Alterations in carbohydrate metabolism as they apply to reproductive endocrinology

M. P. Diamond, A. C. Wentz, A. D. Cherrington

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


This review has characterized the current state of knowledge of four clinical situations in which an interrelationship of gynecology, endocrinology and carbohydrate metabolism is recognized. The literature contains conflicting descriptions of changes in glucose homeostasis during the menstrual cycle and while using birth control pills. Physiologic changes in receptor number have been demonstrated in each of these situations, so failure to observe differences using glucose tolerance testing may reflect an in vivo homeostatic response to changes in these hormone levels. Thus, in vivo identification of alterations in carbohydrate metabolism induced by endogenous or exogenous steroids may require utilization of models that prevent these homeostatic mechanisms. The association between hyperandrogenism and hyperinsulinism has been better characterized, but the relationship is complicated by the frequent coexistence of obesity. The association may be due to insulin-stimulated ovarian androgen production, and insulin insensitivity may reflect a postreceptor defect. Insulin and its metabolic effects have also been implicated in ovulatory dysfunction in women with diabetes mellitus and identified as a factor affecting all levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. A clearer understanding of these relationships and their application to clinical management await further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-397
Number of pages11
JournalFertility and sterility
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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