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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Find assessment and management information at Brisbane South HealthPathways under:

Useful management information

  • Psychological features need to be screened for, acknowledged, discussed and counselling considered, to improve quality of life in PCOS and to facilitate effective and sustainable lifestyle change, consideration of depression and/or anxiety and appropriate management.
  • Emphasis on healthy lifestyle, with targeted medical therapy where indicated.
  • Lifestyle modification (increased activity, dietary, weight, smoking, alcohol)
    • Simple moderate physical activity including structured exercise (at least 30minutes/day) and optimising incidental exercise assists with weight loss and weight maintenance.
    • Achieve optimal weight BMI 20-30
    • Referral to dietician

Minimum referral criteria (Does your patient meet the minimum criteria?)

Does your patient meet the minimum referral criteria?

Category 1
(appointment within 30 calendar days)

If you feel your patient meets Category 1 criteria, please mark "urgent" on your referral

  • Abnormal endometrium on ultrasound (i.e. irregular/focal lesion or thickened - over 12mm)
Category 2
(appointment within 90 calendar days)
  • No Category 2 criteria
Category 3
(appointment within 365 calendar days)
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome as per Rotterdam criteria

Diagnostic criteria for Rotterdam diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Two of the following three criteria are required:

  • Polycystic ovaries on ultrasound (either 20 or more follicles per ovary or increased ovarian size (>10cc)
  • Oligo/anovulation
  • Hyperandrogenism
    • Clinical (hirsutism or less commonly male pattern alopecia) or
    • Biochemical (raised FAI or free testosterone)

If your patient does not meet the minimum referral criteria

  • Assessment and management information can be found on a range of conditions at Brisbane South HealthPathways
  • If the patient does not meet the criteria for referral but the referring practitioner believes the patient requires specialist review, a clinical override may be requested:
    • Please explain why (e.g. warning signs or symptoms, clinical modifiers, uncertain about diagnosis, etc.)
    • Please note that your referral may not be accepted or may be redirected to another service

Standard referral information (To be included in all referrals)

Reason for request

  • To establish a diagnosis
  • For treatment or intervention
  • For advice and management
  • For specialist to take over management
  • Reassurance for GP/second opinion
  • For a specified test/investigation the GP can't order, or the patient can't afford or access
  • Reassurance for the patient/family
  • For other reason (e.g. rapidly accelerating disease progression)
  • Clinical judgement indicates a referral for specialist review is necessary

Relevant clinical information about the condition

  • Presenting symptoms (evolution and duration)
  • Physical findings
  • Details of previous treatment (including systemic and topical medications prescribed) including the course and outcome of the treatment
  • All conservative options that have been pursued unsuccessfully prior to referral
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Details of any associated medical conditions which may affect the condition or its treatment (e.g. diabetes, BMI), noting these must be stable and controlled prior to referral
  • Any special care requirements where relevant (e.g tracheostomy in place, oxygen required)
  • Current medications and dosages
  • Drug allergies
  • Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs use
  • A comprehensive capture of information in relation to MSH Referral Criteria

Clinical modifiers

  • The presence of clinical modifiers may impact the categorisation of the patient.
  • Impact on employment
  • Impact on education
  • Impact on home
  • Impact on activities of daily living functioning – low/medium/high
  • Impact on ability to care for others
  • Impact on personal frailty or safety
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

Patient's Demographic Details

  • Full name (including aliases)
  • Date and country of birth
  • Residential and postal address including whether patient resides at an aged care facility
  • Telephone contact number/s – home, mobile and alternative
  • Medicare number (where eligible)
  • Name of the parent or caregiver (if appropriate)
  • Name of delegate and contact details (Department of Corrective Services)
  • Preferred language and interpreter requirements
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • Any special needs, access requirements and/or disability relevant to the referral

Referring Practitioner Details

  • Full name
  • Full address
  • Contact details – telephone, fax, email
  • Provider number
  • Date of referral
  • Signature
  • Nominated general practitioner’s details (if known), if the nominated general practitioner is different from the referring practitioner

Other relevant information

  • Willingness to have surgery (where surgery is a likely intervention)
  • Choice to be treated as a public or private patient
  • Compensable status (e.g. DVA, Work Cover, Motor Vehicle Insurance, etc.)


Essential referral information for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) referrals (Referral will be returned without this)

  • Pelvic ultrasound (incl. TVS)
  • Day 21 Progesterone (D21P)
  • SHBG results
  • Free Testosterone (FAI), DHEA-S results
  • Fasting Blood Glucose results
  • Lipids, TSH results

If problems with sub fertility:

  • History of:
    • previous pregnancies, STDs and PID, surgery, endometriosis
    • other medical conditions
  • Include the following information about partner:
    • age, health, reproductive history and testicular conditions
  • Weight/BMI
  • FBC, Group and antibodies, Rubella IgG, Varicella IgG, Syphilis Serology, HBV/HCV/HIV Serology results
  • Day 21 serum progesterone level (7 days before the next expected period)
  • FSH, LH (Day 2-5), Prolactin, TSH if cycle prolonged and/or irregular
  • STI screen result – endocervical swab or first catch urine for chlamydia +/- gonorrhoea NAA
  • Partner semen analysis result
  • Pelvic USS (TVS preferable on day 5-10)

If a specific test result is unable to be obtained due to access, financial, religious, cultural or consent reasons a Clinical Override may be requested. This reason must be clearly articulated in the body of the referral.

Additional referral information for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) referrals

  • BMI


If any of the following are present or suspected, please refer the patient to the emergency department (via ambulance if necessary) or seek emergent medical advice if in a remote region.

  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Ruptured haemorrhagic ovarian cyst
  • Torsion of uterine appendages (ovarian)
  • Acute/severe pelvic pain
  • Significant or uncontrolled vaginal bleeding
  • Severe infection
  • Abscess intra pelvis or PID
  • Bartholin’s abscess / acute painful enlargement of a Bartholin’s gland/cyst
  • Acute trauma including vulva/vaginal lacerations, haematoma and/or penetrating injuries
  • Post-operative complications within 6 weeks including wound infection, wound breakdown, vaginal bleeding/discharge, retained products of conception post-op, abdominal pain
  • Urinary retention
  • