Research callout: Improving ovulation and chances of pregnancy in those with PCOS


Researchers at Queen Mary University of London are looking for feedback on their research proposal. Read on below to find out more about their proposal and how to take part.


Management of anovulation (no regular release of egg during monthly menstrual cycles) and subfertility in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) to improve chances of pregnancy

One out of every 10 women is diagnosed with PCOS. This is a condition characterised by irregular and or infrequent menstrual cycles, signs of excess androgens such as acne or excessive hair growth, and a cystic appearance of ovaries on ultrasound scan. A proportion of these women struggle to conceive due to irregular or absence of ovulation (anovulation).

Currently, weight loss is recommended as a first-line treatment option to improve menstrual regularity and achieve pregnancy. However, it is not supported with strong evidence and is also known to be associated with challenges with achieving and maintenance of the target weight.

The medicines for ovulation induction include clomiphene citrate (Clomid), letrozole or combination of them with metformin. If Clomid/letrozole tablet is given, ultrasound monitoring is necessary, and it is not advisable to continue the treatment for longer than 6 months (maybe considered up to 12 months).  Metformin is also associated with significant gastrointestinal side effects.

Myo-inositol is a nutritional supplement and studies have shown that in women with anovulatory PCOS, treatment with inositol increases frequency of menstrual cycles and doubles the ovulation rate. Therefore, there is a potential to use Myo-inositol as a first-line treatment option for ovulation induction.

We are planning a research trial looking at Myo-inositol taken on its own and taken with Letrozole/Clomid as a fertility treatment option for women with PCOS, struggling to conceive. We would like your views on this subject, which will help us to develop the trial design of the study.

If you would like to take part you can access the survey on the following link 

Before taking part please read the Queen Mary University of London patient participation sheet