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Overview

Metformin

Prescription vs.OTC: Prescription by Doctor required

Metformin is a drug that helps maintain balanced blood sugar levels in the body. It is used to treat Type 2 diabetes, heart disorders and polycystic ovary syndrome.

Metformin works by decreasing the amount of glucose produced by the liver. It suppresses the quantity of glucose that the liver releases in the body. Thus, it lowers the blood sugar levels in the body of a patient suffering from Type 2 diabetes. Metformin also increases your sensitivity to insulin, enabling your body to absorb larger quantities of glucose. This drug is available in oral solution or even tablet form.

Metformin is an oral drug that is used to control and balance blood sugar levels. This medication is used in the treatment of conditions such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and polycystic ovarian syndrome. If you do not manage the condition of diabetes, it can result in kidney failure, obesity and heart disorders. Therefore, Metformin helps keep your blood sugar levels low and your diabetes in check.

Metformin does not increase the amount of insulin in the body; instead, it decreases the production of sugar. The liver of patients, who suffer from type 2 diabetes, produces thrice the amount of glucose and their bodies do not have the capacity to absorb these large amounts of glucose. Metformin is effective in lowering the amount of glucose that the liver releases. It also decreases your appetite and increases your body’s sensitivity to insulin, thus, reducing the amount of glucose that is absorbed by your blood. An increased sensitivity to insulin also lowers your levels of cholesterol and helps you to lose weight.

Metformin is available in the form of tablets as well as oral solutions. The dosage that the doctor recommends for your treatment will be based on your age, your condition, the severity of your condition and the other medications you are currently taking. You should follow the course of this treatment until it is completed, and do not skip out on a dose.

In some cases, it is advisable for the patients of certain conditions to avoid taking this medication. You should inform your doctor before taking this medicine, if you suffer from conditions like liver disease, kidney disorders, heart disease, allergies and diabetic ketoacidosis. Pregnant women, women who are breast-feeding their infants and children below ten years should not take this medicine.

The common side effects of Metformin include diarrhea, dizziness, headaches, vomiting and stomach cramps. Consuming this medicine with food can lower your risk of developing the side effects. One rare yet major side effect of Metformin is lactic acidosis. It is build up of lactic acid in the blood, which can be fatal. This side effect causes symptoms such as muscle weakness, stomach aches, nausea, irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing, cold or numb sensation in the arms and legs. You should seek emergency medical aid, if you detect any of these symptoms. It is important to avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medicine, since it can increase your risk of developing lactic acidosis.

