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PCOS and Weight Loss

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There is a clear link between weight and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It is estimated that 50 to 60 percent of women with PCOS are obese, and more are somewhat overweight. Research shows that in the majority of women high levels of insulin are responsible for weight gain and other aspects of PCOS including infertility. But what does this mean for women with PCOS, especially those who want to become pregnant?

PCOS and Insulin Levels

If you would like to become pregnant then it is very important for you to get your high insulin levels under control. High insulin levels make it more difficult for you to become pregnant. This is because high insulin levels affect other hormone levels and this combines to reduce a woman’s ability to produce and release an egg. Reducing your insulin level can help you have more regular periods, more ovulatory cycles and stabilized hormone levels, all of which can help you improve your chances of pregnancy. One of the best ways to get your insulin levels down is to lose weight. Losing just 5 percent of your body weight can help restore normal ovulation and menstruation.

PCOS and Low Glycemic Index Diet

Following a low glycemic index (GI) diet seems to be the most effective way for women with PCOS to lose weight. A low GI diet seems to work because it does not cause quick rises and falls in blood sugar. This helps stabilize insulin levels. Carbohydrates are usually responsible for the quick rises in falls in blood sugar, but you do not need to entirely cut them out of your diet. Instead, you should make sure that you are eating the right kinds of carbohydrate. Whole grain carbohydrates are usually the best choice because they are high in fiber, which takes longer for your body to process. This means that your blood sugar does not rise and fall as quickly.

Losing Weight and PCOS

You should also consider how many calories you are eating; if you are eating more calories than you are burning, no matter where they come from, you still will not lose weight. Also, regular exercise is an important way of helping you to lose weight and reduce PCOS symptoms.

Unfortunately, women with high insulin levels often have a harder time losing weight than other women. High insulin levels are believed to promote fat storage. Also, if you are already overweight it can be harder to get started on an exercise routine to help you lose weight. Your fertility doctor may refer you to a dietitian to help you find a strategy that works for you.

Finally, you should always keep in mind that change will not happen overnight. Improving your diet and developing and maintaining a regular exercise routine are important parts of losing weight, feeling better and improving fertility, but they all take time. Keeping your desired outcomes in mind will help you remember what you are working hard for!

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Comments (24)

I have been trying to get pregnant for over 12 years now. I am Helen Wealth from Chicago My husband and I have been seeing a fertility specialist. We have done one IUI with no luck. My husband has a sperm count which goes up and down,the doctor has recommended him taking the Proxeed supplement which he is doing over 3 years with no change in the sitution. It just seems to me that if the sperm are unable to fertilize the egg it will not matter how many are produced. I was so confused until i contacted this powerful spell caster online who I saw a number of testimonies of how he has help so many of them so I sent HIM a mail and I told him all my sorrows and pain he replied me and ask me not to cry any more that he will help, he sent me some instructions and caution, Dr Ogbidi (the spell caster) performed the ritual rights and I bought some items to complete the rights and he told me to have sex with my husband, within 3weeks of doing this I felt dizzy and I went to the doctor and it was confirm that I was pregnant thanks to Dr Ogbidi spell temple, now am expecting my baby and this is the 4th month now and am happy ,if any one needs such help don’t wait all life time to get help in getting pregnant contact Dr Ogbidi now on his personal email : or his phone number +2348114498994 and also share in this wonderful testimony.

