Fertility and Assisted Reproductive Technology Use in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Data from the Australian Longitudinal Women's Health Study

Program: Abstracts - Orals, Featured Poster Presentations, and Posters
Session: SAT 532-553-Hyperandrogenic Disorders
Saturday, June 15, 2013: 1:45 PM-3:45 PM
Expo Halls ABC (Moscone Center)

Poster Board SAT-550
Anju Elizabeth Joham*1, Jacqueline Boyle1, Sanjeeva Ranasinha2, Sophia Zoungas2, Deborah Loxton3 and Helena Jane Teede4
1Monash University, Clayton VIC, Australia, 2Monash University, Clayton VIC, Australia, 3University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia, 4Monash University, Clayton VIC, Australia
Objective: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) affects 6-21% of women with significant metabolic, psychological and reproductive complications including infertility. We aimed to examine self-reported contraceptive use, fertility concerns, use of fertility treatment and family size in women with and without PCOS in the large Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH).

Design: Cross-sectional analysis of a longitudinal cohort study 

Setting: General community setting

Participants: Participants were women randomly selected from the Medicare database. Mailed survey data were collected by the ALSWH at four time points. Data from respondents to survey 4 (2006), aged 28-33 (n=9145) were analysed.

Main outcome measures: Self-reported PCOS, body mass index (BMI), fertility concerns, use of fertility therapies including ovulation induction and in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

Results: Self-reported PCOS prevalence was 5.8% (95% CI: 5.3%-6.4%) in these women aged 28 to 33. Compared to women not reporting PCOS, women with PCOS had higher BMI (by 3.0 kg/m2), were less likely to be using contraception (45% vs. 25%, p<0.001) and were more likely to be trying to conceive (49% vs. 36%, p=0.02). In women who have tried for pregnancy 72% of women with PCOS reported fertility concerns compared to 16% of women without PCOS (OR 11.16 (95% CI 10.9-20.0, p<0.001). Of those reporting fertility concerns, use of fertility hormone treatment was higher (55% vs. 22%, p<0.001) and the use of IVF was higher (21% vs 16%, p<0.0001) in women with PCOS compared to women without PCOS. Overall, there was no significant difference in pregnancy outcomes and number of children between women with and without PCOS.

Longitudinal analysis of fertility concerns and fertility treatment in this cohort of women with PCOS is currently underway.

Conclusions: In this large community-based cohort, self-reported infertility and use of fertility treatment was significantly higher in women with PCOS, yet family size was similar. Considering the prevalence and health and economic burden of PCOS and of fertility therapies, strategies aimed at optimising fertility in PCOS including early family initiation, healthy lifestyle and weight management, as well as psychological support for women with PCOS and infertility are clinically important to improve health outcomes in PCOS.

Nothing to Disclose: AEJ, JB, SR, SZ, DL, HJT

*Please take note of The Endocrine Society's News Embargo Policy at http://www.endo-society.org/endo2013/media.cfm

Sources of Research Support: The research on which this paper is based was conducted as part of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health undertaken by The University of Newcastle and The University of Queensland. We are grateful to the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing for funding and to the women who provided the survey data.