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Anovulatory Androgen Excess AAE

Overview

AAE is a condition in women that usually develops in adolescence and is diagnosed in about five of every 100 women of any race and any country of origin. It is diagnosed by a combination of abnormal cycles (amenorrhea, oligomenorrhea or irregular cycles) and evidences that male-like hormones called androgens are either too high or too active causing hirsutism, acne and androgenetic alopecia (1). Traditionally this condition is called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome which focusses attention on ovarian cysts rather than on disturbed ovulation and too little progesterone production—the two fundamental problems.

CeMCOR's approach to AAE is innovative in three ways: 1) not relying on doing a pelvic or vaginal ultrasound and counting ovarian cysts to make a diagnosis (as in PCOS); 2) not giving women with AAE combined hormonal oral contraceptives (COC) which only produce regular but artificial "cycles" and minimal decreases in the androgen excess, but, 3) instead treating AAE with cyclic progesterone and also with a medication that blocks androgens (of course with a barrier plus vaginal spermicide for contraception). There are strong scientific reasons behind CeMCOR's approach to AAE; however, so far CeMCOR has either not been able to get funding for, not done the research or has not yet published the results. We persist because these approaches are acceptable by women, lead to basic improvements or even reversal of problems with abnormal cycles, facial hair and acne, infertility and can help prevent the problems of insulin resistance and obesity that are also frequently associated with AAE.

Reference List

(1) Azziz R, Carmina E, Dewailly D, Diamanti-Kandarakis E, Escobar-Morreale HF, Futterweit W, et al. The Androgen Excess and PCOS Society criteria for the polycystic ovary syndrome: the complete task force report. Fertil Steril 2009 Feb;91(2):456-88.

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Hot and Bothered? Perimenopausal Women Needed for Hot Flush Study

CeMCOR is now recruiting Canadian women for this CIHR-funded randomized controlled trial to test whether oral micronized progesterone is more effective than placebo as therapy for hot flushes and night sweats in perimenopausal women.

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