Short-term weight change and live birth among women with unexplained infertility and polycystic ovary syndrome undergoing ovulation induction

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome are at risk for weight gain during ovulation induction, but weight gain does not reduce live birth rate.

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VOLUME 114, ISSUE 5, P1032-1039


Wendy Vitek, M.D., Fangbai Sun, M.P.H., Kathleen M. Hoeger, M.D., M.P.H., Nanette Santoro, M.D., Michael P. Diamond, M.D., Heping Zhang, Ph.D., Richard S. Legro, M.D., for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Reproductive Medicine Network



To determine if short-term weight change among women with unexplained infertility (UI) and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) undergoing ovulation induction is associated with live birth.


Secondary analysis of randomized trials.


Multicenter fertility trial sites.


A total of 900 women with UI and 750 women with PCOS.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Live birth.


Weight assessment at enrollment and start of up to 4–5 cycles of clomiphene, letrozole, or gonadotropins and intrauterine insemination for women with UI and clomiphene or letrozole with regular intercourse for women with PCOS.


Weight data were available for 856 women with UI and 697 women with PCOS. Mean weight change was −0.2 ± 0.3 kg among women with UI and +2.2 ± 0.2 kg among women with PCOS and did not differ based on treatment allocation. There were 115 women with PCOS (16.4%) who gained ≥3 kg. Increased body mass index and three or more cycles were associated with weight gain in women with PCOS. There was no difference in live birth rate among women with PCOS and ≥3 kg weight gain and women with PCOS who did not gain weight.


Women with PCOS gained an average of 2.2 kg regardless of the medication received, whereas women with UI experienced no short-term weight change during ovulation induction. Weight gain in women with PCOS was not associated with live birth rate.

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.