Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Community
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to PCOS including anxiety, baldness or thinning hair, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, type 2 diabetes, genetics, heart problems, increased hair growth (hirsuitism), infertility, menstruation (periods), obesity, ovarian cysts, pelvic pain, pregnancy, skin problems, sleep disorders, and weight gain.

Font Size:
Blank Blank


hi i have just been told i have pcos and have started metformin  does any1 else no of any side effects that you could get for it and it does it help bein tryin to conceive for ova 3yrs now and still nothing please help :)
Related Discussions
15 Comments Post a Comment
1434731 tn?1382725984
Hi I too have PCOS and I just started Metformin 4 days ago!
I also take provera to get my period and Clomid to induce ovulation (has not worked yet)
In my 3rd round now

The most common side effect is diarrhea!  What MG did the doc start you on....my doc gave me 500mg said to take 1 pill a day for 1-2 weeks and then move up to 2 pills a day for a total of 1000mg a day!  I do have some diarrhea from this but not bad at all, and if you read below there are plenty of reasons to just DEAL with the side effects!

Here is the article i just read, that has helped me with the decision to take metformin!


Metformin is a drug sold under the brand name Glucophage and Glucophage XR. It is primarily used to treat type 2 diabetes – the non-insulin dependent diabetes. People with Type 2 diabetes do not make enough insulin or do not respond normally to the insulin their bodies make. This causes glucose, or sugar, to build up in the blood stream, which can cause serious damage to the body. Similarly, women with PCOS commonly have insulin resistance, a condition wherein extra insulin is needed in order to transport glucose into the blood stream where it belongs. High levels of glucose or insulin in the blood stream can cause obesity, infertility, heart disease and diabetes.

The main goal of Metformin is to lower blood sugar levels to normal. It does this by decreasing the amount of sugar made by your liver, decreasing the amount of sugar absorbed by your intestines and by helping your body better process the insulin it makes.

Metformin does not cause your body to make more insulin. In this way, Metformin is different from other glucose-control medications which control blood sugar by causing the body to release more of its own insulin. For this reason, Metformin rarely causes hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or weight gain.

Metformin can Help Women with Insulin Resistance or PCOS Lose Weight

Metformin is commonly prescribed for insulin resistance and polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS. Metformin combined with a low carbohydrate diet and exercise program has been shown to help women with PCOS or insulin resistance lose weight. In one study, 22 morbidly obese women with PCOS who were treated with Metformin for 24 weeks lost an average of 6% of their body weight (18 pounds) and had a 10% increase in their LDL and a 10% decrease in their fasting insulin levels. This weight loss was attributed to the resolution of insulin resistance provided by Metformin. In the same study, those who continued on Metformin after one year maintained their weight loss while those who stopped Metformin regained 50% of their weight. Another study showed that women who continued on Metformin following their weight loss, maintained that loss for 2 to 4 years.

Metformin can Restore Menstruation

Metformin restores menstruation. In a study of 43 women with PCOS who were not having their periods, 39 of them resumed menstruation while taking Metformin. In another study, 11 teenage girls with PCOS were given Metformin and a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet and 10 of them resumed normal menses.

Metformin Increases Fertility in Women with PCOS

Metformin increases fertility in women with insulin resistance and/or PCOS. PCOS is known to prevent ovulation and conception. Women with PCOS who do conceive often suffer from miscarriages within the first three months of pregnancy. However, in one study of 118 women with PCOS who took Metformin, 91% ovulated and conceived normally. In that same study, 60 of the women took Metformin throughout their pregnancy and over 90% of them gave birth to healthy babies. Metformin falls into FDA category B, which means it is not expected to be harmful to an unborn child but has not been tested and approved for use by pregnant women. Metformin has been found in breast milk when taken while breastfeeding. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, talk to your health care provider before starting on Metformin.

Metformin Helps Reduce the Risk of Miscarriage

Metformin reduces the risk of miscarriage. Women with PCOS are at a high risk of repeated miscarriages. However, in a study of women who took Metformin while pregnant only 8.8% of them suffered miscarriages while the non-Metformin group suffered miscarriages at a rate of 41.9%. In the same study, 11.1% of the Metformin group who suffered miscarriages had miscarried before while 58.3% of the non-Metformin group who suffered miscarriages had miscarried before.

Metformin Reduces the Risk of Developing Gestational Diabetes

Studies show that women with PCOS who conceive while taking Metformin or who took it throughout their pregnancy were less likely to develop gestational diabetes.

Metformin Reduces Testosterone Levels in Women with PCOS

Metformin reduces testosterone levels in women with PCOS. In one study of 24 obese women with PCOS, the 11 who were given Metformin had a reduction in insulin levels, which slowed production of an enzyme in the ovaries that affects the production of testosterone. Metformin was also found to reduce levels of testosterone in non-obese women.

Metformin Prevents or Delays the Onset of Diabetes

Metformin prevents or delays the onset of diabetes. Studies show that 70% of women who suffer from PCOS eventually develop type 2 diabetes. In one study, however, Metformin decreased the development of diabetes by 31%.

Other Benefits of Metformin

Metformin may help increase the success of in vitro fertilization, may help lower cholesterol levels and may improve energy levels.

Of course, like any drug, Metformin has many potential side effects. The most common side effect is gastrointestinal upset, which usually only occurs during the first few weeks of taking Metformin. Other side effects include, but are not limited to, general malaise, a temporary metallic taste, vitamin B12 malabsorption, and lactic acidosis. It is important to be aware of these potential side effects when taking Metformin.

Metformin is the Miracle Drug for Women with PCOS

Metformin is not yet approved for the treatment of PCOS but is commonly prescribed for that purpose. As indicated above, numerous studies found Metformin to be helpful in resolving many of the major symptoms of PCOS. No other drug is currently available for the treatment of PCOS. If you are suffering from PCOS or insulin resistance, talk to you health care provider about Metformin.

1498386 tn?1403031253
Hi, I too have PCOS. I was diagnosed at the beginning of this year. I have been on metformin for several months now and my feelings for it are somewhat mixed :)
To be honest since I started the metformin I have had a few side effects, it's nothing I can't hadle thou! You MAY get nauseous the first few days/week, but usually your body will adjust to it and you will slowly no longer feel the nausea or possible not as intense. As for myself I seem to do fine for a few weeks then I get nauseous and have to stop taking it to feel better, But again this is my experience and according to my Dr, is not a "common" side effect. You MAY also get diarrhea, this too is a side effect I feel, however it is not too terrible. I would start slowly. My Dr. is great and started me on 1/2 tablet of 500mg/a day then after a week bumped it up to a whole tablet...so on and so on. I am now at 500mg/day 2x/day, but your dr. will tell you whats best for you.
Another think I have doubts about is I have not yet received a menstrual cycle on my own yet. I need provera or something like it to force start, but again this is not how everyone reacts to it. I have heard a lot of women menstrate on their own right away. Each women is different. There are other things metformin can help with. I have not seen a weight change, however some women lose weight easier on it. It won't cause weight loss on its own, however it can balance your out to where you lose it easier. This is something, I myself, have not experienced. I would advise you to reasearch it a little bit so you have a heads up on what to expect.
Also, try, try, try to stay positive. This is something that is hard for me. The moment I get nauseaous I stop taking it and get discouraged, try not to do that. I feel that if I could stick it out, I would be very much used to it.

Another thing is get support! Either at home or on here, OR BOTH :) It is so nice to get encouragment and the girls on here have an endless supply of it! Ask questions, add friends and post how you are doing. Or just let everyone know you need a little encouragment. We know how you feel and that kind of support is the best kind. You can also email me if you have any other questions. PCOS ***** and can be hard, but there is a reason only us girls get it. ;)
1498386 tn?1403031253
Oh, it bleeped out my work...s.u.c.k.s. OH WELL
1360237 tn?1351819781
I have been on metformin for a year now and at first it takes some getting used to.
you can get headaches, diarrhea,  nuasea, Upset stomach. I noticed that when I kept myself busy the side affects like headaches and nuasea went away. And if I didnt let myself get hungry it helped alot. The good news is that once your body gets used to it it goes away. So just get throuhg the first week or two and it will be better. It helps you get pregnant but by minimizing some of the other symptoms of PCOS. It could take awhile to work but it will help you in the end. Good luck
1434731 tn?1382725984
I am not on Day 6 since i started metformin.  I did get diarrhea! UGH  But I have noticed that if i watch what I eat, It is not as bad.  

On sunday I had some chocolate(to much) and OMG I was in the potty all afternoon and my tummy was on fire! it was horrible!

SO monday i did not eat any candy and ate food that were not greasy,  I still went but it was not bad and it was only a few times
TMI - I know but whatever!

So my doc started me on 500mg and taking 1 pill a day!  Told me to move to 2 pills a day in a week or 2....  Would the drug still be effective for me if I stay at 500mg?

Also my Bday is coming up on the 15th, Celebrating with my friends on the 18th at a bar my friend owns.  I would like to drink, Is it ok to drink while taking metformin?  I don't plan on getting wasted but I plan on drinking.  do you think this will be a really bad thing to do.  I take the drug at like 7:30am everyday so you would think that most of it will be absorbed by 8pm right?

