Treatment of Hyperandrogenism Versus Insulin Resistance in Infertile Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Women (OWL-PCOS)

This study has been completed.
University of Pennsylvania
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Richard S. Legro, M.D., Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Identifier:
First received: June 23, 2008
Last updated: April 15, 2014
Last verified: April 2014

The goal of this three-armed randomized controlled trial is to establish the relative roles of treatment of hyperandrogenism versus obesity (as the largest modifiable factor contributing to insulin resistance) in treating infertility and improving pregnancy outcomes among obese PCOS women. The investigators hypothesize that the key to restoring ovulation leading to live birth is to correct hyperandrogenism with oral contraceptive pills, but the key to avoiding later pregnancy complications is to improve insulin sensitivity with weight loss.

Condition Intervention Phase
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Drug: Orlistat/Meal Replacement/Lifestyle Modification
Drug: Loestrin 1/20
Drug: Combination of treatments
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Treatment of Hyperandrogenism vs. Insulin Resistance in Infertile PCOS Women

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Milton S. Hershey Medical Center:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Identify the effects of weight loss vs. OCP therapy on the PCOS reproductive phenotype [ Time Frame: When the study and data analysis is completed in 5 Years ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    The investigators will wait until study is completed to review change in Body Mass Index, Free Androgen Index and Proinsulin on these subjects when study is completed

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Compare impact of weight loss vs. OCP vs. the combination of both on the live birth rate. The live birth rate will be lowest in the weight loss group, higher in the OCP group and highest in the group treated with both. [ Time Frame: When the study and data analysis is completed in 5 Years ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Enrollment: 217
Study Start Date: September 2008
Study Completion Date: March 2014
Primary Completion Date: March 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Lifestyle intervention
Orlistat/Meal Replacement/Lifestyle Modification
Drug: Orlistat/Meal Replacement/Lifestyle Modification
Orlistat will be given at 60 mg three times per day (1 tablet 3 times a day) before meals, i.e., breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Other Name: Orlistat, Alli, Lifestyle Intervention, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, PCOS, Weight Loss, Pregnancy
Active Comparator: OCP
Loestrin 1/20
Drug: Loestrin 1/20
Patients will be started on a low dose containing OCP for a continuous 4 month period.
Other Name: Orlistat, Alli, Weight Loss, OCP, Oral Contraceptive, PCOS, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Pregnancy
Active Comparator: Lifestyle/OCP Combined
Combination of treatments
Drug: Combination of treatments
Medications will be administered as described for the other 2 arms.
Other Name: Orlistat, Alli, OCP, Oral Contraceptive, Weight Loss, Lifestyle Intervention, Pregnancy, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, PCOS

Detailed Description:

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common cause of anovulatory infertility among women, and women with PCOS are at increased risk for pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. Both hyperandrogenism (HA) and obesity exacerbated insulin resistance (IR) are characteristics of the syndrome, and are targets for treatment, but which should be the predominant focus is still unknown. Phase 1 of this study will be a randomized trial of three preconception interventions in infertile women with PCOS. The first arm will be a combined intervention of medication, meal replacements, and lifestyle modification to improve IR. Orlistat is a gastric lipase inhibitor that reduces the absorption of fat contained in a meal by about 30%. The second arm will be the use of a continuous OCP for 4 months to improve HA. Lo-Estrin 1/20 will be used in a continuous method for 4 months to suppress the ovary. The third arm is the combination of both to improve HA an IR. Phase II of this study will involve ovulation induction with clomiphene citrate with hopeful outcome of pregnancy. Finally, Phase III involve following the pregnancies for outcomes and complications.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 40 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Partner with sperm concentration of >=14 million/mL in at least one ejaculate with motile sperm.
  • Ability to have regular intercourse 2-3 times per week during the ovulation induction phase of study.
  • At least on patent tube and normal uterine cavity as determined by sonohysterogram, hysterosalpingogram, or hysteroscopy/laparoscopy within the last 3 years.
  • No previous sterilization procedures(vasectomy, tubal ligation) tha have been reversed.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Intermenstrual periods of >= 45 days or a total of <=8 periods per year.
  • Elevated total testosterone >50 ng/dL.
  • PCO on ultrasound (12 or more follicles measuring 2-9 mm in diameter).
  • BMI >=27 to <=40.
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00704912

United States, Pennsylvania
Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States, 17033
University of Pennsylvania, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19104
Sponsors and Collaborators
Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
University of Pennsylvania
Principal Investigator: Richard S Legro, M.D. Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Principal Investigator: Christos Coutifaris, M.D., Ph.D. Universtiy of Pennsylvania, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  More Information

Additional Information:
No publications provided

Responsible Party: Richard S. Legro, M.D., Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Public Health Sciences, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Identifier: NCT00704912     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 27184, 1 RO1 HD056510-01 A1
Study First Received: June 23, 2008
Last Updated: April 15, 2014
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board

Keywords provided by Milton S. Hershey Medical Center:
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Genital Diseases, Female
Contraceptive Agents, Female
Insulin Resistance
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Pathologic Processes
Glucose Metabolism Disorders
Metabolic Diseases
Ovarian Cysts
Ovarian Diseases
Adnexal Diseases
Gonadal Disorders
Endocrine System Diseases
46, XX Disorders of Sex Development
Disorders of Sex Development
Urogenital Abnormalities
Adrenogenital Syndrome
Congenital Abnormalities
Contraceptive Agents
Contraceptives, Oral
Reproductive Control Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Pharmacologic Actions
Therapeutic Uses processed this record on September 18, 2014