Type diabetes
Type II Diabetes Mellitus
Metformin improves blood glucose levels in adults and children. The drug is to be taken with proper diet and regular exercise.
Metformin is also used to treat this hormonal condition known as Polycystic ovary syndrome.
Impaired kidney function
Metformin is not recommended for patients having an impaired kidney function. This can be attributed to other risk factors like shock, heart attack, and Septicemia.
Metformin is not recommended for use if you have a known history of allergy to it.
Metabolic Acidosis
Metformin is not recommended for use in patients with unbalanced acid levels in the body.
In addition to its intended effect, Metformin may cause some unwanted effects too. In such cases, you must seek medical attention immediately. This is not an exhaustive list of side effects. Please inform your doctor if you experience any adverse reaction to the medication.
Nausea and vomiting Moderate Common
Diarrhea Moderate Common
Abdominal pain Moderate Common
Hypoglycemia Major Common
Lactic Acidosis Major Rare
Weakness Moderate Less Common
Chest discomfort Moderate Less Common
Headache Minor Less Common
Running nose Minor Less Common
Belching and Heartburn Minor Common
Swollen joints Minor Rare
How long the duration of effect?
The effect lasts for an average duration of 4 to 8 hours.
what is the onset of action?
The peak effect of this medicine can be observed after 1-3 hours of administration.
Are there any pregnancy warnings?
This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women owing to the risk of abnormalities in the fetus. Alternate means of blood sugar control like insulin therapy should be considered during pregnancy.
Is it habit forming?
No habit forming tendencies were reported.
Are there any breast-feeding warnings?
This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women owing to the risk of adverse effects on the baby. Alternate means of blood sugar control like insulin therapy should be considered in such cases. If it becomes absolutely necessary to take this medicine, then breastfeeding should be discontinued.
Missed Dose instructions
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.
Overdose instructions
Contact a doctor immediately if an overdose is suspected. Some overdosages could lead to Lactic Acidosis which requires immediate medical intervention.
India
United States
Japan
Below is the list of medicines, which contains Metformin as ingredient
Franco Indian Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd
Abbott Healthcare Pvt. Ltd
Aristo Pharmaceuticals Pvt.Ltd
Zoticus Pharmaceuticals
Aristo Pharmaceuticals Pvt.Ltd
Aristo Pharmaceuticals Pvt.Ltd
Sanofi India Ltd
Aretaeus Pharmaceuticals
Franco Indian Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd
Merck Consumer Health Care Ltd
Abbott Healthcare Pvt. Ltd
Sanofi India Ltd
Whenever you take more than one medicine, or mix it with certain foods or beverages, you're at risk of a drug interaction.
Interaction with Disease
Lactic Acidosis Major
You should report the incidence of conditions like kidney impairment, heart disease, severe diarrhea, septicemia to the doctor before taking Metformin. Supervised dosing and monitoring of blood sugar levels might be required in such cases. Any signs and symptoms indicative of the above-mentioned conditions should be reported immediately.
Vitamin B12 deficiency Moderate
Inform the doctor about incidences of anemia or Vitamin B12 deficiency so that suitable Vitamin supplements can be prescribed if needed.Vitamin B1 deficiency
Interaction with Alcohol
Ethanol Moderate
Avoid using alcohol while taking this medicine. Symptoms such as prolonged weakness and muscle pain, lack of sleep, breathing difficulties after alcohol intake should be reported to the doctor immediately.
Interaction with Lab Test
Lab
Information not available.
Interaction with Food
Food
Information not available.
Interaction with Medicine
Iodinated Contrast Media Major
Discontinue the usage of Metformin at least 48 hours prior to the intake of Iodinated Contrast media. Inform the doctor about Metformin use so that it can be temporarily discontinued.
Gatifloxacin Major
Report the usage of either of the medicine to the doctor. Use of Metformin is not recommended along with Gatifloxacin and suitable alternates should be used instead.
Amlodipine Moderate
Report the use of either of the medication to the doctor as dose adjustment and safety monitoring may be required.
Aloe Vera Moderate
Consult your doctor for use of aloe vera while taking Metformin. Suitable dose adjustments and safety monitoring may be required if the intended use is for a long duration.
Estradiol Moderate
Consult your doctor if you are planning to take Estradiol while taking Metformin. Dose adjustment might be required in such cases. It is advised to consult your doctor before starting or stopping any medication while taking metformin.
What are you using Metformin for?
Type II Diabetes Mellitus
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Other
How much was the improvement?
Excellent
Average
Poor
How long did it take before seeing improvement?
Within 2 days
Within a day
More than 2 days
Within 2 hours
Within 6 hours
How frequently did you take this medicine?
Once a day
Four times A Day
Thrice a day
How did you take this medicine?
With Food
With or without food
Empty stomach
What were the side effects of this medicine?
Lactic Acidosis
Headache
Abdominal Pain

Popular Questions & Answers

My sugar levels fasting 152 and post Prandial 180 should I start taking medication.

Practical Course In Diabetology, Post Graduate Course In Diabetology, MBBS
Endocrinologist, Jammu
My sugar levels fasting 152 and post Prandial 180 should I start taking medication.
Start Metformin 500 mg twice a day after meals. Avoid sugar, junk food, fried food and fruit juices. Exercise regularly.
1 person found this helpful

I am a 42 year Old male. I get frequent pain in right upper abdomen and semi loose or loose stools 3-4 times every week or 15 days. Upon investigation I had mild fatty liver. I take Liv 52, Probiotics and light food to recover. This usually happens when I have mutton, outside food. So I am avoiding it but cannot do it completely instead I want a diagnosis and proper treatment. Please help.

MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, MRCP (UK), DM - Clinical Haematology
Hematologist, Kolkata
I am a 42 year Old male. I get frequent pain in right upper abdomen and semi loose or loose stools 3-4 times every we...
No use taking LIV52 or probiotics for the Fatty liver. As for diarrhea, try changing your diet and consuming less of red meat. If the diarrhea is occurring quite frequently and with crampy pain, then it may be infective and you will need to take antibiotics. Metformin may in many patients cause diarrhea. It will​ be worth knowing for how long have you been on the Metformin? In case you need further help, do book an online consult and we can discuss.
1 person found this helpful

Sir/Madam, My father Mr. ML Sarma, aged 85 and diabetic. As per Blood Test his Fasting Blood Sugar is 148 mg/dl on today. He is using Metformin 500 mg in the morning and Metformin 250 mg at night. Now I want your valuable suggestions in this matter. Or he may use Metformin 500 mg at night.

MBBS, CCEBDM, Diploma in Diabetology, Diploma in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics, Cetificate Course In Thyroid Disorders Management (CCMTD)
Endocrinologist, Hubli-Dharwad
Sir/Madam,
My father Mr. ML Sarma, aged 85 and diabetic. As per Blood Test his Fasting Blood Sugar is 148 mg/dl on to...
Mr. lybrate-user, Thanks for the query. The information is very inadequate. Please give following details: fasting, PP glucose levels, HbA1c5, creatinine and urea levels. I need to look at his e GFR as he is of 85 years. Then only I will be able to advise. Thanks.
1 person found this helpful

If a diabetic person is taking insulin mixtard morning and evening before food can he take glimy 4 after food?

MBBS, MD
Endocrinologist, Delhi
If a diabetic person is taking insulin mixtard morning and evening before food can he take glimy 4 after food?
If you are on insulin it is better to increase the dose of insulin if blood sugar is not controlled. If at all you want to add oral medicine metformin will be a better choice.

Popular Health Tips

PCOS Can Trigger Infertility - Do You Think It Can Be Treated?

MBBS, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Kanpur
PCOS Can Trigger Infertility - Do You Think It Can Be Treated?

PCOS is a disorder characterized by enlarged ovaries and the formation of tiny cysts on the outer sides of the ovaries. Polycystic Ovary is a hormonal condition that stimulates surplus production of androgen in women. Androgen being a “male hormone,” causes development of muscle mass and hair in men, and it has similar effects on women as well when present in high amount. They trigger acne and excessive growth of body hair in women accompanied by irregular or lack of ovulation in the form of absent or erratic menstrual cycle. Hence, owing to troubles in ovulation (discharge of ovules from the ovaries), one may experience difficulties in getting pregnant.

Many women suffering from PCOS are unaffected by the influence of the hormone ‘insulin’, which indicates, that it requires a larger amount of insulin to sustain a normal blood sugar level. High levels of insulin as a result of insulin resistance, in turn drastically boosts androgen production.

Symptoms of PCOS include:

  1. Irregular Menstrual Cycle. Women with PCOS may miss periods or have fewer periods (fewer than eight in a year). Or, their periods may come every 21 days or more often. Some women with PCOS stop having menstrual periods.

  2. Excessive hair. Excessive hair on the face, chin, or parts of the body where men usually have hair. This is called "hirsutism." Hirsutism affects up to 70% of women with PCOS.3

  3. Acne. Acne on the face, chest, and upper back

  4. Hair Loss. Thinning hair or hair loss on the scalp; male-pattern baldness

  5. Weight Gain. Weight gain or difficulty losing weight

  6. Skin Darkening. Darkening of skin, particularly along neck creases, in the groin, and underneath breasts

  7. Skin tags. Skin tags, which are small excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area

Treatment for PCOS:

There is apparently no procedure to cure PCOS and improve fertility; but the treatment is tailored as per the symptoms of the condition:

  1. A lack of ovulation and menstrual cycles hinders the secretion of progesterone (a hormone preparing the uterus for pregnancy), thus hampering conception. In this case, the treatment is directed at maintaining a regular ovulation and menstrual cycle which can be fixed by consuming birth control pills. These pills comprise of both progestin and estrogen which aid to bring down androgen production.

  2. PCOS along with insulin resistance warrants the use of certain medications such as metformin which are prescribed to enhance insulin sensitivity. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4595 people found this helpful

Everything You Need To Know About PCOD

MS Human Sexuality, M.Phil Clinical Psychology, PhD (Behaviour Modification), Certified In Treatment of Resistant Depression
Sexologist, Hyderabad
Everything You Need To Know About PCOD

Everything you need to know about Polycystic Ovarian Disorder (PCOD)PCOD affects almost 17 percent of Indian women.

