Can PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) Cause Weight Gain? |

Can PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) Cause Weight Gain?

Find out if PCOS can cause unexplained weight gain.

Posted on

11 September 2017

Last updated on 26 February 2018
Can PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) Cause Weight Gain?
Women with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) are more likely to be overweight or obese because the hormonal imbalances associated with PCOS can cause unexplained weight gain.
With PCOS, the body has difficulty using the hormone insulin, which normally helps convert sugars and starches from foods into energy so the body gets into the condition called insulin resistance which causes glucose to build up in the bloodstream.

High insulin levels increase the production of male hormones called androgen and increased androgen levels lead to symptoms such as body hair growth, acne, irregular periods and weight gain. Because the weight gain is triggered by male hormones, it is typically around the abdomen.

Women with PCOS are more likely to develop many of the problems associated with weight gain which can be detrimental to their health. Problems like Insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and all of these conditions can lead to heart disease. In fact, women with PCOS are four to seven times more likely to have a heart attack.
So, the best solution for all these problems is to lose some weight. Losing weight will make you look better and feel better. If you have PCOS, shedding just 5-10% of your body weight can do the following to your health.
  • restore ovulation
  • regulates the menstrual cycle,
  • improve fertility,
  • improves health during pregnancy and a child health during pregnancy
  • reduce risk factors for diabetes and heart disease
weight lose
Weight loss can restore the normal function of the ovaries and result in normal hormone production which may, in turn, lead to improvements in symptoms of PCOS, such as excess hair growth, acne or scalp hair loss.

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  • Eat right which means a small frequent healthy diet with high fiber and protein and low sugar.
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, in any form, like yoga, cardio, strength or weight training.
  • Take proper sleep of 7-8 hrs a day.  
  • Try and keep yourself stress-free, take supplements like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants. Metformin is a medication that helps lower insulin resistance. Supplements like inositol, which is similar to a B vitamin can help lower testosterone levels as well as insulin resistance, resulting in weight loss.
  • Stop smoking, and regular intake of alcohol.
  • If you have BMI over 40 then take help of the surgery like gastric bypass or banding to lose weight.
Whether PCOS is a direct cause of weight gain or not, losing weight and keeping a healthy lifestyle is definitely helpful in PCOS.

By Dr. Varsha Anand

By Dr. Varsha Anand
Specialist OB/GYN
Fakih IVF
Fakih IVF
Sponsored by
Fakih IVF (Dubai)
Fakih IVF has helped over 15,000 couples realize their dream of parenthood. Since the birth of its first in vitro baby in the USA in 1987, Fakih IVF has been at the forefront of infertility treatment, having one of the highest birth rates in the world.

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