The search for a treatment for PCOS

The search for a treatment for PCOS

190307-AcuPCOS image-three women brunette smilingAs some of you might know, as well as being a GP, I am a postdoctoral researcher trying desperately to balance work and life, and learn a little bit about this thing called “resilience”.

For the past two years I have been researching Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is incredibly common – around 1 in 10 women in Australia will have symptoms of it, and those symptoms range from difficulty falling pregnant and irregular periods, to hairiness where you don’t want hair to grow, and even anxiety and depression symptoms. As the women in one of my studies said, the “whole package deal” of PCOS is pretty confronting. But the thing that concerns a lot of women is the weight gain that can be more stubborn with PCOS.

I’ve been looking for a non-pharmacological treatment that may be able to help with some of the symptoms of PCOS, and naturally acupuncture comes to mind because it’s a treatment I’m familiar with (being a trained Chinese medicine acupuncturist as well as Western doctor) and it’s also a relatively safe treatment.

Some preliminary studies suggest that acupuncture may be helpful for weight loss, in conjunction with lifestyle changes, and so I went about looking for funding for a trial on acupuncture for weight loss in women with PCOS.

In a serendipitous turn of events, my encounter with Bearded Man, which I describe in my post Why I’m Done With Impostor Syndrome, led to a little pot of funding for my clinical trial.

I really really enjoy clinical trial research, because I get to talk to so many people about what it’s like to live with what they live with. I talked to hundreds of women about their hot flushes. Now I talk to dozens of women about PCOS. But I need more women.

This is therefore a shameless plug for my clinical trial, my pride and joy, on acupuncture for weight loss in PCOS. We have an amazing team of some of the best researchers in the world in PCOS behind us, and my research assistant Adele is also pretty fantastic herself.

This is for women in Sydney aged 18-45 who are not on the pill, Mirena/other hormonal treatments or Metformin, and who aren’t planning on getting pregnant in the next 3 months.

We desperately need to find more options for women with PCOS so they can lead healthy, happy lives. Please consider sharing with anyone you know who may be interested and who lives in Sydney. They can sign up for our trial here or email me at

Thanks for helping me find a way to help one in ten women. 





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