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.  If you are interested in participating in an on-going study, please contact [email protected].

Participate in  Current Projects

PCOS Tissue Bank and Longitudinal Study

Who may participate?

  • Patients with a PCOS diagnosis
  • Age: >18 years old

Why is this study being done?

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.

Estimated Time Commitment: 1 blood draw visit

Remuneration: No monetary remuneration

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PCOS and EndoPAT (PEP) Study

Who may participate?

  • Patients with a PCOS diagnosis

Why is this study being done?

This study investigates the relationship between PCOS and possible risk factors with developing cardiovascular disease. This study visit involves a blood draw, an ultrasound, and a non-invasive tested called an EndoPAT that measures blood flow.

Estimated Time Commitment: One 1.5 hour visit

Remuneration: $50 total

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PCOS Exercise Study

 Who may participate?

  • Patients with a PCOS diagnosis
  • Age: 18-50 years old
  • BMI < 45kg/m2
  • Presence of insulin resistance

Why is this study being done?

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. 

Estimated Time Commitment: 9-12 weeks

Additional Locations: UCSF Exercise Physiology Core at the UCSF Parnassus Campus

Remuneration: No monetary remuneration

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Continuous vs. Cyclical OCP Use in PCOS (CCOUP) Study

Who may participate?

  • Patients with a PCOS diagnosis
  • Age: 14-40 years old
  • Hyperandrogenism
  • Not on any permanent hair loss treatment or anti-androgen therapy

Why is this study being done?

This clinical trial explores two different birth control treatments used in PCOS (one with sugar pills at the end of each month, the other with none) to determine if one is more likely to improve high testosterone levels and excess hair growth.

Estimated Time Commitment: 6 months and 3 total study visits

Remuneration: Up to $100 with completion of all study visits

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Paleo Diet Study

Who may participate?

  • Patient with a PCOS diagnosis
  • Age: 18-40 years old
  • No diabetes mellitus diagnosis

Why is this study being done?

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.

Estimated Time Commitment: 8.5 months

Additional Locations: Clinical Research Centers (CRC) at the UCSF Mount Zion or Parnassus campuses

Remuneration: $10 per blood draw, $70 total, & parking vouchers

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

Contact Us

Location:  All study visits will occur at the UCSF Center for Reproductive Health at 499 Illinois St., 6th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94158 unless otherwise specified.


Jamie Corley
Clinical Research Coordinator
[email protected]
(415) 502-2557

Nik Lenhart
Clinical Research Coordinator
[email protected]
(415) 502-2555

Support our Paleo Diet Study Help Fund the PALEO Study

Recent Publications

  1. Greenwood EA, Pasch LA, Cedars MI, Huddleston HG. Obesity and depression are risk factors for future eating disorder-related attitudes and behaviors in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertil Steril. 2020 May;113(5):1039-1049. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2020.01.016. PMID: 32386615.

  2. Schmidt TH, Okhovat JP, Khanijow K, Huddleston HCedars MPasch L, Wang ET, Lee J, Shinkai K. Rotterdam criteria-based diagnostic subtype is not a strong predictor of cutaneous phenotype in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome: A cross-sectional study. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 07; 77(1):174-176. PMID: 28619560.

  3. Reid SP, Kao CN, Pasch LShinkai KCedars MIHuddleston HG. Ovarian morphology is associated with insulin resistance in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a cross sectional study. Fertil Res Pract. 2017; 3:8. PMID: 28620546.

  4. Afifi L, Saeed L, Pasch LAHuddleston HGCedars MI, Zane LT, Shinkai K. Association of ethnicity, Fitzpatrick skin type, and hirsutism: A retrospective cross-sectional study of women with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Int J Womens Dermatol. 2017 Mar; 3(1):37-43. PMID: 28492053.

  5. Quinn MM, Kao CN, Ahmad A, Lenhart N, Shinkai KCedars MIHuddleston HG. Raising threshold for diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome excludes population of patients with metabolic risk. Fertil Steril. 2016 Oct; 106(5):1244-1251. PMID: 27445197.

  6. Pasch L, He SY, Huddleston HCedars MI, Beshay A, Zane LT, Shinkai K. Clinician vs Self-ratings of Hirsutism in Patients With Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: Associations With Quality of Life and Depression. JAMA Dermatol. 2016 Jul 01; 152(7):783-8. PMID: 26942548.

  7. Schmidt TH, Khanijow K, Cedars MIHuddleston HPasch L, Wang ET, Lee J, Zane LT, Shinkai K. Cutaneous Findings and Systemic Associations in Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. JAMA Dermatol. 2016 Apr; 152(4):391-8. PMID: 26720591.

  8. Greenwood EANoel MW, Kao CN, Shinkai KPasch LACedars MIHuddleston HG. Vigorous exercise is associated with superior metabolic profiles in polycystic ovary syndrome independent of total exercise expenditure. Fertil Steril. 2016 Feb; 105(2):486-93. PMID: 26551442.

  9. Greenwood EAPasch LAShinkai KCedars MIHuddleston HG. Putative role for insulin resistance in depression risk in polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertil Steril. 2015 Sep; 104(3):707-14.e1. PMID: 26054555.

  10. Kamangar F, Okhovat JP, Schmidt T, Beshay A, Pasch LCedars MIHuddleston HShinkai K. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Special Diagnostic and Therapeutic Considerations for Children. Pediatr Dermatol. 2015 Sep-Oct; 32(5):571-8. PMID: 25787290.

  11. Piltonen TT, Chen JC, Khatun M, Kangasniemi M, Liakka A, Spitzer T, Tran N, Huddleston H, Irwin JC, Giudice LC. Endometrial stromal fibroblasts from women with polycystic ovary syndrome have impaired progesterone-mediated decidualization, aberrant cytokine profiles and promote enhanced immune cell migration in vitro. Hum Reprod. 2015 May; 30(5):1203-15. PMID: 25750105; PMCID: PMC4400200.

  12. Quinn M, Shinkai KPasch L, Kuzmich L, Cedars MHuddleston H. Prevalence of androgenic alopecia in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome and characterization of associated clinical and biochemical features. Fertil Steril. 2014 Apr; 101(4):1129-34. PMID: 24534277.

  13. Huddleston HG. Biomarkers of ovarian reserve in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Semin Reprod Med. 2013 Nov; 31(6):452-61. PMID: 24101226.

  14. Piltonen TT, Chen J, Erikson DW, Spitzer TL, Barragan F, Rabban JT, Huddleston H, Irwin JC, Giudice LC. Mesenchymal stem/progenitors and other endometrial cell types from women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) display inflammatory and oncogenic potential. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Sep; 98(9):3765-75. PMID: 23824412; PMCID: PMC3763978.

  15. Wang ET, Kao CN, Shinkai KPasch LCedars MIHuddleston HG. Phenotypic comparison of Caucasian and Asian women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a cross-sectional study. Fertil Steril. 2013 Jul; 100(1):214-8. PMID: 23557763.

  16. Johnstone EB, Davis G, Zane LT, Cedars MIHuddleston HG. Age-related differences in the reproductive and metabolic implications of polycystic ovarian syndrome: findings in an obese, United States population. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2012 Oct; 28(10):819-22. PMID: 22475130.

  17. Lamb JD, Johnstone EB, Rousseau JA, Jones CL, Pasch LACedars MIHuddleston HG. Physical activity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: prevalence, predictors, and positive health associations. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Apr; 204(4):352.e1-6. PMID: 21288501.