Researchers from University College Hospital and the Middlesex Hospital have successfully treated teenage girls suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome using a drug normally used in diabetes treatment. Affecting one in five women, the condition can lead to weight gain, irregular periods, facial hair and sometimes infertility.
The disorder, caused by high levels of testosterone, leads to the ovaries being covered in tiny fluid-filled cysts which can only be detected using ultrasound. Many women do not know they have the condition. The researchers gave teenage girls with polycystic ovary syndrome doses of the diabetes drug Metformin for six months and explained the benefits of weight reduction and exercise.
Previous research has shown that sufferers find it hard to metabolise glucose and therefore have a higher risk of developing diabetes later in life. After six months, nearly half of the patients in the study had reduced their weight and had more regular periods. The findings were presented at the Society for Endocrinology's annual meeting in London last week.