Fertility Medications: Metformin
What is Metformin?
Metformin (Glucophage) is an oral medication which can help your body use insulin more effectively and improve ovulation patterns. Metformin is taken one to three times a day with meals.
Metformin and infertility
Hyperinsulinemia, or elevated blood insulin levels, is an endocrine disorder most often found in patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is characterized by irregular menstrual periods, hormonal imbalances, and the presence of an increased number of small follicles on the ovaries. PCOS occurs in varying in degrees. Some women with PCOS may also experience excessive hair growth, hair loss, acne, and obesity.
Hyperinsulinemia is believed to contribute to hormonal imbalance in the pituitary gland and ovary. This leads to an increased level of lutenizing hormone (LH). Increased levels of LH are then believed to cause ovulation disorders, menstrual irregularities and infertility.
During the first week some people may experience diarrhea, stomach upset, or abdominal bloating. Once your body adjusts to the medication, the stomach upset usually subsides. Weight loss is also very common, which many patients do not mind.
Restrictions while being on Metformin
Generally we advise that patients do not consume alcohol while on the medication. Also, we encourage patients to take an active role in monitoring their diets and gradually increase their activity level. Weight loss, moderate exercise, and Metformin are key components in decreasing insulin levels and increasing ovulation and pregnancy rates.