Author Topic: is metformin for fertility only used to regulate cycles and ovulation?  (Read 1104 times)

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Offline Ab1234

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I was on metformin for  a year a couple of years ago, a Dr in Australia put me on it as said it would help me to get pregnant as my blood sugars showed I was insulin resistant and had more follicles than average. However in England I've been told the opposite and subsequently taken off metformin about 20 months ago.

My question is this: I am lucky to say I have totally regular cycles, can feel ovulation pains every month plus ive conceived twice. However, both conceptions were on Metformin. The first was about 3 weeks after starting metformin in Australia (had been ttc for 4 months so not too long) but I sadly mc at 8 weeks with a blighted ovum. After another two attempts I conceived my daughter hooray!! I had been on met for a few months by then but taken off it at 20 weeks pregnant due to the consultant stating I didn't need it-my fasting glucose test was normal. Baby born well and healthy.

I'm trying for baby number 2-the fact that I ovulate and have a regular cycle should mean I don't need metformin am I correct?  I'm only questioning this as I conceived twice on met but it may have just been timing. I'm keeping a check on blood sugars by exercising and good diet.

Thanks for reading!   :)
Insulin resistant: 05/2012
Metformin 500mg x2
PCOS-only symptoms = IR and multiple follicles

Offline Pattidevans

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Re: is metformin for fertility only used to regulate cycles and ovulation?
« Reply #1 on: 01 December 2014, 02:54:09 PM »
Hi Ab

Your history (re: diagnosis/non diagnosis) has always confused me.  I do know that metformin is used to combat insulin resistance in women with PCOS but I've never heard that it improves fertility per se.  i.e. it's only likely to improve fertility if indeed you do have PCOS and it isn't a fertility drug in itself.  Your consultant in the UK seems to think you don't have PCOS.  What is your own feeling on this?
Patti


Type 1.  Mis-diagnosed T2 May 2003, finally had CPeptide test 15/7/11 and proper diagnosis 1/9/11.  Now pumping Apidra with Roche Spirit Combo pump. Hba1c 6.1 April 2016.


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Offline Ab1234

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Re: is metformin for fertility only used to regulate cycles and ovulation?
« Reply #2 on: 01 December 2014, 03:08:19 PM »
I know, im confused too  :banghead:

Well my rational mind says I can get pregnant as I ovulate. It's just I was on met for both pregnancies. It's used unlicensed for fertility as it regulates hormones ie testosterone and subsequently starts ovulation = regular cycles and vice versa. I just wondered if anyone knew of any other reasons for metformin assisting conception. I'm sure it was just chance with me as 3 weeks of met couldn't have suddenly affected me enough to get pregnant. Pregnancy is a chance thing -20% per month- but im just curious as don't want to be trying for months if im missing something.
Insulin resistant: 05/2012
Metformin 500mg x2
PCOS-only symptoms = IR and multiple follicles

Offline Pattidevans

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Re: is metformin for fertility only used to regulate cycles and ovulation?
« Reply #3 on: 01 December 2014, 03:29:05 PM »
I hope you can get some answers Ab.  We did have a couple of mums with PCOS and T1 but once they have their babies they seem to drift away, because their whole time is taken up with caring for the little ones.  Quite understandable.
Patti


Type 1.  Mis-diagnosed T2 May 2003, finally had CPeptide test 15/7/11 and proper diagnosis 1/9/11.  Now pumping Apidra with Roche Spirit Combo pump. Hba1c 6.1 April 2016.


© 2015 Patti Evans

Offline Venomous

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Re: is metformin for fertility only used to regulate cycles and ovulation?
« Reply #4 on: 01 December 2014, 08:37:37 PM »
I have PCOS too.. honestly I don't find the metformin alters my cycles at all. I took metformin throughout my last two pregnancies.

Good luck with the baby making!
T2 and PCOS. Just had large serous adenofibroma removed with ovary and fallopian tube. Bp is now normal!

Novorapid, levemir, trulicity, metformin.

Offline sami

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Re: is metformin for fertility only used to regulate cycles and ovulation?
« Reply #5 on: 01 December 2014, 09:51:38 PM »
my cousin who was having ivf due to not having any tubes so no way of ever having a natural conception was put on met to help conception from ivf she was also put on a sliding scale 12 hrs before embryos were put back in to give best possible chance she is not diabetic in any way shape or form this was all part  of making sure everything was perfect for conception and was started on 6th round of ivf round 9 after 10 years gave them Jasmine hope born this bonfire night its not the only thing she was put on to help she was also put on calcium tablets from week before transfer until either finding out no baby or 12 weeks (thats how we all knew she court on as she had been taking tablets after dinner for 6 weeks not 3 my gran spotted this as after taking them had to lie down for 30 mins every night )     
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Offline sedge

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Re: is metformin for fertility only used to regulate cycles and ovulation?
« Reply #6 on: 01 December 2014, 09:57:31 PM »
Well the daughter of the couple who owned the care home my mom was in. had PCOS, which was diagnosed when she was actually first preg, but I don't know any details, and she was on it throughout and beyond the and the next preg and was still on it when I met her, the kids were approx. 7 and 5 by then.  She only had her blood tested sporadically at the docs and it was always dead normal.  However she had tested quite a lot during both pregs because obviously the IR that happens to everyone.  Never a problem.
Jenny

T1 DX 1972, pumping Novorapid 24/05/11

HbA1c - 7/07 8.7, 1/08 7.8, 9/08 8.4, 3/09 7.3, 7/09 7.2, 12/09 7.3, 11/10 8.1, 2/11 8.6, 9/11 6.5 2/12 6.4  5/12 50/6.7  11/12 52/6.9  01/13 46/6.4  06/16 46/6.4  12/16 45/6.4

Offline feejee

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Re: is metformin for fertility only used to regulate cycles and ovulation?
« Reply #7 on: 04 December 2014, 11:31:35 AM »
Im T2, my cycles had always been v irregular, until i was diagnosed diabetic put on metformin, and have been spot on 28 days ever since.  I have read that there is some evidence that metformin can help women with PCOS conceive, and also there was some evidence in its use in reducing miscarriage (i cant remember where i read it now) but i was adamant that i wanted to stay on metformin when they added insulin to my regime because of this. 
Type 2. Diagnosed Feb 2012.  On metformin 2 * 1000mg. Invokana (Canagliflozin) 100mg
hbA1c on diagnosis: 128 mmol/mol or 13.8%
6/12: 60 mmol/mol or 7.8%, 
10/12: 6.6%, 03/12: 6.5% Cholesterol: 4.16 (HDL:0.88, LDL: 2.6, 3G's: 1.56)
10/14: 5.6%
02/16: 7.5%
02/16
6/13: 6.6%
4/14@:5.7%

Offline Ab1234

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Re: is metformin for fertility only used to regulate cycles and ovulation?
« Reply #8 on: 08 December 2014, 04:17:05 PM »
Thank you, yes I have read the same. It's also used in IVF to ensure good quality eggs are used!! Even in women without pco! I'm seeing the Dr next week to discuss it and having my Day 3 bloods done on Wednesday.

It's best to take Metformin during or after a meal isn't it? I was sooo sick on it, not looking forward to going through that again, and I can't use the XL version as I want to stick to what I used before as it worked for me, plus ive read the XL doesn't work for 'thin pcos'.
Insulin resistant: 05/2012
Metformin 500mg x2
PCOS-only symptoms = IR and multiple follicles

Offline feejee

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Re: is metformin for fertility only used to regulate cycles and ovulation?
« Reply #9 on: 08 December 2014, 04:27:58 PM »
I know a lot of people say they dont feel the effects so much when they take it during or after a meal.  I personally take it before my meals and the majority of the time am absolutely fine.  Whichever you find best really. 
Type 2. Diagnosed Feb 2012.  On metformin 2 * 1000mg. Invokana (Canagliflozin) 100mg
hbA1c on diagnosis: 128 mmol/mol or 13.8%
6/12: 60 mmol/mol or 7.8%, 
10/12: 6.6%, 03/12: 6.5% Cholesterol: 4.16 (HDL:0.88, LDL: 2.6, 3G's: 1.56)
10/14: 5.6%
02/16: 7.5%
02/16
6/13: 6.6%
4/14@:5.7%

Offline nytquill17

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Re: is metformin for fertility only used to regulate cycles and ovulation?
« Reply #10 on: 08 December 2014, 04:33:24 PM »
It shouldn't make any difference (XR or not) because even the regular version doesn't have an immediate effect. It takes a few weeks to reach saturation levels in your system and then each subsequent dose goes towards maintaining that saturation. When you stop taking it, it takes several weeks for your system to be fully rid of it as well. Both versions are supposed to help reduce IR. The XR version, because it digests slower, is found to be easier on the stomach for some, but the medical properties should be the same.

Of course as with so many things medical, we don't understand all the details of what exactly Metformin does in the body, what molecules it interacts with and how, and all that. So it's not impossible that the XR version might have different effects on fertility than the regular, even if it doesn't have any different effect on blood sugar, but theoretically it shouldn't, anyway.

The main issue with Metformin is that it is a carb-blocker. You might recall some of those "fat-blocker" weight loss drugs? Where you are supposed to stick to a low-fat diet, but if you don't, the drug would stop your intestines from absorbing most of the fat you ate, so you'd theoretically not gain any weight from it. But whatever doesn't get absorbed by the intestines just goes straight through them, so people on fat-blockers who ate high-fat diets often had lots of bowel problems. It's a very similar thing for Metformin and carbs (it was in fact originally intended to be a weight-loss drug; its uses now as a diabetes and PCOS drug were unexpected side-effects at the time!). So if you take Metformin and eat a high-carb diet, unfortunately those carbs will tend to "go right through you" as well.

Eating fewer carbs is the most important thing you can do to stave off digestive effects of Metformin. Other things you can do include not taking it on an empty stomach, starting on a small dose and working your way up, and taking it spread out over the day (this won't affect how long the drug is in play, since as I said above it takes weeks to build up, but it does affect how much of it your stomach is dealing with at any one time). The XR version is another of these smaller steps that can help make it gentler on your stomach, but the best thing you can do is to reduce carbs. Not down to zero or anything, but just bear in mind that high-carb foods do contribute to Metformin side effects being worse.
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Offline Venomous

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Re: is metformin for fertility only used to regulate cycles and ovulation?
« Reply #11 on: 09 December 2014, 07:46:20 PM »
I know this isn't about the metformin but if I was trying to conceive, personally I would take myo-inositol (pregnitude). Just my two-penneth!
T2 and PCOS. Just had large serous adenofibroma removed with ovary and fallopian tube. Bp is now normal!

Novorapid, levemir, trulicity, metformin.