Effects of metformin on body mass index, menstrual cyclicity, and ovulation induction in women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Derek A. Haas, Bruce R. Carr, George Attia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations


Objective: Metformin has been used as a treatment in many studies of the infertility associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). We will review the literature on this topic as it specifically relates to changes in body mass index (BMI), improvement in menstrual cyclicity, and effects on ovulation and pregnancy rates. Design: Review of studies addressing biochemical and clinical changes in women with PCOS on metformin. Main Outcome Measure(s): Changes in BMI, menstrual cyclicity, ovulation rate, and pregnancy rate. Result(s): Metformin has been shown to produce small but significant reductions in BMI. Multiple observational studies have confirmed an improvement in menstrual cyclicity with metformin therapy. The studies addressing the concomitant use of metformin with clomiphene citrate initially predicted great success, but these have been followed by more modest results. There is little data in the literature concerning the use of metformin and hMGs. Conclusion(s): Some (but not all) women with PCOS have improvements in their menstrual cycles while on metformin. The data supporting the use of metformin in ovulation induction with clomiphene citrate and hMG remain to be confirmed by large, randomized, prospective studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-481
Number of pages13
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003
Externally publishedYes



  • Clomiphene
  • Human menopausal gonadotropin
  • Infertility
  • Metformin
  • Ovulation
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Cite this