ISSN 1849-9031 (Online)

ISSN 1849-8922    (Print)

Polycystic ovarian syndrome and low milk  supply: Is insulin resistance the missing link?Lora Stanka Kirigin Biloš.


Despite the known maternal and infant benefits of breastfeeding, only about two-fifths of infants are exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life, with low milk supply among the most commonly cited reasons for breastfeeding cessation. Although anecdotal reports from lactation consultants indicate that polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) interferes with lactation, very few studies have examined this relationship, and the association between PCOS and lactation dysfunction remains poorly understood. Moreover, studies have reported conflicting results when examining breastfeeding success in women with PCOS, and divergence of the PCOS phenotype may be responsible for the heterogeneous results to date. Specifically, insulin resistance may have an aggravating or even essential role in the pathogenesis of low milk supply. Recently, protein tyrosine phosphatase, receptor type, F has been identified as a potential biomarker linking insulin resistance with insufficient milk supply. Accordingly, interventions targeting insulin action have been recognized as potentially promising strategies toward the treatment of lactation dysfunction. This review will highlight studies linking PCOS with low milk supply and explore potential mechanisms that contribute to lactation dysfunction in these women.