Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 5-10% of women of reproductive age and is the most common cause of anovulatory infertility. The treatment approaches to ovulation induction vary in efficacy, treatment duration and patient friendliness. The aim was to determine the most efficient, evidence-based method to achieve mono-ovulation in women diagnosed with PCOS. Publications in English providing information on treatment, efficacy and complication rates were included until September 2015. Systematic reviews, meta-analyses and randomized controlled trials were favoured over cohort and retrospective studies. Clomiphene citrate is recommended as primary treatment for PCOS-related infertility. It induces ovulation in three out of four patients, the risk of multiple pregnancies is modest and the treatment is simple and inexpensive. Gonadotrophins are highly efficient in a low-dose step-up regimen. Ovulation rates are improved by lifestyle interventions in overweight women. Metformin may improve the menstrual cycle within 1-3 months, but does not improve the live birth rate. Letrozole is effective for ovulation induction, but is an off-label drug in many countries. Ovulation induction in women with PCOS should be individualized with regard to weight, treatment efficacy and patient preferences with the aim of achieving mono-ovulation and subsequently the birth of a singleton baby.
Journal review article
Reproductive Biomedicine Online, 2016, Vol 32, Issue 6, p. 563-83