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Top 5 PCOS Questions and Answers: Weight Loss

Previous: If I have PCOS and I am doing IVF, are there aspects of my IVF cycle that will be different due to my diagnosis of PCOS?

Q: I dread the moment when the doctor starts talking to me about weight loss. I am not eating that much, but I still cannot seem to lose weight. Why?

A: Women with PCOS have a harder time losing weight than the general population. Many women with PCOS consume a similar number of calories as their friends but they maintain higher weights. This is partially due to insulin resistance and differences in how your body processes certain calorie sources. Many patients who are successful with weight loss do so by dramatically decreasing carbohydrate intake. Increasing the proportion of protein and vegetable sources, and decreasing the proportion of carbohydrates, is one method that can be used for weight loss. This type of diet will always potentially decrease your risk of developing gestational diabetes in pregnancy. It is also important to focus on the amount of weight loss required. Your doctor is not telling you to weigh 110 pounds. Many studies that look at weight loss in women with PCOS show that even a 10% decrease in weight, can improve many of the features of PCOS. So if you weigh 180 pounds, an initial goal of losing 18 pounds could help improve your health and chances of pregnancy. Speak with your doctor about weight loss goals and techniques for weight loss that are specific to women with PCOS.

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