Pre-Conception Characteristics Predict Obstetrical and Neonatal Outcomes in Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Mar 1;104(3):809-818. doi: 10.1210/jc.2018-01787.


Context: Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are at increased risk for obstetric and perinatal complications. At present, it is unknown how characteristics of PCOS relate to the likelihood of these complications.

Objective: To evaluate which preconception features are associated with obstetric and perinatal disease among infertile women with PCOS.

Design: Data from two prospective cohort studies completed from January 2004 until January 2014 were linked to Dutch Perinatal national registry outcomes.

Setting: Two Dutch university medical centers.

Participants: 2768 women diagnosed with PCOS were included. Participants underwent an extensive standardized preconception screening. Exclusion criteria included: age <18 years or >45 years, language barrier, or failure to meet PCOS criteria.

Interventions: None.

Main outcome measures: Outcome measures were obtained from the Dutch Perinatal national registry and included: preeclampsia, preterm delivery, small for gestational age (SGA), low Apgar score, and any adverse outcome.

Results: 1715 (62% of participants) women with PCOS were identified as undergoing a pregnancy with live birth after screening. In fully adjusted models, prepregnancy free androgen index was associated with subsequent preeclampsia [OR (95% CI), 1.1 (1.0 to 1.1)]. Fasting glucose [1.4 (1.2 to 1.7)] and testosterone [1.5 (1.2 to 1.7)] predicted preterm delivery. Fasting insulin [1.003 (1.001 to 1.005)], and testosterone [1.2 (1.1 to 1.4)] predicted any adverse outcome. SGA was only predicted by features nonspecific to PCOS.

Conclusions: Primary disease characteristics of PCOS, chiefly hyperandrogenism and impaired glucose tolerance, predict suboptimal obstetric and neonatal outcomes. Increased surveillance during pregnancy should focus on women with PCOS and these features to help mitigate disease risk.

Trial registration: NCT02309047 NCT00821379.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Glucose Intolerance / epidemiology*
  • Glucose Intolerance / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hyperandrogenism / epidemiology*
  • Hyperandrogenism / etiology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Small for Gestational Age
  • Maternal Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / diagnosis*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / etiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Premature Birth / diagnosis*
  • Premature Birth / etiology
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Assessment
  • Young Adult

Associated data