Obesity is a chronic disease affecting women at higher rates than men. In an obstetrics and gynecology setting, frequently encountered obesity-related complications are polycystic ovary syndrome, fertility and pregnancy complications, and increased risk of breast and gynecological cancers. Obstetrician-gynecologists (OBGYNs) are uniquely positioned to diagnose and treat obesity, given their role in women's primary health care and the increasing prevalence of obesity-related fertility and pregnancy complications. The metabolic processes of bodyweight regulation are complex, which makes weight-loss maintenance challenging, despite dietary modifications and exercise. Antiobesity medications (AOMs) can facilitate weight loss by targeting appetite regulation. There are four AOMs currently approved for long-term use in the United States, of which liraglutide 3.0 mg is among the most efficacious. Liraglutide 3.0 mg, a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1 RA), is superior to placebo in achieving weight loss and improving cardiometabolic profile, in both clinical trial and real-world settings. In addition, women with fertility complications receiving liraglutide 1.8-3.0 mg can benefit from improved ovarian function and fertility. Liraglutide 3.0 mg is generally well tolerated, but associated with transient gastrointestinal side effects, which can be mitigated. In this review, we present the risks of obesity and benefits of weight loss for women, and summarize clinical development of GLP-1 RAs for weight management. Finally, we provide practical advice and recommendations for OBGYNs to open the discussion about bodyweight with their patients, initiate lifestyle modification and GLP-1 RA treatment, and help them persist with these interventions to achieve optimal weight loss with associated health benefits.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Writing and editing support were funded by Novo Nordisk, Inc.
© Lisa Gill and Suzanne Mackey 2021; Published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2021.
- GLP-1 RA
- treatment adherence
- treatment initiation
- weight loss