Improving Fertility for PCOS Patients with Simple Diet Changes


by Rachel Burt, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner at Roswell OB/GYN…………………………………

A recent study completed in Tel Aviv suggests eating the majority of calories at breakfast time can improve ovulation in patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome.  As we know, patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) typically have trouble with elevated insulin levels also known as insulin resistance.  The elevated insulin levels effect the reproductive hormones leading to increased circulating testosterone.   The elevated testosterone causes typical PCOS symptoms such as acne, hair growth, difficulty with weight management and poor ovulation.  Although some patients with PCOS struggle to control their weight, we do have a good number of patients with normal BMIs (body mass index).  The study enrolled patients with PCOS and normal BMIs.  Patients were assigned to one of two groups:

  • Big breakfast group – consumed a 980 calorie breakfast, 640 calorie lunch and a 190 calorie dinner
  • Big dinner group – consumed a 190 calorie breakfast, 640 calorie lunch and a 980 calorie dinner

Although the caloric intake was the same for both groups, the big dinner group showed higher insulin and testosterone levels after 90 days.  The big breakfast group showed 56% less insulin resistance, as well as a 50% fall in testosterone levels.  This group also had a 50% increase in ovulation.

Although the study was small, only 60 participants, it suggests PCOS patients may be able to make a significant impact on their ovulation just by changing when they intake their calories.

If you have any questions, please contact your healthcare provider and schedule an appointment at 770 751 3600.

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