February 10, 2016
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PCOS increases pregnancy complications

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Women with polycystic ovary syndrome have lower than normal fertility, but rates can be restored after diagnosis, study findings show.

According to the researchers, adverse neonatal outcomes and pregnancy complications are more common among women with PCOS independent of obesity.

D. Aled Rees, MD, PhD, of the Neurosciences and Mental Health Research Institute, School of Medicine, Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues evaluated data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink on 9,068 women with PCOS and age- and BMI-matched controls to determine the effect of PCOS on fertility, pregnancy and neonatal outcomes.

The overall fertility rate was lower among the PCOS group (67.3/1,000 years) compared with controls (70.6/1,000 years).

Compared with controls, the PCOS group had an increased risk for miscarriage (adjusted OR = 1.7; 95% CI, 1.56-1.84), preeclampsia (adjusted OR = 1.31; 95% CI, 1.16-1.49), gestational diabetes (adjusted OR = 1.42; 95% CI, 1.21-1.67) and premature delivery (adjusted OR = 1.24; 95% CI, 1.09-1.41).

Apgar scores did not significantly differ between the two groups, and neonatal inpatient admissions were similar (62.7% for PCOS vs. 62.4% for controls).

“We have shown that younger women with PCOS have reduced fertility but that fertility rates may be restored to those of the background population after diagnosis,” the researchers wrote. “We have also confirmed an adverse effect of PCOS, independently of obesity, on several pregnancy outcomes, including gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and preterm birth. These observations suggest that women with PCOS require more intensive monitoring during pregnancy, and emphasize the need for further studies to understand the mechanisms by which these complications arise.” – by Amber Cox

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.