The CeMCOR (Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research) survey aims to gather much needed information to improve the lives of women living with PCOS (www.cemcor.ubc.ca).
Progesterone Can Potentially Reverse PCOS Symptoms
As Dr. Prior, the founder of CeMCOR wrote for a leading menstrual cycle app, Clue, in 2018, https://hellocluecom/articles/cycle-a-z/the-case-for-a-new-pcos-therapy; hundreds of women around the world have since written asking for more information. CeMCOR, that calls PCOS “Anovulatory Androgen Excess,” says scientific evidence now supports the idea that the central problem in PCOS can be reversed by progesterone treatment.
Through her work with PCOS patients, Dr. Jerilynn Prior learned that progesterone, given for two weeks a month, would not only cause regular flow but also make women feel better https://doi.org/10.1210/jendso/bvaa046.2332. A recent CeMCOR review of the literature also says that progesterone therapy for PCOS can lower the hormones (i.e. luteinizing hormone and testosterone) that are too high in PCOS, cause regular cycles, and help with infertility https://doi.org/10.1210/jendso/bvaa046.2339. In her practice, Dr. Prior noted that, with the administration of progesterone, eventually, women’s acne and facial hair improve, they start to ovulate and make progesterone on their own, and, in the end, can stop all therapy and successfully get pregnant without further interventions.
Current Treatments Don’t Work for All
PCOS is commonly only treated with birth control pills (The Pill) that not all women can tolerate. The Pill only “works” while it is being taken, and it doesn’t help with weight issues, mood symptoms or fertility problems. Women who want to bear a child are usually prescribed medications that can cause many symptoms, that are hard to live with, or to go through expensive and difficult assisted reproduction.
The CeMCOR PCOS Survey
This survey is asking women to rank their biggest challenges in living with PCOS, to provide feedback on their experiences with birth control pills and to indicate whether they would be willing to try progesterone treatment. It will help us learn how best to design an upcoming trial to test progesterone’s effectiveness.
Dr. Sonia Shirin, gynecologist working with CeMCOR, says “Cyclic Progesterone Therapy for PCOS holds great promise,” but must be scientifically tested before it can be compared with The Pill in a randomized controlled trial.
The survey can be accessed here.