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Dear Patient Care Advocates: Metformin Makes Me Sick, What Should I Do?

Dear Patient Care Advocates:

My fertility doctor prescribed Metformin to help with my PCOS, but I get so sick from it. I can’t spend all day every day in the bathroom. It seems counterproductive for trying to conceive when I don’t even want to get near my husband! What should I do?

Frustrated with PCOS

Dear Frustrated,

Before you throw your Metformin in the trash, listen up! It can take up to three months for your body to get used to the drug and for the side effects to subside.

As you probably already know, Metformin is often prescribed for women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) to help decrease the level of androgens (a type of hormone) produced by the ovaries. Metformin helps restore ovulation, regulate menstrual cycles, decrease the risk of miscarriage, and reduce insulin resistance. It can also lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease for women with the disease. Sometimes fertility doctors prescribe Metformin with Clomid. Not sure if this is the case for you, but the two drugs together regulate your hormones and help your ovaries do their job: ovulate.

The side effects you mentioned, I’m assuming you meant nausea and diarrhea, are quite common. Some women experience a loss of appetite too.

I’d recommend toughing it out as long as you can and if you still feel sick, you should mention it to your doctor. You might want to find a diet tailored to the PCOS diagnosis, one that is low in sugar and carbohydrates, to reduce those side effects as well!

To hear more from women experiencing the side effects of Metformin, check out these threads on
Metformin Making Anyone Else Sick?
Does Metformin Make You Sick?

Baby Dust,
Submit your question for the Patient Care Advocates by emailing me!

Watch as Dr. Erica Johnstone, a fertility doctor with Utah Center of Reproductive Medicine, talks about treatments, including fertility drugs, that can help you conceive if you have PCOS:

Click image to play.

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