The Role of Insulin Resistance in PCOS and Fertility

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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a complex hormonal disorder that affects many women of reproductive age. One of the key factors linked to both the symptoms of PCOS and its impact on fertility is insulin resistance. In this blog, we will delve into the role of insulin resistance in PCOS and how it affects fertility.

What is PCOS?

PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects the ovaries and can lead to irregular menstrual cycles, among other symptoms. Polycystic ovaries often contain a number of small, fluid-filled sacs which surround the eggs.

Understanding Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. When the body's cells become less responsive to insulin, the condition is termed as insulin resistance. This can lead to elevated levels of insulin, as well as elevated levels of glucose in the bloodstream.

The Connection Between Insulin Resistance and PCOS

Insulin resistance plays a pivotal role in the development and symptoms of PCOS. Elevated insulin levels can lead to hormonal imbalances that exacerbate the symptoms of PCOS, including irregular menstrual cycles and difficulties in conceiving.

Diagnosing PCOS and Insulin Resistance

Diagnosing PCOS often involves a variety of tests including blood tests, ultrasounds, and sometimes even laparoscopic surgery. Insulin resistance can be diagnosed through a fasting insulin level test or an oral glucose tolerance test.

Treatment Options


Insulin-sensitising medications like Metformin are often prescribed for treating insulin resistance in women with PCOS.

Lifestyle Changes

Simple lifestyle changes like a balanced diet and regular exercise can help manage insulin resistance, thus improving the symptoms of PCOS and fertility.


Some supplements like Inositol and NAC can also be effective in managing insulin resistance and thereby improving the symptoms of PCOS.

Impact on Fertility

Insulin resistance can adversely affect fertility by disrupting ovulation and increasing levels of male hormones in the body. Addressing insulin resistance through lifestyle changes and medications can often improve fertility outcomes.

Insulin resistance is closely linked with PCOS and its impact on fertility. By understanding this relationship, you can seek appropriate treatment options to manage their symptoms and improve their chances of conception. Always consult your healthcare provider for a personalised treatment plan.

Further reading

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