Caffeine and Polycystic Ovaries

November 12, 2012

Caffeine and Polycystic Ovaries

Polycystic ovaries occur due to an imbalance in the female sex hormones, which may also impact the menstrual cycle and lead to infertility. Excessive caffeine consumption may also contribute to the condition.


Female sex hormones predominantly include estrogen and progesterone, along with small amounts of androgens. These hormones regulate the menstrual cycle and contribute to the development of the eggs in the ovaries each month. Abnormal levels of the female sex hormones can lead to the changes in the reproductive or the menstrual cycle. The disease runs in families, and the symptoms may start with the girl’s first period. However, most women are diagnosed in their 20s and 30s when they start trying for a baby.

The common symptoms associated with polycystic ovaries include:

  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Decreased breast size
  • Deep voice
  • Enlarged clitoris
  • Abnormally thick body hair around the chest, abdomen, face and around the nipples.
  • Thinning of hair on the head
  • Acne and hyperpigmentation

Along with a thorough physical examination, your doctor may also assess your weight and body mass index. A blood test may be ordered to test the levels of female sex hormones such as estrogen, LH, FSH, thyroid and testosterone. Other tests include blood sugar and cholesterol levels, pregnancy test, and vaginal ultrasound.


Losing excess body weight may help restore hormonal balance in the body, and thereby treat polycystic ovaries. Commonly prescribed medications include birth control pills, and Metformin, a medication that increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Clomiphene citrate can cause the egg to mature and release from the ovaries.


Recent research has also found a link between caffeine consumption and polycystic ovaries. Doctors believe that caffeine increases the estrogen levels in your body, and may contribute to the infertility associated with polycystic ovaries. The link, however, seems to be limited to some women only. Researchers have not been able to establish why caffeine affects different women to different extent. However, all women with polycystic ovaries are advised to cut down on their caffeine intake.

Caffeine is not the only dietary product that needs to be restricted. Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for successful polycystic ovaries treatment. Hence, it is important to avoid foods rich in fats and refined sugars. Include lots of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains in your diet. Low-fat dairy is a great choice as well. Combine this with regular exercise for best results.

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