Metformin is an insulin-sensitizing drug primarily used to treat diabetes, but it can also be used for fertility. Women with PCOS may benefit from taking metformin alone, along with Clomid, or even during IVF treatment. Exactly how metformin improves fertility is unclear. While metformin may be used for the treatment of infertility, it is not a fertility drug. In fact, using it to treat infertility is considered an off-label use. (In other words, pregnancy achievement is not the original intended purpose of this drug.) What is this medication? To understand what metformin does, you first need to know what insulin resistance is. Insulin resistance is when the body's cells stop reacting to normal levels of insulin. As a result, the body thinks that there is not enough insulin in the system. This triggers the production of more insulin than your body needs. This content has not been reviewed within the past year and may not represent Web MD's most up-to-date information. To find the most current information, please enter your topic of interest into our search box. " March 1, 2002 -- A popular diabetes drug may hold the key to motherhood for millions of women with the most common form of infertility. Miscarriage rates dropped dramatically among a group of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) treated with the drug metformin. Researchers say the drug, also known as Glucophage, is also highly effective in preventing gestational diabetes, a form of diabetes that is common in pregnant women with PCOS, and may be a better treatment than insulin for all women with pregnancy-related diabetes. "This therapy is rapidly revolutionizing the treatment of infertility, and with good reason," says Charles Glueck, MD, who conducted some of the first metformin infertility studies and has treated almost 1,500 women with the syndrome. "In women with PCOS the risk of miscarriage is very high, around 50%.
Metformin is a drug that is often prescribed, off-label, for the treatment of PCOS and for regulating ovulation. It belongs to a class of drugs that improves the cells' response to insulin and regulates blood sugar. An off-label prescription means that the FDA has not approved the use of a drug specifically for that condition. In this case, metformin has been approved for the treatment of diabetes but not for PCOS specifically. Because so many women with PCOS also have insulin resistance and diabetes, it is believed that treating the insulin dysfunction might have an effect on the other hormonal irregularities associated with the condition. While researchers aren’t sure of the exact mechanism, there is some evidence that backs up this theory: some studies have shown that women who take a combination of metformin and clomid (a drug that is used to induce ovulation in anovulatory women) have a better response to the medication regimen than those who take clomid alone. Some women with PCOS, especially those that are insulin resistant, may see more regular periods from taking metformin as well. Whether you’re expecting your first child or expanding your family, a safe and healthy pregnancy is crucial. This is why you take precautions before and during pregnancy to keep your unborn child healthy and reduce the risk of birth defects. But you can lower your child’s risk by taking prenatal vitamins, maintaining a healthy weight, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You can also lower your risk by being careful about what medications you take while pregnant. This is because certain medications can cause birth defects. If you’re taking the prescription drug metformin, you might have concerns about how the drug will affect your pregnancy. Let’s explore the benefits and any risks of using metformin while pregnant. Metformin is an oral medication used to treat type 2 diabetes.
Animal studies do not indicate harmful effects with respect to pregnancy, embryo or fetal development, birth or postnatal development. Current evidence suggests metformin has a good safety profile in women with no increased long-term effects in offspring up to 18 months; however, much of the evidence is from observational studies, small and/or nonrandomized studies, and therefore data must be interpreted cautiously. Many experts continue to recommend insulin as the drug of choice for type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (if diet therapy alone is unsuccessful in controlling blood sugars), especially if insulin is available for use. High maternal glucose levels during pregnancy are associated with maternal and fetal adverse effects. The long-term effects of metformin exposure in utero are unknown. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. AU TGA pregnancy category C: Drugs which, owing to their pharmacological effects, have caused or may be suspected of causing, harmful effects on the human fetus or neonate without causing malformations. Accompanying texts should be consulted for further details. Design Population based exploratory case-control study using malformed controls. Cases of 29 specific subgroups of non-genetic anomalies, and all non-genetic anomalies combined, were compared with controls (all other non-genetic anomalies or genetic syndromes). Participants 50 167 babies affected by congenital anomaly (41 242 non-genetic and 8925 genetic) including live births, fetal deaths from 20 weeks’ gestation, and terminations of pregnancy for fetal anomaly. Results 168 babies affected by congenital anomaly (141 non-genetic and 27 genetic) were exposed to metformin, 3. births. No evidence was found for a higher proportion of exposure to metformin during the first trimester among babies with all non-genetic anomalies combined compared with genetic controls (adjusted odds ratio 0.84, 95% confidence interval 0.55 to 1.30). The only significant result was for pulmonary valve atresia (adjusted odds ratio 3.54, 1.05 to 12.00, compared with non-genetic controls; 2.86, 0.79 to 10.30, compared with genetic controls). Conclusions No evidence was found for an increased risk of all non-genetic congenital anomalies combined following exposure to metformin during the first trimester, and the one significant association was no more than would be expected by chance.
Advice and warnings for the use of Metformin during pregnancy. FDA Pregnancy Category B - No proven risk in humans Mar 1, 2002. Insulin sensitivity improved for the pregnant women on metformin, compared with their sensitivity prior to pregnancy when not taking the drug.