Menstrual preconditioning for the prevention of major obstetrical syndromes in polycystic ovary syndrome

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The presence of multiple ovarian cysts, anovulation, and endometrial progesterone resistance in the neonate seems remarkably similar to ovarian and endometrial features of the polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) of adolescent and adult women. In fact, in the absence of cyclic menstruations after menarche, the neonatal progesterone resistance is likely to persist and adversely affect young women with PCOS at the time of pregnancy after induction of ovulation, because any persisting defect in progesterone response can interfere with the process of decidualization and trophoblast invasion. The primigravid woman with PCOS therefore is likely to be at risk of defective deep placentation as manifested by the increased risk of major obstetric syndromes. A recent, large epidemiologic study has demonstrated that the risk of preeclampsia and preterm delivery is elevated in the 13- to 15-year old group, although it does not persist in the 16- to 17-year old group. It is proposed therefore that induction of ovulation in the infertile nulligravid woman with PCOS should be preceded by a period of progesterone withdrawal bleedings to achieve full endometrial progesterone response by the time of pregnancy. The cyclic administration of clomiphene citrate for a period to be determined by vascular response may be an appropriate tool to reduce the risk of major obstetric syndromes by menstrual preconditioning.




Brosens, I., & Benagiano, G. (2015). Menstrual preconditioning for the prevention of major obstetrical syndromes in polycystic ovary syndrome. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 213(4), 488–493.

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