PCOD in India

This hormonal imbalance affects many women in India. A pan India survey was recently conducted by the Metropolis Healthcare Ltd, on 27,411 samples of testosterone over a period of 18 months. Out of these 27,411 samples, around 4,824, (17.60 percent) of the females faced hormonal risks including polycystic ovarian syndrome.

What is Polycystic Ovary Disease (PCOD)?

Polycystic Ovary Disease (PCOD), is a condition where a woman develops enlarged ovaries and small follicular cysts that are of the diameter 0.5-1.0 cm. This leads to a collection of eggs in the ovary that cannot be discharged from the body. “A woman with PCOD will also have symptoms that reflect imbalances in reproductive and other hormones. Here, the ovaries make more androgens (male hormones) than normal. High levels of these hormones affect the development and release of eggs during ovulation."

The following symptoms of PCOD, which large affects women of all age groups and may vary:

  • In adolescent women, PCOD symptoms include infrequent, absent, and/or irregular menstrual periods and hairfall.
  • In reproductive age group, women face fertility issues, requiring assistance in form of fertility treatments. In fact, PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility.
  • Hirsutism— increased hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, back, thumbs, or toes.
  • Cysts in the ovaries can also cause acne, oily skin, or dandruff.
  • It may also lead to weight gain or obesity, usually with extra weight around the waist and male-pattern baldness or thinning of hair.
  • One may also notice patches of skin on the neck, arms, breasts, or thighs that are thick and dark brown or black skin tags — excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area.

"Changes in lifestyle, lack of exercise, dietary habits, exposure to environmental pollution, stress levels and loss of work life balance have become the primary causes of PCOD which can also lead to hypertension, diabetes mellitus, increased risk of uterine cancer and even cardiovascular diseases," she says.

Remedies for PCOD

Experts suggest that if symptoms are identified at an early age and brought under control, it can help reduce the chances of having complications like diabetes and heart disease. "However, the primary steps are eating right, exercising and not smoking.

#1 Lifestyle modification

"Many women with PCOD are overweight or obese, which can resultantly cause many health problems. The way to manage PCOD is by eating healthy and exercising to keep weight at a healthy level,". You can do the following:

  • Limiting processed foods and foods with added sugars
  • Add more whole-grain products, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats to your diet. "This helps to lower blood glucose (sugar) levels, improve the body's use of insulin, and normalise hormone levels in your body. Even a 10 percent loss in body weight can restore a normal period and make your cycle more regular," she says.

#2 Dietary changes

You must include whole grains in your daily diet to make up for the needed amount of protein

  • Fiber contributes to improved blood sugar control and healthy bowel function. Aim to eat 25-30 grams of fiber per day.
  • Protein helps balance your blood sugar and can help tame a sweet tooth. Include fresh fish, lean red meat, organic chicken, organic eggs, whole grains, and legumes in your diet, which are all good sources of protein.
  • The type of fat in your diet plays an important role in assisting with insulin reception at the cell level. Use cold-water fish, organic eggs, avocados, extra virgin olive oil, and raw nuts and seeds that are rich in essential fatty acids.
  • Ensure you eat regularly and choose healthy snacks mid-morning and mid-afternoon to balance your blood sugar levels between meals.
  • Also make sure you add fruit, nuts, seeds and natural yogurt- all make for healthy snacks.

#3 Birth control pills

You can also ask your gyneacologist if you can include birth control pills and if so, which one's suit you best. For women who don't want to get pregnant, birth control pills are extremely helpful. They do the following:

  • Control menstrual cycles
  • Reduce male hormone levels
  • Help to clear acne

#4 Diabetes medications

"The medicine Metformin (Glucophage) is used to treat type 2 diabetes. Metformin affects the way insulin controls blood glucose (sugar) and lowers testosterone production. It slows the growth of abnormal hair and, after a few months of use, may help ovulation to return,"

She adds that recent research has shown Metformin to have other positive effects, such as decreased body mass and improved cholesterol levels. "Metformin will not cause a person to become diabetic,"

#5 Surgery

Ovarian drilling is a surgery that may increase the chance of ovulation. It's sometimes used when a woman does not respond to fertility medicines.

