Metformin therapy in the management of polycystic ovary syndrome: endocrine, metabolic and reproductive effects

Gynecol Endocrinol. 2001 Oct;15(5):373-80. doi: 10.1080/gye.15.5.373.380.


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a convergence of multisystem endocrine derangements. Impairment in insulin metabolism is a prominent feature of the syndrome and appears to play a key pathogenetic role precipitating the cascade of other disorders associated with PCOS. Recent studies report that insulin-sensitizing agents, such as metformin, reduce hyperinsulinemia, reverse the endocrinopathy of PCOS and normalize endocrine, metabolic and reproductive functions, leading to the resumption of menstrual cyclicity and ovulation. In this review, we report the most recent evidence regarding metformin usage in women with PCOS.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Endocrine System / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperandrogenism / drug therapy
  • Hyperandrogenism / physiopathology
  • Hyperinsulinism / drug therapy
  • Hyperinsulinism / physiopathology
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Menstrual Cycle / drug effects
  • Menstrual Cycle / physiology
  • Metformin / pharmacology*
  • Metformin / therapeutic use
  • Obesity / drug therapy
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / metabolism
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproduction / drug effects*


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Metformin