It’s 2024. We still don’t know what causes PCOS. We don’t know how to cure it. And we have a limited understanding how to treat it properly.

PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

It’s a syndrome because we don’t really understand it. It’s a syndrome because in medicine ‘syndrome’ refers to a group or collection of symptoms and signs that consistently occur together, even if the exact cause of these symptoms is not known.

I am one of the millions of women living with PCOS.

And just last week I stood in my bathroom with a handful of hair after a shower, and had to hold back the tears. Hair loss is one of the many symptoms besides irregular menstrual cycles, acne, weight gain, in- or subfertility, and polycystic ovaries detected via ultrasound to name only a few.

Life with PCOS definitely comes with its challenges. This week, however, as a PCOS patient AND as a believer in the power of research and innovation to lead to better health outcomes, I feel a bit more hopeful as I’ve come across three stories of people and companies researching and working on potential treatments for various PCOS symptoms.

GLP-1 Drugs

Research is currently being conducted on GLP-1 drugs, known for their weight loss benefits, to explore their potential in alleviating PCOS symptoms. Dr. Melanie Cree, a pediatric endocrinologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado, conducted a randomized trial to test semaglutide, the active ingredient in drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic, in women and adolescents with PCOS. The trial aimed to investigate the relationship between weight loss, metabolic changes, and reproductive function in PCOS patients. Results from the initial trial were promising enough to initiate a larger study, which seeks to recruit 80 participants to further assess these variables. This research is examining whether the improvements in symptoms are due to weight loss alone or specific effects of GLP-1 drugs on hormonal disorders.

More on BiopharmaDive


An article written by Dr. Elisabet Stener-Victorin and published in SCIENCE indicates that artemisinin, a drug used to treat malaria, might benefit women with PCOS. In animal studies, artemisinin was shown to bind to a peptidase called LONP1, leading to a series of events that reduce androgen production in the ovaries. A small pilot trial demonstrated that patients treated with artemisinin showed improvements in hypoandrogenemia and ovarian morphology, as well as normalization of menstruation. While these findings are preliminary, they suggest a potential new approach to managing PCOS symptoms by targeting androgen production.

More on Science News


We covered OXOLIFE earlier this week on Femtech Insider to share their work, and research success in the ART space. Besides their work on improved IVF outcomes, OXOLIFE is also developing OXO-001 as a potential treatment for infertility associated with PCOS. Preclinical studies have indicated that OXO-001 can restore ovulation and fertility in animal models with PCOS characteristics.


The Evolving PCOS Treatment Landscape

Today as I look towards the future, I see a landscape of PCOS treatment that is gradually evolving. Yes, living with PCOS is undeniably challenging, but these developments highlight the dedication of the scientific community in seeking better solutions. Each study, each trial, represents a step forward in the quest to improve the quality of life for those affected by PCOS.

Besides the research, the number of companies active in the PCOS space is also growing: May Health, Looop by Neuraura, Aspect Health, Allara are a few that come to mind, and I’m excited to watch them progress.

In the meantime, however, the journey continues – for me and millions of other women living with PCOS. My hope is that through ongoing research and innovation, we will one day unlock the mysteries of PCOS and provide effective treatments for all who live with this condition.

Until then, we hold onto the progress being made and look forward to the – hopefully many – breakthroughs yet to come.

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