Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Oral Diabetes Drug Shows Promise In Preventing Miscarriage In Common Infertility Disorder

Date:
February 28, 2002
Source:
NIH/National Institute Of Child Health And Human Development
Summary:
The anti-diabetes drug metformin appears to reduce the likelihood of early miscarriage in women with a common form of female infertility, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The study appears in the February issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

The anti-diabetes drug metformin appears to reduce the likelihood of early miscarriage in women with a common form of female infertility, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The study appears in the February issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

The drug, metformin, increases the body's sensitivity to insulin and is used to treat non-insulin- dependent diabetes. Metformin also has proven successful in treating some of the symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), the most common form of female infertility in which women fail to ovulate.

"This is a very promising lead," said Duane Alexander, M.D., Director of the NICHD. "The next step is to confirm these results in a larger, randomized trial."

PCOS affects from 5 to 10 percent of American women of reproductive age (as many as 5 million in all), explained the study's senior author, John E. Nestler, M.D., chairman of endocrinology at the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Dr. Nestler's group is part of NICHD's Specialized Cooperative Centers Program in Reproduction Research.

The ovaries of women with PCOS appear to be filled with numerous small cysts, Dr. Nestler added. The cyst-like appearance results from an accumulation of immature ovarian follicles, the bubble-like structures which, upon maturation, rupture and release of the egg. The features of PCOS may include failure to ovulate or menstruate, abnormally high levels of insulin, obesity, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, and high triglyceride levels. PCOS patients also have high levels of the male hormone testosterone, which may cause them to grow excess facial or body hair. Also, PCOS patients have a higher than normal risk of developing non-insulin-dependent, type 2 diabetes. In the article, the study authors noted that women with PCOS often have a history of recurrent miscarriage. In earlier studies, Dr. Nestler's group had shown that metformin reduces the high testosterone levels of PCOS patients and also increases the chances that they can become pregnant. Similarly, other research by the group showed that, in women with PCOS, metformin increases blood flow to the uterus and brings about changes in the lining of the uterus that make it more capable of supporting a fetus.

In the current study, Dr. Nestler and his coworkers evaluated a group of women under the care of Venezuelan endocrinologist Daniela J. Jakubowicz. Dr. Nestler's group had earlier learned that it was Dr. Jakubowicz's practice to prescribe metformin during the pregnancies of patients under treatment for PCOS. After analyzing records of patients treated by Dr. Jakubowicz, Dr. Nestler and his coworkers found that of the 68 pregnancies that were treated with metformin, 6 pregnancies (8.8 percent) ended in miscarriage. By comparison, of the 31 pregnancies in the group that did not receive metformin, 13 pregnancies (41.9 percent) ended in miscarriage.

Only one child born in the metformin group had a birth defect. This child, a boy, had achondrodysplasia, a genetic disorder in which the limbs fail to keep pace with the growth of the body. More studies would need to be conducted to confirm the current study's results and assess the drug's safety for use during pregnancy.

The study results do not mean that physicians should begin treating PCOS patients with metformin during their pregnancies, said the project officer for NICHD's Specialized Cooperative Centers in Reproduction Research, Dr. Louis DePaolo. Although metformin has not been shown to cause any problems during pregnancy in animal studies, its use throughout pregnancy has not been rigorously studied in human beings.

The NICHD is part of the National Institutes of Health, the biomedical research arm of the Federal government. The Institute sponsors research on development before and after birth; maternal, child, and family health; reproductive biology and population issues; and medical rehabilitation. NICHD publications, as well as information about the Institute, are available from the NICHD website, http://www.nichd.nih.gov, or from the NICHD Clearinghouse, 1-800-370-2943; E-mail NICHDClearinghouse@mail.nih.gov.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute Of Child Health And Human Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute Of Child Health And Human Development. "Oral Diabetes Drug Shows Promise In Preventing Miscarriage In Common Infertility Disorder." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 February 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020228072228.htm>.
NIH/National Institute Of Child Health And Human Development. (2002, February 28). Oral Diabetes Drug Shows Promise In Preventing Miscarriage In Common Infertility Disorder. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020228072228.htm
NIH/National Institute Of Child Health And Human Development. "Oral Diabetes Drug Shows Promise In Preventing Miscarriage In Common Infertility Disorder." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020228072228.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins