Altering hirsutism through ovulation induction in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Multicenter Study)

OBJECTIVE: Many women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) experience infertility and hirsutism and often seek treatment for both concurrently. We investigated whether women who ovulate in response to treatment with clomiphene citrate, metformin, or both would have greater improvement in hirsutism compared with those who did not ovulate. METHODS: This is a secondary analysis evaluating the change in Ferriman-Gallwey score for the hirsute women (n=505 [80.7%]) from the Pregnancy in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome I study. This was a prospective, randomized, doubled-blind trial of 626 women with PCOS and infertility recruited from 12 university sites. They were treated with clomiphene citrate, metformin, or both (combination) for up to six cycles, and hirsutism evaluators were blinded to group assignment. RESULTS: There was a significant decrease in the Ferriman-Gallwey score between baseline and completion of the study in each of the three individual groups (clomiphene citrate, P=.024; metformin, P=.005; combination, P<.001). There was no significant difference in the degree to which the hirsutism score changed when comparing the three groups (P=.44). The change in hirsutism was not associated with the duration of treatment or with the presence or absence of ovulation. CONCLUSION: In infertile hirsute women with PCOS, treatment with clomiphene citrate, metformin, or both for up to six cycles does not alter hirsutism. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION:,, NCT00068861. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Roth, LW; Huang, H; Legro, RS; Diamond, MP; Coutifaris, C; Carson, SA; Steinkampf, MP; Carr, BR; McGovern, PG; Cataldo, NA; Gosman, GG; Nestler, JE; Myers, ER; Zhang, H; Schlaff, WD; Reproductive Medicine Network,

Published Date

  • June 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 119 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1151 - 1156

PubMed ID

  • 22617579

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3360417

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-233X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31825618fb


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States