Medicine :: NaProTechnology: The Effect of Insulin Resistance in Female Reproductive Function
NaProTechnology is a new medical science whereby the diagnostic and therapeutic energies of the physician are directed toward the identification and treatment of reproductive and gynecologic problems in a manner that is aimed at restoring fertility. Because NaProTechniques cooperate with normal reproductive functions in the process or correcting abnormalities, fertility can be restored rather than bypassed through artificial means. The end result is that gynecologic and reproductive problems can be solved without the use of artificial drugs, devices, or surgical procedures that have the effect of bypassing or damaging normal bodily functions.
The Effect of Insulin Resistance on Female Reproductive Function
In modern day society, obesity is a common problem. One of the ways that the body defends itself from obesity is by making insulin ineffective, because insulin is a fat accumulating hormone. When insulin looses its effectiveness in the body, this situation is called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can and frequently does happen in patients who are not overweight and even sometimes in patients who are thin. The problem of insulin resistance leads to a situation of high insulin levels which impairs the normal function of the ovary. This can result in increased male hormones, decreased or absent ovulation, inability to stimulate the ovary and miscarriage.
Insulin resistance can be treated with weight loss and also with drugs. One drug is metformin, which enhances weight loss and also increases the function of the ovary thus improving ovulation. Two other drugs, which are insulin sensitizing medications, are Avandia and Actos. All of these may increase the ovaries ability to ovulate. One of the precautions with Avandia and Actos is that women who are thought to be infertile may have surprise pregnancies because of the ovulation enhancing activity of these insulin-sensitizing agents.
One patient came to me who was overweight and had significant insulin resistance with several prior miscarriages. She lost some weight, was placed on metformin and subsequently conceived and carried a normal pregnancy to term. The addressing of her insulin difficulties both treated infertility and prevented miscarriage.
Another patient came to me who had been evaluated in the Philippines at the Makati Medical Center. This medical center is one of the top medical centers in the Philippines. There she was evaluated for recurrent miscarriage. Among her findings, there were thyroid difficulties and insulin resistance. In my evaluation, I also found evidence for B-12 and folate deficiencies, and several other medically correctable abnormalities. She was given physiologic progesterone supplementation, an insulin sensitizing agent, and an enhanced program of nutritional support. She conceived again and finally delivered a very healthy baby who was quite active and intelligent and was standing at the age of two months according to the possibly biased report of his parents.
These cases suggest that insulin resistance is a new concept in fertility management, and addressing this cause can help women who previously were infertile or had miscarriages to successfully achieve a healthy birth at term of a new baby.