In pcod I don't no when I get pregnant after 2year of married pregnancy not happen plz help me

Hi Saba,

I'm sorry to hear about your struggles trying to conceive. Have you been to a fertility specialist or had any testing? I would be happy to help find a doctor in your area. Please email me at

Best wishes,

Hello, I was also diagnosed with pcos 2 years ago and got some hormonal medicines like duphaston and Clomiphene, but during taking these meds I gained too much weight in short period. Main thing is that when taking these 2 medicines my menstruation starts normally and if I stop taking meds menstruation was also stopped. I tired of taking meds and tired of gaining weight, then after finding out losing weight can help to rid of pcos I started exercising and dieting. As a result of 10 months regularly went to gym, 6 times a week, I lost 27kg. My starting weight was 87kg and now I'm 60 kg my height is 168sm, which means my weight is no more obese but normal. Unfortunately, I still have pcos still have irregular menstrual cycle.I don't want to take above 2 medicines again and gain weight but I really want to get pregnant. What should I do? Doctor advised me to have ovarian drilling and he said once I get that surgery I won't have pcos no more. But from Internet there's a risk to be not recovered from pcos completely after surgery. Pls Pls help me, how to treat this pcos and get pregnant?

Hi Alice,

I am so sorry you are struggling to conceive. Perhaps you could get a second opinion with another fertility doctor? Sometimes taking drugs like Metformin can help restore your periods. There are also natural supplement treatments your doctor might recommend.


Dear Kim thanks for advise. Then you think that I shouldn't be taken ovarian drilling surgery in a hurry? I'd better find another option like metformin. Also another doctor said ( kind of Asian traditional doctor ) that having trouble with ovary is because of my nerv and stomach. He said that nerv influence my stomach very badly therefore stomach can't get necessary things from the food I eat and can't process and digest. Once stomach can't work properly it influences to other organs by the way they can't get necessary nutrition through blood etc. This is kind of metabolic problem and by his saying my ovaries were weak and this metabolic problem influence to the most weak organs in first place. Truly I'm confused, is it possible which this doctor explained me?

Hi Alice,

I really don't know much about Chinese medicine, but you should get a second opinion before doing ovarian drilling. It is a surgery and you should be absolutely positive you want to go through with it. Metformin or other drugs could restore your period without surgery. Exercise and diet also play a large role in your fertility.

Best of luck!

Congratulations Roche! And thank you for sharing and inspiring other women like yourself.


I was diagnosed with PCOS a few years ago and told that it had progressed to such a level that falling pregnant naturally would be close to impossible. I was on Glucophage for a few years tried all the diets and excercise plans but i still could not fall pregnant. A few months ago i gave up hope and stopped taking all my meds, glucophage and anti depressants. 5 months ago i relocated, walked everywhere i went.... Today i found out that i am 6 weeks pregnant. So ladies dont give up! Make small changes in your lifestyle. Choose the casual walk to the store a block or two away instead of a drive... I fell pregnant without trying or medication in just five months and my pcos was left untreated for many years. Good luck

Hi Sarahlina, Losing weight with PCOS is difficult, but if you eat carbohydrates in moderation and increase protein and vegetables, you can do it! You should also consider speaking with a fertility doctor. Give us a call at 1-855-955-BABY (2229) and we can help you find a doctor near you! Best, Kim

Im 21 and I was just diagnosed with PCOS. I am engaged and soon to be married. My partner and I have been trying to get pregnant for a year now and now we know why it hasent happened. For a year or two now I have had trouble with eating a lot and weight cycling. I am at current not overweight but Im sick of gaining 5-10kgs then losing weight, then gaining again. The thought of food is hard to escape and I think the PCOS explains some of this. Do any of the medications prescribed help with cravings? I really want to focus on my life again and not food. I also have the hurdle of getting pregnant which hasn't begun yet. Any advice is welcomed!

Hi Aleshia, You could ask your doctor about taking the drug Metformin which will help the way your body processes food. It will help regulate insulin production and reproductive hormones. Best of luck! Kim

I started glucophage again about a year ago after being off for quite sometime after I finally conceived my son via IVF. I had to have spinal fusion surgery and had put a bunch more weight on. The glucophage helped me mainting but I could not seem to lose. I started Ideal Protien about 4 weeks ago and am down 17 pounds and about 6 inches as of today. This diet is spendy but basically I eat almost no carbs, that seemed to be the key with PCOS, at least for me. I wish you ladies luck, this road we travel sucsk!

I have been diagnosed with PCOS for 9 years now. The Dr I had put me on glucophage and it works wonderfully. I eat low carb and exercise daily in some way shape or form. I have 3 kids now. I lost over 80 lbs on the HCG drops but it is hard to keep off. But Glucophage is a must for women with PCOS.

I too am a sufferer of PCOS and have struggled for years with my weight. I finally had to decide that I didnt want to be fat anymore. And I know none of us want to be fat, but I had to really really not want it anymore. Life is short. I was wasting the best years of my life being miserable with myself. So I went to the doctor where they put you on a weight loss program. And its nothing crazy or any medicine. What it is is eating right and exercising. Its hard to believe that that is all it took. But there isnt any magic solution or quick fix. They give me a goal of two pounds a month and I go in once every four weeks to weigh in. The weight isnt falling off, its slow and steady though. I havent always done good. I did gain one month. But i keep going. Fifty two pounds down now and I feel one thousand more times better about myself than i have years. and its stupid little things even. Like i take the time to put make up on in the morning and fix my hair and pick out an outfit instead of just throwing something on, going to work with wet ponytail. Because i know how much better it will make me feel about myself. Remember that youre worth it! You are worth that hour a day in the gym for you and for no one else. I still have thirty more pounds to go before im a "normal" weight for my height, but im going to hang in there. And after a few months of consistent weight loss lucky me i get to have a period again every month! yay! no, that was sarcasm. I wish you all luck. Just remember, theres no magic cure. but youre worth it!

I have PCOS and prolactinoma. I want to get pregnant,and i can`t....i am going to the gym,eating healthy-GI diet,lost about 15 results...Can somebody help me

when i found out i had PCOS my doctor prescribed me YAZ to get started because the new formula which is FDA approved has a good source of folic acid and something in YAZ has a better rate of not causing weight gain to continue since most with PCOS need to lose weight. I have had some success with the YAZ as well as I have tried to truly limit any juices or sodas. I drink water all day long and at dinner I will drink apple juice or cranberry juice. I miss caffeine but it is the little things that have helped. I have changed my portion sizes and what I eat and what I snack on. I do not exercise the way I know I should I truly just do stairs at work 4 flights about 4 times a day and I walk about 4 blocks once a day. Aside from cleaning and cooking. So far in two months I have lost 10 lbs. I hope it is not temporary. As for the pregnant part. I have been trying for a few years and now I hope maybe next year if all works out. I hope this helps a little bit.

I just learned today that I have PCOS, and i was just wondering if anyone has any tips on diets and excersize plans that would help me out?

Diet and exercise can help PCOS. It really depends on your specific situation. Our Patient Care Advocates can help you find a doctor that specializes in PCOS. Feel free to contact us at 855-955-2229 or Best, Claire

I want to lose weight and get pregnant and i am finding it near impossible to do either. I would like to correct both of these problems as fast as possible without the assistance from medication. can anyone advise me on what to do. please?!

I too was diagnosed with PCOS a few years back. My husband and I tried for many years to get pregnant. We attempted Clomid for 6 monts and nothing. After the 6 months was over I told my Dr I was going to quit the meds and just lose the weight. So I did. At first I tried diets such as, Weight Watchers, south beach diet, and wanted to go on nutrisystem. But none of those worked for me. So I did some research online and found out what foods were good and bad for me. I started eating more fruits, veggies, chicken, whole grains, Whole wheat foods. Anything I could just pop in the micorwave or oven I did not eat. I started going to the gym 3-4 times a week about an hour each time. After making these changes in my life I started losing the weight. Yes it took months but I did it. No crazy diets, just me asking myself "is this piece of food I am about to consume good for my body?" There are lots of yummy "junk food" that are good for you to eat like the 100 calorie snacks... curved that craving right up...

I have not been able to get pregnant yet, But I know I am on my way which is what keeps me motivated. Having positive people in your life that will help you along the way is also a helpful tool....

I hope this helps... Good Luck.

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