Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition of hormonal imbalance that is characterized by menstrual cycle irregularity, weight gain, fertility problems, excessive hair growth, and acne. There are also metabolic factors involved in PCOS such as insulin resistance, with its associated risk of pre-diabetes and diabetes. And these conditions impart a greater risk of cardiovascular disease. Because insulin resistance is involved in this disorder, it makes sense that Ozempiuc and Mounjaro which were developed as diabetes medications might help PCOS.
What insulin resistance means is that when the pancreas produces
more insulin in an attempt to get blood glucose to enter the cells, with obesity and enlargement of cells, the cells stop responding as they normally would-they become resistant to the action of insulin which would normally promote entry of glucose into the cell. As a result the circulating glucose level becomes higher than normal, which is the definition of pre diabetes and actual diabetes. Being significantly overweight is the leading cause of insulin resistance. Dietary factors can greatly influence this phenomenon. If a person eats a diet with excessive amounts of simple carbohydrates-sugars, breads , pastas, rice and sodas, these all elevate the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. That will necessitate the production of more insulin by the pancreas- and with obesity the cells become insulin resistant. With the continued intake of excessive amounts of sugars a vicious cycle is established. More sugar ingestion leads to obesity and the need for more insulin production by the pancreas. The cells become insulin resistant,causing the insulin producing pancreas to produce yet more insulin in an attempt to get the glucose into the cell, and this insulin resistance is then associated with a myriad of health problems and the development of diabetes. Diabetes itself is a bad condition to develop because there are many other serious health problems associated with diabetes. Diabetics have an increased risk of developing.
1. Cardiovascular Disease -heart attack and stroke.
2 Kidney problems- the leading cause of needing dialysis treatment for kidney failure is having diabetes.
3. Nerve damage – diabetic neuropathy is a painful condition most commonly affecting the legs and feet- there is no cure for it, and medications are often not very effective for it.
4 Gum disease- too much sugar in the blood causes too much sugar in saliva which promotes gum and dental disease.
5. Cancer- there are many associations between the existence of obesity and the development of different cancers.
6 Sexual dysfunction in both men and women.
Ozempc (Semaglutide) and Mounjaro (Tirzepatide) although originally developed for diabetes, have now become extremely well known and popular because of their ability to help people lose weight. Sales have been so massive that shortages of these medications have occurred making it difficult for everyone for whom they have been prescribed, to access them.
Losing weight, beyond cosmetic considerations, is the most effective treatment for insulin resistance whether the person has not yet become predibetic ,they are pre-diabetic, or have actually developed diabetes. And if they are not yet diabetic, losing weight would be the best way to prevent progression of the condition to diabetes. Weight loss will improve other conditions which are associated with cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. It is important to note that exercise is associated with improvement in insulin resistance as well, beyond its effectiveness in supporting a weight loss regimen.
Hormonal associations beyond what has been mentioned, explain why Ozempic and Mounjaro might help PCOS. Weight loss will improve menstrual irregularities, restore ovulation, and improve fertility. Another hormonal abnormality that exists in PCOS is the presence of excessive levels of androgens, specifically Testosterone levels. According to Marilyn Tan MD, an associate professor of Medicine at Stanford U. School of Medicine, losing weight may reduce androgen levels and thus improve symptoms like excess hair growth and acne.
Since Ozempic and Mounjaro is not currently approved as a treatment for PCOS it’s current use in patients with PCOS is considered an off-label use of the medication. But many leading gynecologists around the US are of the opinion that these medications should be used for PCOS, prescribing it as an “off-label” use, and they are doing so. More research needs to be done before the FDA would approve these medications for PCOS, but that will take a very long time -and so physicians are using their best judgment to use these medications professionally to the benefit of their patients.
Some celebrities through social media have been talking about this . Gracie McGraw ,daughter of country singers Faith Hill and Tim McGraw reports that she has been taking what she has taken (at different times) “low dose” Mounjaro and Ozempic as well for her PCOS.
There are many women around the country who have been contributing their stories to social media to educate others about Ozempic and Mounjaro, and their successful use of these medications for their PCOS conditions.
Florencia Haperin, MD -Endocrinologist, states that studies have been confirming the beneficial use of these medications in PCOS. She states, “because these medications (Semaglutide and Tirzepatide) cause significant weight loss and improve insulin resistance, it makes sense biologically, they they would be helpful for women with PCOS.”
It is important to note for women of child bearing ages, that people who are pregnant should not be taking these medications because it is unkown as to whether it would be harmful for fetal development. If a woman is taking either of these medications there should be a period of time-two to three months of discontinuing the medication before actively trying for a pregnancy. Further studies are needed to understand the reproductive effects of these medications. Any women of child bearing age, who is considering taking Ozempic or Monjauro should discuss the risks and benefits involved in that decision.