Background: It is well known that there is a close relationship between elevated androgen plasma levels and the ultrasound findings of stromal hypertrophy in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The objective of this study was to investigate the effects metformin on the hyperandrogenism and ovarian volume in PCOS.
Methods: The study is an unrandomized clinical trial with before–after design. Twenty eight patients with infertility (male or female factor) meeting the Rotterdam ESHRE/ASRM criteria for PCOS were studied during the 2008-2009. The anthropometric characteristics of the patients, mean bilateral ovarian volume, and morphology by trans vaginal sonography as well as the plasma levels of leutinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, estradiol, testosterone, 17-α-hydroxyprogesterone, and dehydroepianderosterone sulfate were obtained before and after treatment with metformin (500 mg three times a day) for three months. Paired t, Pearson's Correlation Coefficient, or Partial Correlation test was used to analyze the findings.
Results: The patients had a mean age of 25.67 years. A significant reduction in mean ovarian volume (11.70±4.31 ml vs 8.27±3.71 ml P=0.001), body mass index (BMI, 28.11±4.55 kg/m2 vs 26.84±4.55 kg/m2 P=0.000) and serum androgen levels was seen after three months of treatment with metformin. There was positive correlations between the ovarian volume and serum testosterone level (r=0.589, P=0.001) or BMI (r=0.663, P=0.000).
Conclusion: Metformin therapy may lead to a reduction in ovarian volume. It is likely that the reduction of ovarian volume reflect a decrease in the mass of androgen producing tissues.