2023 International PCOS Guideline: Empowering doctors and patients

16 August 2023

The 2023 International Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Guideline (opens in a new window)and AskPCOS Patient App (opens in a new window) are now available online and have gained global recognition with publication in four international journals: Fertility and Sterility, Human Reproduction, Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, and European Journal of Endocrinology.

The evidence-based guideline, led by Monash University involved input from thousands of health professionals and women, was a collaborative effort involving over 100 experts and patients and involved partnerships across 71 countries and six continents.

NICM Health Research Institute’s Associate Professor Carolyn Ee is an author on the guideline. She helped to inform the guidelines as a guideline development group and project management committee member.

Associate Professor Ee says GPs can now use the guidelines to deliver the best possible patient care.

"The guideline responds to key priorities identified by consumers and healthcare professionals," said Associate Professor Ee.

"It aims to minimise variations in care provided to women and adolescents with PCOS, to ensure that everyone with PCOS receives evidence-based healthcare.

"The guideline is informed by rigorous evidence synthesis that was conducted by our Early Career Researcher network and includes evidence-based guidance on the use of inositol to manage PCOS."

This comprehensive guideline provides recommendations spanning diagnosis, lifestyle, wellbeing, fertility and treatment, and enhanced care and support for individuals with PCOS, supported by a wealth of freely accessible resources.(opens in a new window)

One of the key highlights is the revised diagnostic criteria, with the addition of Anti-Mullerian Hormone testing as an alternative to ultrasounds in adults, and acknowledging the broader impact of PCOS on areas such as weight, diabetes, heart disease, and mental health. The guideline emphasises the need for innovative care approaches, personalised healthcare experiences, evidence-based therapies, and optimised pregnancy care.

The expanded and updated 2023 International PCOS Guideline is based on the best available evidence, clinical expertise and consumer preferences, and includes 254 recommendations and practice points to promote consistent, evidence-based care to improve women’s health. It builds on the 2018 Guideline, already used by health professionals and those with PCOS in 196 countries.