JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., EXTRAMURAL
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Altering hirsutism through ovulation induction in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.

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: ClinicalTrials.gov, www.clinicaltrials.gov, NCT00068861.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II.

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