• PCOS Vitality (c)

New Zealand has approved paid bereavement leave after miscarriage. The bill makes clear that the unplanned end of a pregnancy by miscarriage or stillbirth constitutes leave for the mother and her partner or spouse and should be for up to 3 days.

Miscarriage affects approximately 10-15% of women. Yet, despite being common it is still a taboo linked to stigma and shame and unfortunately many women still do not receive appropriate and respectful care when it occurs which makes it all the more important that it is talked about.

This bill will hopefully in part lead to more open conversations around miscarriage & still birth both in the workplace & society. It will also bring about fairness in worker's rights as some employers have been more inclined to ask staff to use sick leave in the past for miscarriage. There is no doubt miscarriage and stillbirth has a profound effect on people and this is one small step in the right direction.

You can read details of the bill here

If you need help or support you can contact the Miscarriage Association

(c) PCOS Vitality 2021

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Results presented at the Endo annual meeting this week, suggested there is evidence for a genetically male counterpart for PCOS which excludes the ovary as the point of origin. The pathogenesis is thought to increase risk for excess weight, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The discovery came about by using the 2018 GWAS study to create a polygenic risk score for PCOS in women and then one for 176,360 men who shared data with the UK Biobank, a large-scale biomedical database and research resource[1].

The polygenic risk score assessed associations with obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus and male-patterned baldness. Findings showed an increase of 0.2kg/m2 in BMI for every standard deviation increase in polygenic risk score. Similarly, as the risk score increased so too did risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. BMI did not completely account for diabetes but did appear to mediate the relationship between cholesterol and coronary artery disease. In addition, androgens increased and levels of sex hormone-binding globulin in men decreased too. [1]

Historically, there has been a lack of consensus regarding the exact diagnostic criteria for PCOS. Back in 2007, researchers first hypothesised that PCOS could also affect men because they thought that PCOS did not begin in the ovary. Add to that the fact that the name is a misnomer and that you can have PCOS without ovarian cysts (which are in fact immature follicles), this hypothesis is not unexpected. Immature follicles on the ovaries are a downstream manifestation of the gonadotrophin/androgen and/or insulin pathway. Other factors that led them to this hypothesis included the fact that we know there is a genetic susceptibility to PCOS and that male relatives may suffer from some PCOS symptoms like Insulin Resistance, Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Cardiovascular disease. [2]

Male relatives of women with PCOS who have hormonal and metabolic disturbances have also been found to have a higher prevalence of Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) starting before the age of 35. In addition, large cohort studies have shown a higher rate of type 2 diabetes and CVD in men with AGA. [3]

A systematic review of cardiometabolic health in offspring of women with PCOS (OPCOS) aged 1 to 18 years found subtle signs of altered cardiometabolic health in OPCOS in both sexes. Although predominantly in females, combined with this new discovery, more studies are needed to examine the influence of a PCOS diagnosis on fetal development, childhood and beyond.[4]

This latest study has important implications for PCOS. Firstly, it may be time for us to revisit the name of the condition. Secondly, it is important to adopt a life-course approach to PCOS taking advantage of opportunities to prevent long term sequelae. Thirdly, we need a shift in focus from interventions which focus solely on effects of maternal health to consider paternal health on the health of PCOS offspring. Finally, the findings fortify the need to acknowledge that Hirsutism or Alopecia are far from being mere cosmetic problems but conditions that should be effectively assessed and treated.

© PCOS Vitality 2021


[1] Genetic evidence suggests men can develop PCOS-like condition | Endocrine Society, (n.d.). (accessed March 23, 2021).

[2] R. Kurzrock, P.R. Cohen, Polycystic ovary syndrome in men: Stein-Leventhal syndrome revisited, Med. Hypotheses. 68 (2007) 480–483.

[3] R. Cannarella, R.A. Condorelli, L.M. Mongioì, S. La Vignera, A.E. Calogero, Does a male polycystic ovarian syndrome equivalent exist?, J. Endocrinol. Invest. 41 (2018) 49–57.

[4] M.N. Gunning, T. Sir Petermann, N. Crisosto, B.B. van Rijn, M.A. de Wilde, J.P. Christ, C.S.P.M. Uiterwaal, W. de Jager, M.J.C. Eijkemans, A.R. Kunselman, R.S. Legro, B.C.J.M. Fauser, Cardiometabolic health in offspring of women with PCOS compared to healthy controls: a systematic review and individual participant data meta-analysis, Hum. Reprod. Update. 26 (2020) 104–118.

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It's frustrating when the Doctor asks someone if they are dry "down below"? Like, seriously we are adults. You can say the word vagina. Impaired sexual health is often associated with the presence of vaginal symptoms so it is important that women feel comfortable discussing these symptoms and more importantly possible solutions with their healthcare providers.

Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause or GSM, the new term for Vulval Vaginal Atrophy, can include vulval-vaginal symptoms (dryness, burning, itching, irritation, bleeding), painful intercourse, sexual dysfunction and urinary symptoms such as dysuria, frequency, urgency, recurrent urinary tract infections [1].

For healthcare professionals a new guidance document has been produced by the British Society for Sexual Medicine with Dr Louise Newson AKA the “Menopause Doctor” which is aimed at facilitating diagnosis and management of this condition.

Details of this & other important resources for professionals can be found here [2]

This is hugely welcome as it is believed that most women do experience GSM yet only a small amount of people get help with treatments. We hope this leads to more open conversations between women and people with PCOS and/or Menopause and their healthcare providers. Addressing the symptoms of GSM could have a very positive impact on quality of life and also physical, mental and sexual health not just at midlife and beyond.


[1] R.E. Nappi, E. Martini, L. Cucinella, S. Martella, L. Tiranini, A. Inzoli, E. Brambilla, D. Bosoni, C. Cassani, B. Gardella, Addressing Vulvovaginal Atrophy (VVA)/Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM) for Healthy Aging in Women, Front. Endocrinol. (Lausanne). 10 (2019) 561.

[2] Position Statement for Management of Genitourinary Syndrome of the Menopause (GSM), n.d.

© PCOS Vitality 2021

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