Endocrine consequences of weight loss in obese, hyperandrogenic, anovulatory women

Fertil Steril. 1994 Apr;61(4):598-604.


Objective: To determine whether weight loss in obese, hyperandrogenic, anovulatory women is associated with resumption of ovulation and/or with changes in insulin, androgen, and gonadotropin concentrations.

Design: Prospective, randomized, controlled study.

Setting: University research center.

Patients: Twelve obese, hyperandrogenic, anovulatory women.

Interventions: Twelve-week weight loss program in treatment (n = 6); 12-week "waiting list" in control group (n = 6).

Main outcome measures: [1] Ovulation; [2] fasting insulin and glucose measurements; [3] sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), total and non-SHBG T concentrations; [4] LH pulse frequency, amplitude, and concentration; and [5] FSH concentration.

Results: In contrast with the control group who showed no change in weight, ovulation status, or hormone levels, women in the treatment group lost an average of 16.2 kg and showed a significant increase in SHBG, a significant decline in non-SHBG T, and a decline (though nonsignificant) in fasting insulin. Four of six subjects resumed ovulation. However, no changes were evident in LH pulse frequency or amplitude or in mean LH and FSH concentrations.

Conclusions: Weight loss in obese, hyperandrogenic, anovulatory women appears to reduce insulin and non-SHBG T concentrations despite the absence of a change in gonadotropin secretion and may lead to resumption of ovulation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Androgens / blood*
  • Anovulation*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diet, Reducing
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Obesity / blood*
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Ovulation
  • Progesterone / blood
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / metabolism
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Weight Loss*


  • Androgens
  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
  • Testosterone
  • Progesterone
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone