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PCOS Research

UCSF PCOS Multidisciplinary Clinic and Research Center

The UCSF we offer both individual treatments for PCOS as well as a Multidisciplinary PCOS Clinic. The clinic offers an integrated approach to treating polycystic ovary syndrome. Patients see an entire team of specialists in reproductive endocrinology/infertility, dermatology, nutrition, psychology and genetics. We work together with each patient to create an individualized treatment plan that will work for her. Patients are also welcome to participate in our PCOS research program.  We are actively involved in investigating many aspects of PCOS as well as potential treatments for this disorder. 

UCSF and You

The UCSF Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Multidisciplinary Clinic and Research Center leads its field in research, training, and patient care thanks to our generous patients and friends, like you.

Your goals are our goals. Together, we are making great strides in optimizing health and quality of life in PCOS. We invite you to join us in our continued journey toward discoveries that provide hope and health to thousands of patients with PCOS and their families.

Comprehensive, Patient-Centered Care

We are the UCSF PCOS Multidisciplinary Clinic and Research Center. We take a unique, integrated approach to helping our patients understand and manage PCOS. 

Our team includes experts in reproductive endocrinology, dermatology, nutrition, psychology, and genetics – all available for our patients during our consolidated clinic visits.

The PCOS Community

PCOS affects almost 1 in 10 women and is the most common endocrine disorder among women of reproductive age. Symptoms may include irregular periods, excess body or facial hair, acne, and difficulty maintaining a healthy weight. PCOS also may be associated with depression, difficulty getting pregnant, predisposition to type 2 diabetes, and other long-term health problems. 

We are here to help. We strive to provide the best information about diagnosis and management strategies tailored to your specific situation.

Commitment to Research

With the generous help of more than 800 women who have enrolled in the UCSF PCOS research cohort, we are only just beginning to understand this disorder. Your generosity enables us to make crucial discoveries that help women with PCOS. Examples of our recent contributions to the field include high-impact research into:

  • The relationship between genetic and environmental factors that help explain and diagnose PCOS.
  • Changes in PCOS across life stages and with aging.
  • Depression in PCOS and relationships with insulin resistance, obesity, and hormones.
  • The role of eating disorders in PCOS.
  • The best types of exercise to help manage symptoms of PCOS.

Opportunities for Partnership

Your investment in our commitment to research and clinical care makes the success of UCSF’s PCOS Clinic possible. Gifts from patients and friends have an immediate impact in the following areas:

  • Research: Investigating the impact of lifestyle and various treatments on management of PCOS
  • Leadership: Attracting exceptional faculty members to join our multidisciplinary team
  • Education: Training doctors who will carry on UCSF’s commitment to advance the standard of care for PCOS patients
Status: Active, Enrolling

CCOUP Study | Continuous versus Cyclical OCP Use in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

The purpose of this study is to determine whether the varying lengths of oral contraceptive pills (OCP) have a different effect on lowering testosterone levels in the body, reducing clinical signs of hyperandrogenism, and altering mood symptoms and overall quality of life. Participants are randomized to receive either the traditional cyclical OCP therapy or continuous OCP therapy for 6 months.

You may be eligible if you are: female (or assigned female at birth), aged 15-40, diagnosed with PCOS, and have evidence of either biochemical or clinical evidence of high androgens

Headshot of Heather Huddleston, MD - Principal Investigator
Heather Huddleston, MD
Principal Investigator
Headshot of Jerrine R. Morris - REI Fellow
Jerrine R. Morris
REI Fellow

Headshot of Jamie Corley - Research Coordinator
Jamie Corley
Research Coordinator

For more information or additional PCOS related studies, please visit our PCOS clinic website.

Status: Active, Enrolling

Insulin Resistance and Cognitive Function in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Using the Brain Baseline Assessment of Cognition and Everyday Functioning (BRACE)

The purpose of the PCOG BRACE study is to understand if PCOS is associated with alterations in cognitive function. The study also aims to investigate if cognitive functioning is related to insulin resistance in PCOS. Participation will involve one visit, and the participant will complete an online cognitive test on an iPad in a private room. These tests will include instruments designed to assess reasoning, memory, attention, and the use of language, and the interview will take approximately 1 hour.

Headshot of Heather Huddleston, MD - Study Investigator
Heather Huddleston, MD
Study Investigator
Headshot of Jamie Corley - Clinical Research Coordinator
Jamie Corley
Clinical Research Coordinator
Status: Active, Enrolling

Paleo Diet Study | Paleo Versus Healthy ADA Diets for Treatment of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

This study is evaluating the effects of specific diets on the regulation of menstrual cycles in PCOS patients to help improve fertility treatments for women with PCOS. Participants will follow a paleolithic-type diet or a health ADA-recommended diet to see if either one can help regulate menstrual cycles. Participation will be supported by visits with a diet coach, social media activity, and teleconferences with investigators.

Additional information about the PCOS Paleo Diet study can be found at the following websites:

You may be eligible if you are: female (or assigned female at birth), aged 18-40, and diagnosed with PCOS

Headshot of Heather Huddleston, MD - Principal Investigator
Heather Huddleston, MD
Principal Investigator
Headshot of Nikolaus Lenhart - Research Coordinator
Nikolaus Lenhart
Research Coordinator
Headshot of Jamie Corley - Research Coordinator
Jamie Corley
Research Coordinator

For more information or additional PCOS related studies, please visit our PCOS clinic website.

Status: Active, Enrolling

PCOS and Cardiovascular Health (PEP) Study

In this study, the researchers are trying to learn more about how PCOS affects endothelial function(the cells that line blood vessels),which in turn may improve our understanding of PCOS related risk factors and how they are possibly associated with cardiovascular disease. Similar to the OVA study explained on the research website, we hope to gain a better understanding of cardiovascular health and other outcomes through a study visit and questionnaires. 

Headshot of Heather Huddleston, MD - Principal Investigator
Heather Huddleston, MD
Principal Investigator
Headshot of Marcelle Cedars, MD - Principal Investigator
Marcelle Cedars, MD
Principal Investigator
Headshot of Dr. Ange Wang - REI Fellow
Dr. Ange Wang
REI Fellow
Headshot of Jamie Corley - Research Coordinator
Jamie Corley
Research Coordinator

Status: Active, Enrolling

PCOS Exercise Study | Effects of Exercise on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

This study is determining which type of exercise, vigorous for a short duration or moderate for a longer duration, will help patients with PCOS most in improving insulin resistance, BMI, metabolic profiling, and mood symptoms. Participants will be assigned to one of the two exercise regimens, meet with an exercise physiologist for a one-hour training session, and be provided with a FITBIT Fitness Tracker for the duration of the study.

You may be eligible if you are: female (or assigned female at birth), aged 18-50, diagnosed with PCOS and presence of insulin resistance

Headshot of Martha Noel, MD - Principal Investigator
Martha Noel, MD
Principal Investigator
Headshot of Jamie Corley - Research Coordinator
Jamie Corley
Research Coordinator

For more information or additional PCOS related studies, please visit our PCOS clinic website.

Status: Active, Enrolling

PCOS Tissue Bank & Longitudinal Study

The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between genetic and environmental factors that may explain PCOS. We will use information collected during visits to our PCOS clinic and the family history of PCOS patients to learn about the causes and effects of PCOS.

You may be eligible if you are: female (or assigned female at birth), aged 18 years or older, and diagnosed with PCOS

Headshot of Heather Huddleston, MD - Principal Investigator
Heather Huddleston, MD
Principal Investigator
Headshot of Jamie Corley - Research Coordinator
Jamie Corley
Research Coordinator

For more information or additional PCOS related studies, please visit our PCOS clinic website.