Screening advice in new PCOS guideline

Australian experts recommend screening patients for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) before prescribing oral contraceptives.

The advice is contained in a new NHMRC approved international guideline – the first to be publicly available for assessing and managing PCOS, which affects up to one in five Australian women.

It aims to raise awareness among women and health professionals to consider PCOS before starting oral contraceptives (OCs), according to Professor Helena Teede, director of research at the Jean Hailes Foundation for Women’s Health, which developed the guideline, along with the PCOS Australian Alliance, a group of clinicians and researchers.

“The reason… is not so much that the contraceptives will exacerbate any problems,” she said, “but the fact that once they are on contraceptives, it’s hard to make the diagnosis.

“Often girls are just put on the pill without being assessed and