#6 Medicine for increased hair growth or extra male hormones

"Medicines called anti-androgens may reduce hair growth and clear acne. Spironolactone (speer-on-oh-LAK-tone) (Aldactone), first used to treat high blood pressure, has been shown to reduce PCOD. These medications should not be taken if you are trying to become pregnant," says. She lists a few other options:

  • Vaniqa cream to reduce facial hair
  • Laser hair removal or electrolysis to remove hair
  • Hormonal treatment to keep new hair from growing

She adds that some research has also shown that bariatric (weight loss) surgery may be effective in resolving PCOD in morbidly obese women (BMI of more than 40).

#7 Fertility medications

"Lack of ovulation is usually the reason for fertility problems in women with PCOD. Several medications that stimulate ovulation can help women with PCOD become pregnant. Even so, other reasons for infertility in both the woman and man should be ruled out before fertility medications are used. Also, some fertility medications increase the risk for multiple births (twins, triplets).

She lists the following treatment options:

  • Clomiphene (Clomid, Serophene): The first choice therapy to stimulate ovulation for most patients.
  • Metformin taken with clomiphene: This may be tried if clomiphene alone fails. The combination may help women with PCOS ovulate on lower doses of medication.
  • Gonadotropins: It is given as shots, but are more expensive and raise the risk of multiple births compared to clomiphene.

Another option is in vitro fertilisation (IVF), which offers the best chance of becoming pregnant in any given cycle. It also gives doctors better control over the chance of multiple births.

Most women have symptoms that are normally associated with menopause. "These include hot flushes, vaginal dryness, irritability, night sweats, or difficulty sleeping. Menstrual periods may be sporadic or stop completely. Some women may never begin having menstrual periods and may not go through the normal sequence of puberty,".

She adds that while PCOD does pose a problem with respect to fertility, it must be noted that it is not incurable.

17 people found this helpful

Hirsutism - What Are The Causes Behind It?

MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, DGO
IVF Specialist, Mumbai
Hirsutism - What Are The Causes Behind It?

There are women who feel their looks are spoilt because of the presence of excessive body hair. While hair on women's body is common, excessive body hair isn't a normal condition and must be taken seriously. Women are generally unaware that the condition is known as Hirsutism.

What is Hirsutism?

Hirsutism can be defined as growth of excessive facial and body hair in women. With the world obsessed with flawless skin, such changes from feminine hair pattern (soft, fine, vellus hair) to masculine hair pattern (hard, dark, terminal hair) in a woman is generally unwelcoming and, hence, very distressing for the woman.

Why do some women develop Hirsutism?

In order to understand the reasons for such excessive growth in some women, it is important to understand the differences in the physiology of men and women. The male or female appearance of one's body is dependent on a delicate balance between male and female sex hormones. There is a predominance of the hormone estrogen in a woman's body, whereas androgens (testosterone) are the predominant sex hormones among men. However, some amount of androgens is secreted by the ovaries and adrenal glands (located next to kidneys) in women also. But, an excessive production of these hormones results in Hirsutism. Hormonal imbalance is by far the most common cause of Hirsutism.

Causes of Hirsutism

The common causes of hirsutism include:

1. Endocrine causes

  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) - PCOS is a condition of hormonal imbalance in the body, which can result in an irregular menstrual cycle, enlarged ovaries with a cystic appearance on USG, infertility, obesity and hirsutism. For more information on the causes and management of PCOS.
  • Cushing's syndrome - Excessive production of hormone Cortisol by the adrenal glands can lead to symptoms such as high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, skin discoloration, muscle weakness, irregular menstruation, and hirsutism etc. This syndrome is known as Cushing's syndrome.
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) - CAH is a condition of excessive production of hormones Androgens and Cortisol by the adrenal glands and generally manifests in childhood in the form of virilization. In such cases, CAH can present with symptoms such as ambiguous genitals, obesity, hypertension etc. However, sometimes the manifestation of CAH is deferred to early adulthood and results in milder symptoms, hirsutism being one of them.

2. Tumors - Tumors in ovary or adrenal glands can again cause hirsutism due to excessive production of androgens

3. Medications

4. Idiopathic - the woman may be having hirsutism despite normal hormone levels

Treatments


There are essentially two lines of treatment for hirsutism - one is medical management and the other is a cosmetic treatment.