1360237 tn?1351819781
You should do what your dr said. Ya 500mg will still work but just remember they take time. So you should up your dosage like your dr said cuz that will just help more.
I dont think your supposed to drink on metformin but it didnt stop me. I got drunk. As long as your not doing it all the time I think you should be fine just let someone you know what meds you are taking so that you can take all procations. Good luck and hope you have a good b-day.
1434731 tn?1382725984
1498386 tn?1403031253
Have you had your B-Day? if so how was it?? I have had drinks (got drunk) on metformin too. I didn't feel as great, but I don't know if it was linked. Good to hear you are doing pretty well on it. I had to give up on it a few times before I was brave enough to stick it out. Good luck to you!!! I also saw we are Dec clomid buddies...SSBD!!!! Good Luck. Update us
1434731 tn?1382725984
My bday is the 15th and my party is the 18th. A business partner of my hubby's owns a bar so we are having it there!  i hope its not gonna turn into a big hoopla!  my hubby is taking care of everything and that scares me a little...LOL

I didn't really even want to do anything but everyone yelled at me cuz i will be 30 bla bla bla

1519983 tn?1401050028
My symptoms are very different everyday, I agree with lynnie on this one, I think it has a lot to do with the diet. This is what I found. I drink alcohol too much, so I have to stop. I think if you take the two together on a consistent bases for a long time you will have problems.

Metformin and Alcohol
is generally recommended that people not use metformin and alcohol at the same time. Taking metformin and alcohol together can increase your risk of developing a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis. However, drinking small amounts of alcohol should not be a problem for most people taking the medication. Before taking metformin, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about drinking alcohol while taking the drug.
1519983 tn?1401050028
Understanding Lactic Acidosis
Lactic acidosis is a life-threatening condition caused by too much lactate in the blood and low blood pH. Low blood pH means that your blood contains too much acid, which can be harmful to the cells of your body.

Lactic acidosis is a very dangerous condition and is fatal in about 50 percent of cases. Risk factors for lactic acidosis when taking metformin include:

•Having kidney problems, including kidney failure (renal failure)
•Having liver problems, including liver failure or cirrhosis
•Having congestive heart failure (CHF)
•Having a procedure using contrast dye (see Metformin and Contrast Medium)
•Drinking large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis (see Metformin and Alcohol)
•Drinking a large amount of alcohol at one time (binge drinking).
1519983 tn?1401050028
Lactic Acidosis Symptoms
Because lactic acidosis is so dangerous, you should immediately report any lactic acidosis symptoms to your healthcare provider. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include:

•Feeling tired or weak
•Muscle pain
•Trouble breathing
•Abdominal pain (or stomach pain)
•Feeling cold
•Cold or blue hands and feet
•Dizziness or lightheadedness
•A slow or irregular heartbeat
•Persistent nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain
•Shortness of breath
•An enlarged or tender liver
•Weight loss.

How Common Is Lactic Acidosis With Metformin?
Taking metformin may increase your risk of lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is extremely rare; about three people out of every 100,000 people taking metformin will develop lactic acidosis over a one-year period. However, your risk for developing lactic acidosis might be much higher, depending on whether you have other risk factors for lactic acidosis.

Treating Lactic Acidosis
Lactic acidosis is treated by stopping metformin. You may need to be hospitalized. Some people with lactic acidosis need intravenous (IV) fluids and a machine to help them breathe. Some doctors recommend giving riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamine (vitamin B1), coenzyme Q, L-carnitine, or vitamins C, E, and K to patients with lactic acidosis, but the effectiveness of these treatments is uncertain.

You should not stop taking metformin without talking with your healthcare provider, even if you have symptoms of lactic acidosis. If you are diagnosed with lactic acidosis, you and your doctor will decide how to stop your medications, when to restart medications, and which ones to take when you go back to treatment.
1519983 tn?1401050028
So it looks like you have a small chance to get Lactic Acidosis anyway, but metformin increases thoses chanses a little.
1434731 tn?1382725984
So my Bday party was a blast. I drank way to Much and Don't remember anything after i got home! (don't worry, my in laws picked us up)  I very very very rarely drink like that and I didn't plan on it either.  But it happened and I paid for it the next day!

Good thing i don't drink often!

I am happy to see all the info about the lactic acidosis! I was wondering bout that too.

Cabayer - You need to stop for sure!
Avatar f tn
hi everyone just wanna ask if i can use metformin even though i was not doagnosed with PCOS,i mean just having irregular menses?..tnx
Post a Comment
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Community Resources