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According to a new study, weight loss and exercise improve ovulation in women who have polycystic ovary syndrome, a common hormone disorder that often causes infertility.
PCOS is a condition which occurs when a woman’s body produces slightly higher than normal amount of testosterone and other androgens, sex hormones associated with male traits.
This results in hormone imbalance causing irregular or absent menstrual periods, weight gain, and acne, excess hair on the face and body, or thinning hair on the scalp.
Richard S. Legro, one of the study's authors said, “The findings confirm what we have long suspected -- that exercise and a healthy diet can improve fertility in women who have PCOS. Making preconception lifestyle changes is beneficial, either alone or in combination with other pretreatment options”.
Researchers for the study collected and analyzed data from almost 150 women with PCOS. These participants either took birth control pills, underwent lifestyle modification or a combination of the two interventions for a four-month period.
The participants were been the ages of 18 and 40. Researchers noted that all the women were either overweight or obese, but had no other major medical conditions.
After the invention, the participants underwent four cycles of ovulation induced by medication. Among them 49 women assigned to the birth control intervention, five gave birth. Out of 50 women in the lifestyle intervention group, 13 delivered babies. Twelve of the 50 women in the combination group gave birth, Medical Daily reported.
Legro said the research indicates that preconception weight loss and exercise improve women's reproductive and metabolic health. Using oral contraceptives alone may worsen the metabolic profile without improving ovulation, he added.
"In contrast, using oral contraceptives alone may worsen the metabolic profile without improving ovulation. Lifestyle change is an important part of any fertility treatment approach for women with PCOS who are overweight or obese."