Medical treatments for hirsutism -

A. Birth control pills - It's possible to reduce the severity and intensity of hair growth using birth control pills- the most commonly prescribed medical intervention! The birth control pills help by decreasing the production of androgens by ovaries. Besides this, estrogen present in the pills also helps the liver to produce more of sex hormone binding protein- these proteins bind to circulating androgens, thereby reducing their action on the body. Both these actions help in reducing the growth of hair on the body.

B. Anti-androgen medications - There are three categories of anti-androgen medications, which are commonly used for the treatment of hirsutism.

 

  • I. Spironolactone - Spironolactone is a diuretic medicine, which blocks the effects of androgens on the hair follicles, thus controlling hair growth.
  • II. Finasteride - Finasteride works by blocking the conversion of body testosterone into its more potent chemical entity, thereby limiting the effect of testosterone on hair growth.
  • III. Flutamide - Flutamide is a potent anti-androgen, which blocks the actions of androgens and helps in controlling the hair growth.

However, we have to ensure that the woman is not pregnant when taking any of these three medications. These medicines are often combined with oral contraceptives, which also have a synergistic effect in reducing the severity of hirsutism. One should also seek an expert opinion before starting these medications as there can be serious side effects, especially on liver.

C. Steroids - Low dose dexamethasone can be used to control the overactive adrenal glands when used carefully. However, long-term steroid therapy has got its own side effects and this therapy should only be considered under expert care and guidance.

D. Insulin sensitizing medicines - Medicines such as Metformin and Pioglitazone (Basically these are anti-diabetic medications) help in reducing insulin resistance in the body, which, in turn, helps in controlling the effects of excessive circulating androgens.

Cosmetic treatment for hirsutism -

One very important aspect of cosmetic management of hirsutism is self-care. This can include shaving, waxing, use of depilators and bleaching creams. All these measures help to reduce the amount of visible hair in undesired parts of the body. But, this needs to be done very frequently for a sustained visible effect.

Permanent hair removal is also possible using electrolysis or LASER treatment. In electrolysis treatment, electric current is passed into the hair follicle using a needle, which damages the root of the hair permanently. Similarly, LASER treatment uses LASER to destroy the hair follicle. Both these are effective methods to get rid of the undesired hair. However, we do not yet know if there are any long-term complications or side effects of these methods and these methods are not yet approved by the US FDA. https://www.lybrate.com/doctor/dr-kaushal-kadam-gynaecologistIn case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4028 people found this helpful

PCOS: What You Need to Know About It

MBBS, MRCGP ( UK), Diploma in Diabetes (UK), DFSRH (UK), DRCOG (UK), CCT (UK)
Endocrinologist, Hyderabad
PCOS: What You Need to Know About It

PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome is an endocrine disorder in women, in which the female hormones, progesterone and estrogen, are imbalanced. This imbalance leads to the formation of cysts (benign masses) in the ovaries. PCOS tends to affect your heart functions, fertility, menstrual cycle and appearance.

There are certain symptoms, which can be indicative of PCOS; these symptoms tend to begin as a woman's menstrual cycle starts. In certain cases, however, PCOS may also affect a woman in her mid age. PCOS can also cause excessive hair growth in unwanted places like above the upper lip,chin,arms and chest like a male.

The symptoms are:

  • Increase in the production of male hormone, leads to development of male characteristics
  • The size of the breasts may reduce
  • The tone and the texture of the voice may change and become similar to a man's voice
  • Hair may start to fall
  • You may suffer from acne and pimple breakouts on your face
  • It can lead to sudden weight gain
  • It may affect a woman's fertility
  • It may lead to pain in the pelvis

Other symptoms: Apart from these symptoms, a woman may also experience other health complications such as high levels of bad cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.

The causes of PCOS have not been accurately identified so far, but researchers suggest that the following factors might contribute to the onset of the condition.

  1. Lower inflammation levels: The white blood cells present in your body form resistance against infections through a response termed as inflammation. Women with lower inflammation levels are likelier to get PCOS as the decreased levels stimulate poly cystic ovaries, thereby, producing more androgens.
  2. Increased amount of insulin secretion: Women suffering from insulin resistance may get PCOS as their body is not able to effectively use this insulin, which results in increased insulin secretion by the pancreas. This, in turn, triggers more androgen (male sex hormone) production in the ovaries, making it difficult for the ovaries to ovulate.
  3. Genetic factor: If you have a family history of PCOS, it's highly probable that you may also get it as the disease is linked with your genes.

