Obesity and the Risk of Infertility, Gestational Diabetes, and Type 2 Diabetes in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Stephanie Pirotta, Anju Joham, Jessica A. Grieger, Chau Tien Tay, Mahnaz Bahri-Khomami, Marla Lujan, Siew S. Lim, Lisa J. Moran

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9 Citations (Scopus)


This review describes the relationship between obesity and the most common reproductive (infertility) and metabolic (gestational diabetes mellitus [GDM] and type 2 diabetes mellitus [T2DM]) consequences in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It also describes the vital role of lifestyle management for PCOS. PCOS is a heterogeneous endocrine disorder common in reproductive-age women. Consensus on the exact etiological mechanisms of PCOS is unreached. Overweight or obesity is present in at least 60% of the PCOS population, but the condition occurs irrespective of BMI, with excess BMI increasing both the prevalence and severity of clinical features. Use of lifestyle therapies (nutrition, physical activity, and/or behavioral) for the prevention and management of excess weight gain, infertility, GDM, and T2DM is a vital component of best-practice PCOS care. Lifestyle management is recommended for all women with PCOS as the first-line treatment with or without medications. Due to a lack of high-quality trials demonstrating the efficacy of specific lifestyle approaches, PCOS lifestyle recommendations are as those for the general population. This review summarizes current knowledge relating to obesity and its impact on fertility, GDM, and T2DM. It also summarizes the lifestyle recommendations to best manage these conditions in women with PCOS and obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-351
Number of pages10
JournalSeminars in Reproductive Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • fertility
  • lifestyle management
  • polycystic ovary syndrome

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