To investigate the metabolic effects of medroxyprogesterone acetate, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in women with polycystic ovary syndrome was evaluated before and after long-term therapy with this drug. The effects of suppression of pituitary gonadotropins and ovarian sex steroids were correlated with the response to an oral glucose load and with a serum lipid profile. Twenty of 25 women with polycystic ovary syndrome weighed more than 150% of their ideal body weight. None of the patients had fasting hyperglycemia. Fasting and peak serum insulin responses to glucose were abnormally high in most patients with polycystic ovary ' syndrome. Fasting serum insulin had a significant positive correlation with percent ideal body weight (r=.7, P <.01). High density lipoprotein cholesterol was low in all patients studied, whereas total cholesterol and serum triglyceride levels were normal. Therapy with medroxyprogesterone acetate did not affect body weight, glucose tolerance, or serum lipids. The correlations between serum testosterone and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or insulin levels were not significant (P > .1). The authors conclude that medroxyprogesterone acetate does not affect the metabolic syndrome of obesity, hyperinsulinemia, and decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol that is commonly seen in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome.
© 1982 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists