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Clinical trial for women trying to conceive seeks participants across Scotland

Clinical trial for women trying to conceive seeks participants across Scotland

26th May 2023

Women from across Scotland are being invited to take part in an NHS clinical trial investigating the effectiveness of fertility treatments in those with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

The LOCI trial is looking for women with PCOS who are trying to conceive and are seeking treatment from a fertility clinic, to come forward with the aim of helping to increase the chances of becoming pregnant both for themselves and others with this condition.

This important study is investigating the effectiveness of drugs – Letrozole and Clomifene with or without Metformin – on fertility, pregnancy, and successful live births. The different treatments will aim to induce or ‘switch on’ ovulation – which is often disrupted in women affected by PCOS – and increase the chances of becoming pregnant.

Women taking part in LOCI will help clinicians and researchers to investigate the effectiveness of these drugs as they do not yet know which should be the first-line medication.

The study is taking place across Scotland in the following locations:

  • Aberdeen Fertility Centre
  • Royal Infirmary Edinburgh
  • University Hospital Crosshouse, Kilmarnock
  • Glasgow Royal Infirmary
  • Ninewells Hospital, Dundee
  • Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Larbert

Volunteering participants will take part in up to six treatment cycles of Letrozole or Clomifene, with or without the drug Metformin.

These drugs are already used and considered safe, but the results of LOCI will provide important insights into the benefit of the individual drugs and in combination – something which is still unknown.

Professor Abha Maheshwari, NHS Research Scotland Clinical Lead for Reproductive Health and Childbirth said: “By taking part in this randomised trial, you will be helping our research team to progress understanding of PCOS while giving women who have the condition a better chance of getting pregnant and giving birth in future.

“During your involvement, you will be monitored by your clinical team and treated with respect and dignity throughout. Your data will also be kept confidential at all times, and you are free to leave the study at any time.

“Furthermore, as an inclusive study, we welcome the participation of women of any ethnicity or background. If language or access barriers are an issue for you, please let us know as we would like to facilitate your taking part wherever possible. We can, for instance, provide an interpreter to aid you.”

In order to take part, participants must be aged between 18 and 42, have a formal diagnosis of PCOS, and be under the care of a fertility team. This is to ensure that the correct group of women are applying and that the right clinical care is in place.

More information on the LOCI trial can be found on the University of Birmingham's website. To discuss the trial and the possibility of a referral, please speak with your GP.

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