight. If your cells are sensitive to this hormone, you can lose weight just like a normal person. Exercising can help you to reduce PCOS symptoms and have a higher quality lifestyle.
Taking Metformin for Fertility
“What is good for the treating of PCOS?” It must be said that there is a good correlation between exposure to metformin and pregnancy outcomes in women.
Metformin tablet is a medicine that sensitizes insulin and is usually prescribed to treat diabetes. However, since hormones are also regulated by balancing insulin levels, sometimes this medicine is prescribed for women with PCOS. Also, improving the hormonal status, especially the androgen hormone, metformin helps with more regular menstruation and ovulation, and weight loss.
Researchers believe that metformin tablets are the first-line drug for the treatment of PCOS. However, taking metformin tablets should be accompanied by a lifestyle transformation.
This transformation is especially crucial in people who are overweight. Being overweight is one of the important factors causing PCOS. Removing excess weight is a must in the process of treating PCOS.
Does Metformin Cause Ovulation?
Apart from weight loss, metformin has many other effects on PCOS. These include creating almost regular ovulations, reducing androgen levels, and reducing the risk of miscarriage. It is also effective in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, treating gestational diabetes, and generally, treating diabetes.
People with PCOS who have infertility problems can try a different way. This is if they do not ovulate or do not respond to ovulation-stimulating drugs. Combined treatment with metformin tablets and ovulation stimulating drugs is much more effective in this case. Metformin tablets also help to stimulate the ovaries in IVF.
If a woman has PCOS and does not want to get pregnant, taking metformin may help restore her menstrual cycle. This will finally allow her to ovulate. As a result, this can lead to more regular menstruation.
How to take Metformin for Pregnancy?
The best time to take metformin tablets for PCOS is usually in the afternoon along with the main meal. Regarding how to take metformin tablets to treat the condition, it is better to consult your doctor.
The dosage of metformin for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) depends on the severity of the condition and your blood sugar level. Usually, in glucose tolerance disorder and polycystic ovary, metformin 500 tablets for pregnancy are prescribed once a day. Sometimes up to three tablets per day can be prescribed.
In response to the question of whether metformin tablets cause bleeding or not, we must say no. Metformin is not a hormonal drug and does not cause bleeding.
How Long does it take to get Pregnant using Metformin?
Although metformin is effective for pregnancy, it never determines exactly when you will get pregnant. The occurrence of pregnancy depends on many factors, one of which is ovulation. Some associate the consumption of metformin with quick pregnancy.
However, in fact, pregnancy only occurs when all the conditions for conceiving a baby are met. No one can determine how long it takes to get pregnant after taking metformin for fertility.
We remind you that you should never take metformin for pregnancy on your own. Based on the effect of metformin in pregnancy, take any medication only under the supervision of a doctor.
The Side Effects of Metformin
In general, most people can tolerate metformin well. Metformin can cause side effects in many people. However, most of these side effects are mild and related to the first use of the medicine.
Some of the most common side effects of this medicine are nausea, digestive problems such as stomachache, gas, bloating, and diarrhea. For best results, it is recommended to increase the dose slowly over several weeks. Some people have also found that metformin is gentler on the digestive system and they tolerate it better.
This medicine may cause vitamin B12 deficiency if it is used for a long time or in high doses. Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to mood changes, memory loss, and permanent damage to the brain and nervous system.
When taking metformin, you should supplement your diet with B12 vitamins and have your vitamin levels checked annually. The best amount of vitamin B12 should be more than 450 mg. Serum cholesterol and high urinary tract methylmalonic acid (MMA) levels are very important. They are, in fact, the gold standard in vitamin B12 assessment and diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency.
The most serious side effect of metformin for pregnancy is lactic acidosis. A problem caused by the collection of lactic acid in the blood. This problem can be caused by an excessive collection of metformin in the blood or chronic or acute liver problems.
Drinking alcohol while taking metformin fertility is not recommended. To reduce side effects, this drug should be taken with food. However, you should avoid consuming sweets and processed foods. This is because this can worsen the side effects of the medicine’s digestion.
You may also find it helpful to see a certified nutritionist and dietitian who specializes in PCOS. They can provide you with a meal plan that meets your unique needs.
Is Metformin (for Diabetes) Safe During Pregnancy?
Metformin is generally safe to use during pregnancy. Even though metformin crosses the placenta, studies so far have not shown any effects on the fetus.
Therefore, if you were taking metformin before pregnancy, your doctor may encourage you to continue taking it after pregnancy. However, the first line of treatment for diabetes in pregnancy is insulin. Therefore, the doctor prescribes the right medicine for you based on the previous records of your diseases and conditions.
Even if you were not taking metformin before pregnancy, your doctor may prescribe you metformin during pregnancy. For example, in addition to insulin, the doctor may also prescribe metformin for better blood sugar control.
If the doctor thinks you might get gestational diabetes, they may give you metformin. Metformin can reduce this risk. Among the factors that identify the risk of gestational diabetes, we can mention being overweight. Having diabetes or having gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies are also important factors.
Another benefit of taking metformin during pregnancy is that it can reduce the risk of miscarriage in women who have PCOS. Some reliable sources report this finding.
Self-administration of Metformin
As it was said, Metformin tablets are used for pregnancy and it is a safe medicine during pregnancy. Although it passes through the placenta like other drugs, it does not cause fetal disorders.
It also reduces the possibility of miscarriage and fetal disorders. But these are correct if the standard dose of this medicine is used. If it is taken arbitrarily and without a doctor's prescription, it can have severe side effects.
One of the side effects caused by self-administration of metformin with a non-standard dose is hypoglycemia. It is also called excessive reduction of blood sugar. It is also possible that a person is allergic to insulin. In the following, the side effects that may occur due to arbitrary use of metformin during pregnancy are mentioned.
- Stomach bloating
- Body sweating
- Fever and chills
- Severe stomach pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Severe fatigue
- Respiratory problems
- Muscle pain
Natural Alternatives to Metformin
There is no substitute for metformin for fertility in women with PCOS. However, for people who cannot take the medicine, there are other ways to increase insulin sensitivity with no side effects.
The most important way is to follow a healthy diet and do regular physical activities. N-acetylcysteine is an antioxidant. It was shown that this can work as well as metformin to lower insulin and cholesterol in women with PCOS.
Myo-inositol was also found to be an ovulation renewal agent that resulted in greater fertility than metformin fertility. Also, Myo-inositol has been shown to improve insulin and other metabolic aspects of PCOS.
Metformin is an insulin-sensitizing pill that is primarily used to treat diabetes. But it is also used for fertility. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may use metformin for pregnancy alone, along with Clomid, and even during artificial insemination treatment.
How metformin increases fertility is still unclear. Although metformin is used to treat infertility, it is not a fertility drug. The use of this medication has not yet been approved by the FDA.