Lean PCOS: Can women with less weight suffer from PCOS?

Team BoonIVF
Team BoonIVF

Fertility Center

Lean PCOS, also known as non-obese or phenotypic PCOS, refers to a subtype of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) where affected individuals do not exhibit typical obesity or overweight characteristics commonly associated with PCOS. This subset of PCOS presents unique challenges and characteristics, and understanding its underlying causes requires a multifaceted approach. Boon IVF is one of the best fertility centers in Hyderabad who have fertility experts treating lean PCOS effectively with Holistic fertility treatment approach.

PCOS is prevalant in Different Countries

CountryPrevalence of Lean PCOS (%)
United States10-15%

Lean PCOS contributes to 30% of PCOS cases according to several studies. Hence lean PCOS is also becoming prevalant across the world.

Factors Contributing to Lean PCOS:

  1. Hormonal Imbalance:
    • Elevated androgen (male hormone) levels and insulin resistance are common harmonal imbalances for women suffering with Lean PCOS.
    • Evidence: Studies like those by Rotterdam Criteria (2004) and Azziz et al. (2004) demonstrate that hormonal disturbances are key features of PCOS irrespective of body weight.
  2. Genetic Predisposition:
    • Genetic factors play a significant role in the development of PCOS, including lean PCOS.
    • Certain genetic variations may predispose individuals to PCOS regardless of body weight.
    • Evidence: Family studies and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) provide evidence for genetic susceptibility to PCOS.
  3. Insulin Resistance:
    • Even in lean individuals, insulin resistance can be a contributing factor to PCOS.
    • Insulin resistance leads to compensatory hyperinsulinemia, which can stimulate androgen production by the ovaries.
    • Evidence: Studies like that by Ehrmann et al. (1999) highlight the association between insulin resistance and PCOS irrespective of BMI.
  4. Lifestyle Factors:
    • Lean PCOS may also be influenced by lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity.
    • Dietary choices, particularly consumption of high glycemic index foods, can exacerbate insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances.
    • Evidence: Research studies by Moran et al. (2011) and others emphasize the impact of lifestyle interventions on lean PCOS management.


Lean PCOS represents 30% of PCOS cased in India characterized by hormonal imbalances, insulin resistance, and genetic predisposition, despite the absence of obesity. Understanding the mechanisms underlying lean PCOS is crucial for tailored management strategies and interventions. So we would encourage to meet best fertility doctor in Hyderabad- Dr.Sita Garimella to diagnose the problems and get personalized treatment for PCOS. Further research into genetic markers, hormonal profiles, and lifestyle influences specific to lean PCOS will enhance our understanding of this complex condition and improve clinical management strategies globally.

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