PCOS - new guidelines and relevance to herbal practitioners


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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common and complex endocrine and metabolic condition which affects 12-21% of Australian women. It is also estimated that 70% of Australian women with PCOS remain undiagnosed. New Australian guidelines for the assessment and management of PCOS, based on the best available evidence, were developed and published in the Medical Journal of Australia in September 2011. Lifestyle and dietary interventions are the first line of treatment promoted in these recommendations for the management of oligomenorrhoea/amenorrhoea, infertility and cardiometabolic factors. Given the high prevalence of undiagnosed PCOS in the community, it is likely that the herbalist could be the health practitioner to diagnose PCOS, and as the preferred treatment recommended is dietary and lifestyle, herbal practitioners are again likely to be the health practitioner to advise these recommendations. Sandra will present a summary of the new guidelines relevant to the herbal clinician. A review of the literature for the herbal treatment of PCOS will also be presented.

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