Skip to content
Medical Health Aged Care, Women

Australia leads the world with a new International Guideline to improve the health of women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Monash University 4 mins read

A new Monash University-led international partnership has delivered an International Guideline to improve the lives of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a neglected health condition.

The 2023 International Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Guideline and AskPCOS Patient App, led by the Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI) at Monash University, was launched online and is published in four international journals: Fertility and Sterility, Human Reproduction, Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, and European Journal of Endocrinology.

The Evidence-based Guideline involved input from thousands of health professionals and women, was developed by more than 100 experts and patients and involved partnership across 71 countries and six continents.


It has recommendations for diagnosis, lifestyle, wellbeing, fertility and treatment as well as improved care and support. It aims to address the priority needs of those with PCOS and is supported by significant freely available resources for women and their healthcare providers, to optimise health outcomes.

Significant changes include revised diagnostic criteria involving hormone tests instead of ultrasound, and recognising features beyond reproductive health to weight, diabetes, heart disease and mental health. It also addresses the need for new approaches to care, personalised healthcare experiences, evidence-based therapies, and optimised pregnancy care.

PCOS is a neglected, underdiagnosed and under-researched women’s health condition that affects up to 13 per cent of women. It is often misclassified as a reproductive disorder, despite its far-reaching implications for metabolic, psychological, and pregnancy health.

PCOS is also the leading cause of infertility in women. In Australia alone, the estimated associated healthcare costs exceed $800 million annually.

Monash University’s
Professor Helena Teede, a leading global academic in PCOS and the driving force behind the new Guideline, said it highlighted priority areas such as higher weight gain, diabetes and heart disease risk and effective treatments, including for infertility. 


“The Guideline highlights that understanding of the unique challenges facing those with PCOS must be addressed at all levels, so that women and girls can have the healthcare and outcomes they deserve,” Professor Teede said. 


The opportunity for reach and impact to address these challenges is unprecedented, including in research, education, clinical practice, healthcare and policy.


“The Guideline busts myths around higher weight and lifestyle and seeks to support those with PCOS and reduce stigma. Australians are exposed to an environment that drives rapid weight gain due to failures in policy, regulation and financial constraints, with women with PCOS at even higher risk.

“The focus is often on ineffective individual behavioural solutions, further impacting health and fertility. Limited access to effective therapies and fertility services leaves women with poorer health outcomes, especially underserved populations, presenting a health equity issue.”


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. 


The new Guideline aims to deliver timely diagnosis, accessible information and education, support and optimal models of care. It also aims to enhance healthcare professional education, awareness and support, while fostering partnerships and shared decision-making with those affected by PCOS globally.   


Professor Teede engaged Australian and global expertise, including consultation with more than 100 PCOS clinicians, researchers and lived experience experts, including 39 national and international societies in over 71 countries in six continents. 


The International PCOS Guideline Translation Program includes the free women’s digital health translation tool AskPCOS App which has over 45,000 users in 193 countries.  PCOS resources for health professionals and consumers are available.

Lorna’s story

Lorna Berry, who has PCOS, was a lived experience expert on the Guideline and has shared her journey. She highlights the challenges faced in obtaining a diagnosis and reliable information, which greatly impacted her wellbeing, mental health and fertility options.

Lorna firmly believes that no woman should go undiagnosed and unsupported. "Living with PCOS is challenging enough, but the struggle to find reliable information feels like an uphill battle,” she said.

“It's disheartening when every corner you turn, there's someone trying to sell a miracle cure.

“All I want is trustworthy information that deals with my concerns and answers my questions. It just adds to the frustration and sense of hopelessness that can go with having PCOS.”


As a teenager, Lorna struggled with fluctuating weight, despite a healthy lifestyle, and was told by her doctor to diet. In her 20s, Lorna knew something wasn’t quite right, and it took her years to conceive her first child.

“I fought for my PCOS diagnosis. It affected all aspects of my life, family, fertility, wellbeing and lifestyle. Empowering women so they can advocate and educate doctors and other health professionals is of utmost importance. We need to make sure that the next generation doesn’t go undiagnosed and unsupported.”

This work is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre of Research Excellence in Women’s Health in Reproductive Life (CRE WHiRL) and the Medical Research Future Fund. The Guideline was co-founded by the following partner organisations:

  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine
  • Endocrine Society
  • Society of Endocrinology
  • European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. 


We also acknowledge the input of 34 other collaborating organisations and consumer groups internationally.  A list of partners can be found here 

Official Launch - 2023 International PCOS Guideline 

Date: Tuesday 15 August 2023
Time: 12.30 - 1.30pm AEST
In-person: Seminar room 3 Translation Research Facility (TRF), 43-51 Kanooka Grove, Clayton, Monash University at Monash Medical Centre.
Please let us know if you would like to attend in person. Zoom option available.

For media enquiries please contact:

Professor Helena Teede:
T: +61 (0) 407 005 737


Case study Lorna Berry is available for interview via contacts below


Monash University

Cheryl Critchley - Communications Manager (medical)

T: +61 (0) 418 312 596


For more Monash media stories, visit our news and events site  

For general media enquiries please contact:
Monash Media
T: +61 (0) 3 9903 4840



More from this category

  • Medical Health Aged Care
  • 07/12/2023
  • 13:30
Royal Australian College of GPs and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine

Public consultation on Rural Generalist Medicine recognition closes next Tuesday

With less than one week to go until the public consultation closes on recognition of Rural Generalist Medicine (RGM) as a specialist field, Australia’s two GP colleges urge doctors and community members to have their say. The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) are buoyed by the conversation that has been generated on the recognition of RGM throughout the process. ACRRM President Dr Dan Halliday says it has been wonderful to see the engagement through the recent webinars hosted by the Rural Generalist Taskforce, through College channels and at…

  • Contains:
  • Medical Health Aged Care, Science
  • 07/12/2023
  • 13:26
The Florey

Researchers identify neurons in the brain that control nasofacial muscles during breathing

Whilst most of us consider breathing a relatively simple process, it actually requires complex coordination of many muscles to enable airflow into and out of the lungs and to control airflow to allow us to talk, eat, and drink. Breathing also influences other related brain functions, such as emotional state, sense of smell, blood pressure, and heart rate. Breathing is generated in a brain region called Pre-Bötzinger complex (preBötC), which is composed of many subgroups of neurons that are breathing and non-breathing related. Up to now, due to technical limitations, it was almost impossible to specifically silence a subgroup of…

  • Medical Health Aged Care
  • 07/12/2023
  • 13:19
Royal Australian College of GPs

GPs vital to improving National Disability Insurance Scheme

The Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) has welcomed the final National Disability Insurance Scheme report and reiterated calls for GPs to be better utilised. It comes following the release today of the final report into the scheme. RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins said that GPs must be front and centre. “It is concerning that the report doesn’t deeply delve into healthcare for people with a disability, including general practice care,” she said. “The Government must recognise that GPs play a vital role in disability care, and barriers do exist. For example, there is no Medicare patient rebate for NDIS…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time your distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.