Feature Article

Polycystic ovary syndrome: towards personalised care for women in general practice

Chau Thien Tay, Anju E. Joham, Helena J. Teede

Figures

© MICHELE GRAHAM
© MICHELE GRAHAM

Abstract

Many women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) expressed dissatisfaction with their diagnostic experience and the health care they received. This article summarises recommendations from the latest international evidence-based PCOS guideline and discusses available resources to help GPs provide personalised care to women with PCOS.

 

Key Points

  • Diagnostic criteria for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) differ in adults and adolescents, with guidelines recommending against ovarian ultrasound in adolescents to avoid early overdiagnosis.
  • It is important clinicians acknowledge and prioritise the main concerns women with PCOS have, noting these differ between individuals and across the lifespan.
  • Clinicians should also be vigilant in screening for emotional wellbeing and metabolic health in affected women.
  • Clinicians should provide women with PCOS with evidence-based educational resources and mobile health apps recommended by the PCOS guideline.
  • Women with PCOS should be advised about healthy lifestyle using specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, timely (SMART) goals, focused on prevention of excess weight gain.
  • Combined oral contraceptive pills and metformin are effective pharmacological treatments for PCOS symptoms, with no preferred type of combined oral contraceptive pill and general safe prescribing recommendations applying in general practice. Antiandrogens have a more limited secondary role.

Figures

© MICHELE GRAHAM
© MICHELE GRAHAM