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Female Infertility

Obesity and PCOS

Obesity and PCOS often occur together, but our team can help

Many women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) also struggle with their weight. While there is a clear link between obesity and PCOS, Texas Fertility Center (TFC) offers treatments to help manage both weight and fertility issues. Our Austin fertility center works with women every day to help them reach a healthy body mass index (BMI) and achieve their dreams of motherhood.

Weight management is important because obesity and PCOS can have health consequences

Polycystic ovary syndrome increases the risk of several issues, which being overweight or obese can worsened. Here’s a list of the most common health concerns.

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • Infertility
  • Stroke

To reduce the risk of developing these conditions and improve fertility, our Austin fertility center focuses on weight loss as the first line treatment for obesity and PCOS. Not only does reaching a healthy BMI improve health outcomes, just a 5-10% reduction in body weight can frequently restore fertility. In some cases, women who lose this amount of weight begin ovulating without help from fertility medications.

Managing polycystic ovary syndrome and weight

To lose weight in a healthy manner, experts recommend a low-calorie diet, reduced carbohydrate intake and increased physical activity. For women who are morbidly obese, many doctors also recommend bariatric surgery.

In addition to lifestyle changes, doctors may prescribe medications to treat polycystic ovary syndrome. One common example is an insulin-sensitizing agent like metformin. Please note that this medication is only recommended for patients with a demonstrated glucose intolerance.

As for fertility, most patients with PCOS will require treatment with some type of ovulation induction medication (either Clomid, Letrozole or gonadotropin therapy) and metformin to achieve ovulation and pregnancy. Our Austin fertility center finds that some women can conceive using these medications with timed intercourse. However, some patients may need other fertility treatments like intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Once the patient conceives, the doctor providing prenatal care will decide whether the patient should continue to take metformin. These decisions are based on a careful evaluation of the risks and benefits to both the patient and her baby.

If you’re ready to learn more about obesity and PCOS, contact us to schedule a consultation. Our team can help you achieve your health and family-building goals.

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