Excess Weight During Pregnancy May Trigger PCOS in Daughters

Warning to Obese Mothers: The obesity epidemic could fuel a rise in fertility problems in the next generation of women, scientists have warned.

They have found that women who are overweight during pregnancy may trigger polycystic ovarian syndrome in their daughters.

PCOS involves multiple cysts on the ovaries. Although the precise causes are not clear, it appears that when the mother is overweight, the hormones to which a girl is exposed in the womb can increase her chances of developing the condition in later life.

As well as finding it difficult to conceive, women with PCOS may have irregular periods, be obese and suffer from acne and excess body hair.

The research was carried out by Dr Michael Davies of the University of Adelaide. He studied 544 women born between 1973 and 1974 and found that those who developed classic PCOS symptoms tended to be born to heavier mothers.

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Published: 2005/06/23 21:00:18 CDT

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