Metformin, also known as Glucophage, is a medication that is used to regulate the levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Metformin accomplishes its task through three methods. First, it causes the liver to produce less glucose. Second, metformin helps your stomach to absorb less glucose from the food that you eat. Finally, metformin improves the efficiency of the insulin that the body produces, which reduces the amount of glucose that is in your blood. Metformin is often prescribed for people with Type II diabetes.
How long it takes Metformin to work depends on the reason that a woman is taking metformin. If a woman is taking metformin to regulate her blood sugar, metformin typically will work within a few days or a few weeks at the most.
For the woman with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) metformin can help to reduce the amount of insulin in the body. Once the insulin levels are under control, many women will then experience improved ovulation. If metformin is going to work for a woman who has experienced fertility problems because of her polycystic ovarian syndrome, it will typically help within three to six months. Unlike most fertility treatments, metformin does not cause a risk of having a multiple or twin pregnancy. If metformin alone does not help a woman with PCOS who is trying to conceive, a fertility doctor may prescribe Clomid, as well.
If metformin is prescribed for a woman with PCOS to help restore a regular, normal menstrual cycle, metformin can work within 4 to 8 weeks. In addition, the stabilized levels of insulin may affect the other hormones in a woman’s body, and reduce other symptoms of PCOS.
Some women, either with diabetes or PCOS, use metformin as a tool for weight loss. If this is the case, weight loss can occur somewhere between 1 and 5 weeks after beginning a regimen of metformin. Some studies suggest that metformin may also be useful in weight loss for women who are not diabetic or have PCOS, but more research is needed on this point.