UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Cyclic Progesterone Therapy in Androgenic Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)—A 6-Month Pilot Study of a Single Woman’s Experience Changes Shirin, Sonia; Murray, Faye; Goshtasebi, Azita; Kalidasan, Dharani; Prior, Jerilynn C., 1943-


Background and Objectives: Women with androgenic Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) have increased endometrial cancer risk that cyclic progesterone will prevent; it may also reverse PCOS’s neuroendocrine origins. This pilot study’s purpose was to document 6-month experience changes in a woman with PCOS taking cyclic progesterone therapy because she was intolerant of combined hormonal contraceptive therapy, the current PCOS standard of care. A 31-year-old normal-weight woman with PCOS had heavy flow, irregular cycles, and was combined hormonal contraceptives-intolerant. She was prescribed cyclic oral micronized progesterone (OMP) (300 mg/h.s. cycle days 14–27). She kept Menstrual Cycle Diary© (Diary) records, starting with the 1st treatment cycle for six cycles; she was on no other therapy. Statistical analysis a priori hypothesized progesterone decreases high estradiol (E2) experiences (flow, cervical mucus, fluid retention, front-of-the-breast tenderness and anxiety); analysis focused on these. Our objectives: (1) changes from cycles 1 to 6 in E2-related experiences; and (2) follicular phase E2-related changes from cycle 1 (no therapy) to cycles 3 and 6. Materials and Methods: Data from consecutive Diaries were entered into an SPSS database and analyzed by Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test (Objective #1) within-person whole cycle ordinal data, and (Objective #2 follicular phase) repeated measures ANOVA. Results: Cyclic OMP was associated with regular, shorter cycles (±SD) (28.2 ± 0.8 days). Comparison of cycles 1–6 showed decreased fluid retention (p = 0.001), breast tenderness (p = 0.002), and cervical mucus (p = 0.048); there were no changes in flow or anxiety. Fluid retention in the follicular phase also significantly decreased over time (F (1.2, 14.7) = 6.7, p = 0.017). Conclusions: Pilot daily Diary data suggest women with PCOS have improved everyday experiences on cyclic progesterone therapy. Larger prospective studies with more objective outcomes and randomized controlled trials of this innovative PCOS therapy are needed.

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