Peer Reviewed
Women's health

Polycystic ovary syndrome: what do the new guidelines recommend?

Anju E Joham, Helena J Teede, Robert J Norman
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a prevalent, chronic, heterogeneous condition with reproductive, metabolic and psychological features. Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and preventing future complications with a strong emphasis on lifestyle intervention, augmented with targeted medical therapy. New national evidence-based guidelines are now available to help clinicians assess and manage women with PCOS.
Key Points

    Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 12 to 21% of women of a reproductive age in Australia, depending on the diagnostic criteria and population studied. Healthcare costs related to PCOS are estimated at $400 million per year in Australia. An estimated 70% of Australian women with PCOS remain undiagnosed, and clinical practice, including diagnosis and management, is often inconsistent. Most clinical services are unable to optimally address lifestyle issues, psychological issues and prevention of complications associated with PCOS4 and often focus on infertility and expensive assisted reproductive technologies. GPs consistently highlight PCOS as an area of educational need. Given the prevalence, disease burden, healthcare costs and clear gaps in care, translation of evidence into clinical practice is vital for the most appropriate assessment and management of women with PCOS.

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