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.

Related Articles


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 February 1, 2015 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 February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

AP (Feb. 1, 2015) Two climbers who were hurt in a fall on Mount Hood are now being treated for their injuries. Rescue officials say they were airlifted off the mountain Saturday afternoon by an Oregon National Guard helicopter. (Feb. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 1, 2015) New augmented reality smart glasses developed by researchers at Oxford University can help people with visual impairments improve their vision by providing depth-based feedback, allowing users to "see" better. Joel Flynn reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 31, 2015) The CDC says this year&apos;s flu season is hitting people 65 years of age and older especially hard. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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