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  1. #1
    Registered User brightflower's Avatar
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    Exclamation Metformin success?

    Hello all,

    I'm one of those gals who only gets AF when it's induced, either with progesterone, Clomid, or soy. I started Met to work up to 1000 mg because my doc was basically like, why not? So was I! I've been on 250 mg since I seem to get the worst side effects. So, after taking 250 mg for 3 weeks I had my first fertile cervical mucus since I conceived my son almost eight years ago! It was clear and copious and I was extremely surprised. We dtd and I had some more the next day. Then my boobs got sore and I thought I'm either pg or I'm gonna get AF in two weeks. Lo and behold, I started AF yesterday. No induction needed! I'm quite floored. It seems odd though that 250 mg of Met could do it. I'm now second guessing and looking at anything else that might have changed although I can't see anything else. I'm still gonna keep moving up the Met and I'm now wondering if I should add soy to the mix for this next cycle.

    I'm really pleased that Met might also work for thin cysters. I've wondered it for a long time but other doctors all made it sound like a ridiculous thing to do because I am not IR. So, maybe all thin cysters should at least give it a try. Of course, I don't know if I'll ever have AF again since this is ONE time but it's rare I'm posting something positive here so I'm going to try to be happy with this one success.
    brightflower 36
    DH Ryan 36 Hidden Content
    DS Noah 7 Hidden Content Clomid baby
    m/c 05/07 at 7w3d
    07/07 laparoscopy
    currently ttc #2
    IUI #1 Clomid 50 mg/HCG triggerO P4>60: BFN
    IUI #2 Clomid 50 mg/HCG trigger/O: BFN
    IUI #3 Femara 2.5 mg/HCG trigger/O/HCG booster shots: BFN
    IUI #4: same as above
    dx PCOS 1996

    currently working up to 1000 mg Metformin
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  2. #2
    Registered User sjf's Avatar
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    I'm so happy to hear your success! G/L!
    ttc #1 since April 2010 - BFP Sept 2011 Hidden Content
    metformin (1500mg), asprin (81mg), myo-inositol (1g)

  3. #3
    Sarah sld106's Avatar
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    That's great. I'm on 1000mg and have had no luck. I'm going to see if I can get my dose upped.
    Sarah, Mommy to surprise baby Reagan 5/20/09Hidden Content and wife to my wonderful Michael Hidden Content
    Diagnosed PCOS 6/25/2010
    2500mg Met...it worked. I'v stopped gaining weight...lost a few pounds and I'm regular for the first time in my life!

    Taking a break from ttc #2


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  4. #4
    Registered User Bobtheplant's Avatar
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    brightflower: My story is a lot like yours. Last year, I started taking 500mg of met. I couldn't work myself up to a higher dose than that on a consistent basis, so I just stuck with 500 mg. Over the course of the 3 months that I took it, my cycle went from 31-45 days to a clockwork 26 days, and I consistently o'd on day 14, with EWCM. I stopped at the time (basically so I could drink wine again), but now I'm back on it. Sure enough, everything is working better. My skin cleared up on day 4. Just 2 days off, and I can see a difference in the clarity of my skin. It will take a few more weeks before I know if it has the same effect on my cycle.

    Actually, science has shown pretty conclusively that met works for thin cysters, regardless of whether they are IR. In fact, some studies suggest that it works better in lean women. I'll paste the two studies below, but basically they found that thin cysters are more likely to get pregnant on metformin than obese or overweight cysters. They also found that met can work to help ovulation and hormone status in lean pcos women, regardless of whether or not they have IR. Here are the studies:

    Reprod Biomed Online. 2005 Jan;10(1):100-4.
    Metformin monotherapy in lean women with polycystic ovary syndrome.
    Kumari, Hag, Jayasundraram, Abdel-Wareth...

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mafraq Hospital, PO Box 2951, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
    Abstract

    This study was carried out to compare ovulation and pregnancy rates in response to metformin therapy in lean and obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). A total of 34 (17 lean and 17 obese) women with PCOS were treated with 500 mg metformin 3 times daily for 12 weeks. In the lean and obese groups, the mean body mass index was 24 and 36, and the mean fasting insulin concentrations were 12 and 21 mIU/l respectively. There was no difference between the two groups as regarding age, DHEA-S, androstenedione, 17-OH progesterone and LH concentrations. In the lean and obese groups 15/17 women (88%) and 5/17 women (29%) ovulated while 11/17 women (65%) and 3/17 women (18%) conceived respectively. Comparison between the groups was found to be statistically significant. Metformin monotherapy is very effective in improving ovulation and pregnancy rates in lean women with PCOS as compared with obese women.



    Eur J Endocrinol. 2007 Nov;157(5):669-76.
    Metformin improves polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms irrespective of pre-treatment insulin resistance.

    Tan, Hahn, Benson, Dietz, Lahner, Moeller, Schmidt, Elsenbruch, Kimmig, Mann, Janssen.

    Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, University Hospital of Essen Medical School, Hufelandstr. 55, 45122 Essen, Germany.

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE: Insulin resistance (IR) and obesity are common features of the polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Insulin-sensitizing agents have been shown to improve both reproductive and metabolic aspects of PCOS, but it remains unclear whether it is also beneficial in lean patients without pre-treatment IR. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of metformin on the clinical and biochemical parameters of PCOS irrespective of the presence of basal obesity and IR.
    DESIGN: The effect of 6 months of metformin treatment was prospectively assessed in 188 PCOS patients, divided into three groups according to body mass index (BMI; lean: BMI<25 kg/m2, overweight: BMI 25-29 kg/m2, and obese: BMI30 kg/m2). Outcome parameters, which were also assessed in 102 healthy controls, included body weight, homeostasis model assessment for IR (HOMA-IR), fasting glucose and insulin levels, area under the curve of insulin response (AUCI), hyperandrogenism, and menstrual irregularities.
    RESULTS: In comparison with the respective BMI-appropriate control groups, only obese but not lean and overweight PCOS patients showed differences in fasting insulin and HOMA-IR. Metformin therapy significantly improved all outcome parameters except fasting glucose levels. Subgroup analyses revealed that in the group of lean PCOS patients without pre-treatment IR, metformin significantly improved HOMA-IR (1.7+/-1.0 vs 1.1+/-0.7 micromol/lxmmol/l2) and fasting insulin levels (7.7+/-4.2 vs 5.4+/-3.9 mU/l), in addition to testosterone levels (2.6+/-0.9 vs 1.8+/-0.7 nmol/l), anovulation rate (2.3 vs 59.5%), and acne (31.8 vs 11.6%; all P<0.017). In the overweight and obese PCOS groups, metformin also showed the expected beneficial effects.
    CONCLUSION: Metformin improves parameters of IR, hyperandrogenemia, anovulation, and acne in PCOS irrespective of pre-treatment IR or obesity.

  5. #5
    Registered User Mindy_Hebert's Avatar
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    Red face question about metformin-lean cyster

    bobtheplant, i just read through the study and i am wondering if i should be on metformin. I am a lean cyster and was just diagnosed a few weeks ago. My insulin level was 9.8. My RE hasn't exactly discussed the labwork with me or put me on anything. I am wondering with that level should i ask him to put me on metformin??? This is all very new and confusing.

  6. #6
    Registered User Bobtheplant's Avatar
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    Hi Mindy -- I'm sorry to hear that you just got the diagnosis. Although I suspected that I had PCOS for months before I was diagnosed, I refused to admit it to myself. It can be very sad to learn.

    Your decision to take metformin depends on several factors: (1) Do you have any symptoms of PCOS that you want to resolve, such as acne, hirsuitism (dark facial or body hair) or very long menstrual cycles? (2) Are you trying to conceive?

    If right now, your symptoms are not causing you any problems -- if you have semi-regular cycles and clear skin and no need to get pregnant -- then don't worry about metformin. But, if you want a baby or you want to address some of your PCOS androgen-based symptoms, you should definitely push to try metformin, regardless of your IR. The second study I posted definitely suggests that all women can benefit from metformin, even if they have low insulin levels. Just remember: if you feel fine now, and your doctor isn't worried, then don't worry about starting metformin now. You can also try to manage your syndrome with diet and exercise or supplements (such as myo-inositol or d-chiro-inositol).

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    Registered User aflicki's Avatar
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    I'm on 1500 mg. I was on 1000 mg with horrible side effects and the doctor took me off of it for about 6 weeks. I went back on 1500 mg after official dx and I didn't have any side effects this time around. The RE said I should stay on it, but thinks that Met doesn't necessarily help by itself, but it won't hurt, so he says to stay on it. He did recommend I go to a fertility nutrition specialist to discuss PCOS nutrition. Hasn't done anything for the symptoms of PCOS that I have, acne, hirsuitism, etc.

  8. #8
    God is so good! LivebyGrace's Avatar
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    I am closer to average weight than I am thin, but my 7mo DS is a metformin baby. I was diagnosed and based on my history, symptoms and bloodwork my PCP put me on 1700mg of metformin. Before I started metformin, I had long, anovulatory cycles, acne, a little extra hair growth, fatigue, malaise, and sudden weight gain since going off BCPs. The metformin managed my PCOS and IR symptoms amazingly well. I started ovulating the first full cycle I was on met and my son was conceived on my fourth cycle after starting met. No fertility treatments! I'm still on it now because I was so sick before I went on it and it manages my PCOS perfectly!
    Nikki: 28 Hidden Content DH: 28
    PCOS dx'd 5/09
    DS1- 7/2010
    DS2 - 5/2013
    Two sweet angels - 1/2012, 6/2012


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  9. #9
    Registered User Mindy_Hebert's Avatar
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    Bobthplant,--Thank you very much. I really appreciate that. Yes i actually do have symptoms including irregular cycles and acne and i have been trying to conceive for over a year. So i am thinking metformin would be good for me. I did copy that study you posted and i plan on bringing it to my RE. I was also wondering someone had said that they use a Glucose tolerance test to see about insulin resistence. Is that your understanding?? Thanks a bunch, Mindy

  10. #10
    Sarah sld106's Avatar
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    UPDATE. I went to met 2500 in October and as on Feb. 1 I got a BFP! So I guess it worked!
    Sarah, Mommy to surprise baby Reagan 5/20/09Hidden Content and wife to my wonderful Michael Hidden Content
    Diagnosed PCOS 6/25/2010
    2500mg Met...it worked. I'v stopped gaining weight...lost a few pounds and I'm regular for the first time in my life!

    Taking a break from ttc #2


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  11. #11
    Registered User Mindy_Hebert's Avatar
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    sld106-- Just wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS that is great!! Looks like that metformin really helped!! Just wondering i am a lean cyster and am not on metformin yet but would like to be. R u a lean PCOS'er.

  12. #12
    Registered User hmaddy's Avatar
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    Hi everyone,

    I received my lab results:

    Progesterone: LOW = .8
    Testosterone: Elevated = 97
    Insulin = 4.0
    Estrogen = normal
    Weight = 114
    Height = 5'3''


    I recently had a miscarriage in October and thoght my hair loss was contributed to miscarrying and hormone imbalance; however, thinking back..i have been loosing hair for about 3 years. I have had a lot of emotional stress, divorce, moved away from family and remarried, deployment, miscarriage in october (this is a short list). I work full time and go to school full time (which i just found out how much stress can play a role with hormone imbalance so i cut back to part time).

    I don't have normal periods however did get my last period Jan. 16. My tests results where done on Dec 16 and I had finally stopped bleeding Dec 6 from miscarriage on Oct 6 (surgical d&c).

    My doctor wants to put me on metformin...and I am scared because the common complaint is hair loss. I feel like i have lost 1/3 of my hair already and can't afford to "try" metformin and experience hair loss. My husband is due to return this month and we want to have a baby...so my options are limited.

    Does anyone have any suggestions; could it be low progesterone that i need to fix, which causes hair loss, infertility, hormonal imbalances because it regulates your other hormones? Should i have another lab test done now that it has been some time and i have had a period?

    I am so confused, i heard of things like d-chiro-inositol, which makes sense; also i am taking saw palmento, nettles, prenatals, folic acid, biotin, vitamin b12 and drink green tea and sprearment tea, low carb diet, sugar intake probably could use some lowering (decaf soy mochas my hangup), very little caffine but a month ago before i knew anything i was eating anything i wanted, drinking a pot of coffee a day, sugar cravings all the time. I am really trying to do things naturally and could use any advise.

    After i am able to become pregnant and have a baby, would yasmin or some other birthcontrol be my best option?

    Thank you so very much for any help you can offer.

  13. #13
    Registered User Bobtheplant's Avatar
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    I haven't heard too many women complain of hairloss with metformin -- where are you seeing that? The only complaints I've seen include low energy and digestive issues. Some women say that their dark facial hair decreases on met. But honestly, if I were you'd, I'd just give Metformin a shot before you rule it out. Research suggests that it will reduce your testosterone and increase your progesterone levels. I'm on 1500mg a day now, and so far, the only big change has been a miraculous improvement in my skin, which is now perfectly clear. I'll update once I get to O --if my temps jump by CD15, I'll know the metformin is doing it's job.

  14. #14
    Registered User Mindy_Hebert's Avatar
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    hmaddy-- I was just wondering if your tsh has been tested. I read a side effect of hypothyroidism is hair loss.
    Bobthe plant--that is so great to hear that your skin cleared up. I can't even imagine how i will look if my skin clears up i have been suffering w acne since puberty and i am 28 LOL!!

  15. #15
    Registered User LauraDB's Avatar
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    Default hair loss, etc

    hmaddy - You're story sounds a lot like mine - lots of stress and hair loss! After I told my RE about my hair loss, they tested my thyroid for the 3rd time this year and it STILL came back at TSH 1.5, which is very good/normal. SO, my doctor said that what is most likely causing my hair loss is something called high "organ testosterone/androgen levels." This means that even though my Free T level was 37 (normal range), something called "organ" T levels might still be elevated, but there is no way to test for this.

    Basically it all goes back to my ovaries being hormonally out of whack. However, since I started taking Clomid and progesterone (had my first Clomid/IUI cycle almost 2 weeks ago), my hair has stopped falling out, and my hair stylist even told me that it looks like it is "filling in." Which means all of these hormone-affecting drugs lowered my androgen/T levels! Now I just have to wait until Friday to find out if I happened to get lucky with a BFP my first IUI...

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