Diagnosis and Treatment: Once the condition is diagnosed, there are certain treatments, which are recommended for the patient. The condition in itself does not have a cure, but the symptoms can only be controlled.

Treatment for PCOS:

There is apparently no procedure to cure PCOS and improve fertility but the treatment is tailored as per the symptoms of the condition:

  1. A lack of ovulation and menstrual cycles hinders the secretion of progesterone (a hormone preparing the uterus for pregnancy), thus hampering conception. In this case, the treatment is directed at maintaining a regular ovulation and menstrual cycle which can be fixed by consuming birth control pills. These pills comprise of both progestin and estrogen which aid to bring down androgen production.

  2. PCOS along with insulin resistance warrants the use of certain medications such as metformin which are prescribed to enhance insulin sensitivity.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3912 people found this helpful

PCOS: What You Should Know About It?

Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, MBBS
IVF Specialist, Ghaziabad
PCOS: What You Should Know About It?

PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome is an endocrine disorder in women, in which the female hormones, progesterone and estrogen, are imbalanced. This imbalance leads to the formation of cysts (benign masses) in the ovaries. PCOS tends to affect your heart functions, fertility, menstrual cycle and appearance.

PCOS is a complex condition because it is not entirely clear why some women have such high androgen levels. What is clear is that many women with PCOS also have issues relating to obesity, insulin resistance (a condition where insulin is not effective in lowering blood sugars) and diabetes.

The complexity of PCOS is compounded by the fact that some women with PCOS do not have visible cysts on their ovaries, and some women with cysts in their ovaries do necessarily have PCOS.

How Does PCOS Affect Fertility?

If you’re living with PCOS, the excessive male hormones that your body is creating can interfere with the production of the female hormones that your body needs in order to ovulate. Because your body is not ovulating, progesterone (the hormone that causes the lining of the uterus to thicken) is not being produced. This results in an absence of periods or irregular menstruation. When there is a lack of ovulation and menstruation, conception just isn’t possible.

There are certain symptoms, which can be indicative of PCOS; these symptoms tend to begin as a woman's menstrual cycle starts. In certain cases, however, PCOS may also affect a woman in her mid age. PCOS can also cause excessive hair growth in unwanted places like above the upper lip, chin, arms and chest like a male.

The symptoms are:

  • Increase in the production of male hormone, leads to development of male characteristics
  • The size of the breasts may reduce
  • The tone and the texture of the voice may change and become similar to a man's voice
  • Hair may start to fall
  • You may suffer from acne and pimple breakouts on your face
  • It can lead to sudden weight gain
  • It may affect a woman's fertility
  • It may lead to pain in the pelvis

Other symptoms: Apart from these symptoms, a woman may also experience other health complications such as high levels of bad cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Causes: The causes of PCOS are not well known, however, the likely causes are genetics and hormonal complications. If someone in the family has PCOS, then the risk of being affected by PCOS rises significantly. The other likely cause is the overproduction of the male hormone androgen in the female body. Although androgen is a male hormone, the female body also produces it in trace amounts. However, in some cases, when it is overproduced, it might impair the ovulation process.

Diagnosis and Treatment: Once the condition is diagnosed, there are certain treatments, which are recommended for the patient. The condition in itself does not have a cure, but the symptoms can only be controlled.

There are a number of options available, depending on the main issue you are experiencing.

  • Weight loss can be more difficult because of the higher levels of testosterone, but it has a very beneficial effect on balancing hormones and restoring regular periods in obese women. So exercise and a change of diet could have a significant impact.
  • Insulin sensitizers, such as Metformin, reduce the impact of insulin resistance and can also assist in weight loss.
  • Ovulation-inducing drugs such as Clomiphene (Serophene or Clomid) can stimulate the ovaries.
  • If you do not respond to Clomiphene, injectable drugs (FSH) can be used, but these require specialist facilities and close monitoring of the response to avoid severe side effects and multiple pregnancies.
  • IVF treatment may be necessary for very difficult situations.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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Table of Content

About Metformin
When is Metformin prescribed?
What are the contraindications of Metformin?
What are the side effects of Metformin?
Key highlights of Metformin
What are the dosage instructions?
Where is the Metformin approved?
Medicines containing Metformin
What are the interactions for Metformin?