Bariatric Surgery Beneficial in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

MRI of polycystic ovaries
MRI of polycystic ovaries
Women experienced weight loss as well as decreases in ovarian volume and markers of androgen excess.

After bariatric surgery, women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) not only lost weight but also experienced decreases in both ovarian volume and markers of androgen excess, according to data presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) 2016 Scientific Congress & Expo.

Researchers conducted a retrospective chart review of 33 women with PCOS who underwent bariatric surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation from 2009 to 2015. Information on pre- and postoperative weight, testosterone levels, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEAS), HbA1c, fasting glucose, BMI, weight, and ovarian volume were gleaned from medical records.

Weight and BMI were significantly lower after bariatric surgery than before the procedure (95.7 kg vs 126.3 kg and 37.4 vs 47.5, respectively; P <.0001 for both). Similar results were seen for ovarian volume (7.7 mL vs 14.0 mL; P =.036), as well as a trend toward decreases in total testosterone (38.4 ng/dL vs 56.1 ng/dL), free testosterone (4.5 pg/mL vs 10.3 pg/mL), and DHEAS (132.9 mcg/dL vs 196.3 mcg/dL).

“These results suggest that weight loss associated with bariatric surgery may result in resolution of the key characteristics associated with PCOS including androgen excess and ovarian enlargement,” the researchers concluded.

“Women with PCOS experience a large set of painful, discouraging, and uncomfortable manifestations of the syndrome,” Owen K. Davis, MD, president of ASRM, said in a press release. “The study showing reduction in symptoms after bariatric surgery is encouraging, but such surgery is an extreme remedy and only appropriate for a few.”

Related Articles


  1. Christ J, Falcone T. Abstract O-82. Changes in ovarian morphology associated with bariatric surgery among women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Presented at: ASRM 2016 Scientific Congress & Expo; October 15-19, 2016; Salt Lake City, UT.
  2. Polycystic ovary syndrome increases risk of eating disorders, PCOS symptoms diminish after bariatric surgery [press release]. Washington, DC: ASRM Office of Public Affairs; October 17, 2016.
    . Accessed October 17, 2016.