Panel to discuss misunderstood condition PCOS ahead of International Women’s Day

A public event will bring together women with the condition, clinicians, researchers and support services

Event Date & Time

7th March 2024, Thursday – 6PM – 8:30PM


Lindsay Stewart Lecture Theatre, Edinburgh Napier University Craiglockhart Campus, 219 Colinton Road, Edinburgh, EH14 1DJ

About this event

Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) is teaming up with charity PCOS Relief to share experiences and dispel myths around a common but often misunderstood hormonal condition affecting hundreds of thousands of women across the UK.

Around 10% of women are estimated to be living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), and it can cause symptoms such as irregular periods, weight gain and difficulties in getting pregnant. Despite this, awareness of it is extremely limited.

ENU’s Centre for Biomedicine and Global Health and PCOS Relief will host a public event with an expert panel on the eve of International Women’s Day.

Bringing together women with the condition, clinicians, researchers and support services, it will aim to discuss Polycystic Ovary Syndrome from the perspective of those diagnosed with it, and from the medical community.

The event will also highlight support that is currently available to those diagnosed with PCOS and consider new emerging research around it.

Mick Rae, Professor of Reproductive Biology at Edinburgh Napier, and event co-organiser said: “The aim of this event is to ensure PCOS is better understood, and more effectively supported. 

“By teaming up with PCOS Relief, we hope to drive awareness, understanding and support for all dealing with the condition.”

Chand Kaur, Founder and Chief Executive of PCOS Relief, will be on the expert panel. She said: “We set up PCOS Relief to provide support to women diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, while advancing education, equality, and dedicated support services.

“This is the first event of its kind that we have ever put on, so have high hopes that it will help us achieve those aims.”

Professor Colin Duncan, Consultant in Reproductive Medicine in Edinburgh and expert panel member, who will address clinical and diagnostic aspects of the condition, said: “Polycystic ovary syndrome is a very common condition that isn’t talked about enough.

“There are a lot of myths about PCOS and educational events such as this can highlight what we know already about this condition, and what we need to focus on in the future”.

Dr Kasia Siemienowicz, Lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University, will also appear on the expert panel to discuss new PCOS findings emerging from Edinburgh-based research. She said: “In addition to the more widely known impacts upon fertility, those with PCOS are at increased risk of developing metabolic dysfunctions and obesity.

“These issues can pose significant health, well-being, and economic burdens. Therefore it is critical to better understand PCOS, and ultimately, to advance future treatments.”

Professor Peter Barlow, Director of Edinburgh Napier University’s Centre for Biomedicine and Global Health said: “Public-facing events like this, where individuals can share their experience of PCOS with researchers, clinicians, and the wider public, can encourage more holistic approaches to PCOS care and research.

“As a multi-disciplinary group of scientists focused upon understanding origins and causes of disease, we are absolutely delighted to work with the charity PCOS Relief to support this effort.”

Professor Anna Glasier OBE, Women’s Health Champion for Scotland said: “PCOS affects women throughout the life course with symptoms often starting in the teenage years. PCOS does not go away.

“Although the menstrual symptoms disappear with the menopause, postmenopausal women who have PCOS are at increased risk of metabolic syndrome and heart disease.

“The Women’s Health platform on NHS Inform now provides a lot of information on PCOS including a short, helpful video explaining what it is and what treatments may be useful.

“This platform, together with meetings like this one will help women and healthcare providers have a greater understanding of PCOS.”