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Metformin advise, please help.

Hi ladies,

Well to give a bit of background I have PCOS and have been trying for nearly 2 years without so much of a sniff of a BFP, I had 21 day bloods done and my levels were super low 3.1 (not sure of the measurement) so the doctor has prescribed metformin and referred me to a fertility clinic.

My problem is this, I suffer with IBS (the diorrhea kind unfortunately) which got so bad that I have been prescribed medication to help stop the diorrhea sorry for tmi, but I have read that a normal side effect of metformin is diorrhea. I'm now so stuck about what to do and completly stressed out about it. My IBS was so bad that I was being ill every single morning - lost a lot of weight and felt like I couldn't leave the house (infact I didn't go anywhere except work for about 4 months for fear of an attack. It's now back under control, thanks to the medication and I fell like life is slowly getting back to normal and so is my confidence. I really do want to have a baby but the idea of suffering with diorrhea so badly again and it taking over my life is really worrying me.

So this is where you ladies can help, if you have used metformin please can you send me a quick message just to let me know whether you experienced any side effects of metformin, how bad they were and hiw long they lasted. I'm supposed to start taking 500mg once a day for 1 week then up it to 500 mg twice a day with a possibility of increasing it to 3 times a day. Any replies will be greatly


Mrs E xxx


  • Hi mrs e, I was on metfofmin for pcos for about 4 yrs, stopped a month ago as pregnant now! Will be honest with you it gave me diarrhoea when I first started on it so wad taking imodium instant prescribed by gp, then someone suggested I changed the metformin to the slow release ones, took 3 at bedtime (1500mg) and was fine.

    Suggest to your gp the slow release ones as I know a few people where this has helped.

    All the best of luck I was ttc for 3 1/2 yrs had 2 mc's this tear at 7 weeks I'm now 16wks. Proof you will get there.

    Feel free to msg me if you want any advice.
  • Hi abihylands,

    Thank you so much for your reply, it's useful to know about the slow release tablets and I will definitely look into those as I am so reluctant to start taking Metformin given that everything I have read and heard has suggested that Diarrhoea is a very probable side effect.

    Congratulations on your 16 week bean, after all your heartache you deserve a sticky one, I wish you a happy and healthy 24 more weeks. It's lovely to hear positive outcomes for us PCOS girls.

    Thanks again.

  • Hiya, when I was on Metformin I didn't get any side effects at all. I think I was on 1000mg a day. Talk to your Dr about your concerns and good luck I hope it works for you.

    Shell xx
  • Hello,

    I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2001. I was put on Metformin 1500mg per day and suffered the same problems as you described initially, they did subside with time but I would still occasionally suffer an attack of diarrhoea. For me, certain foods made the diarrhoea worse - fatty or very sugary foods being worst. I changed my diet to low GI and restricted my refined sugar intake, I exercised (joined a running club) and lost 2 stone. The symptoms were bearable so I continued with the metformin.

    4 years later, while at work stumbled across a SR version of metformin in the BNF. My GP was very understanding and prescribed it. I took 1500mg (3 tablets) first thing in the morning. I took the SR Metformin for another 18 months and lost almost another 2 stone which made me a little underweight and anaemic (B12 deficient). I went back to the GP feeling rather weak, tired etc. and she checked bloods etc. My hormone profile was back to normal and my ovaries had no cysts when scanned so I decided to stop taking the metformin. I was PCOS-free and pregnant roughly 2 years after stopping the metformin (I am still now PCOS-free).

    When I was initially diagnosed I was most concerned with the getting pregnant issues associated with PCOS (although I was not thinking of having a baby at the time). I was pregnant after 2 weeks of trying with our first son (now 2yrs 9mnths) and within 2 months of trying with our second (now 6mnths).

    I hope my story offers some words of encouragement. Just hang in there with the metformin and try and keep your diet and activity levels as clean and healthy as you can and try and keep as stress-free as possible as that can aggravate an already sensitive tummy.

    Good luck

  • Thanks for the replies ladies, after much soul searching I have shelved the metformin and have started taking Agnus Castus (apparently really good for kick starting ovulation and regulating hormones) and have started eating a low Glycemic Index diet and am using conceive plus when DTD so am hoping all these things together will end in success and that I can avoid the metformin completely. So far I think the new plan is working positively, have been spotting yesterday CD30 and today CD 31, obviously hoping this could be implantation bleeding but even if it isn't and AF gets me by next weekend then it counts as a success as my cycle will be the shortest it's been in a long long time so fingers crossed I'm also ovulating. Feel like after a long 2 years might be starting to make progress and with any luck will be pregnant before my fertility referral image
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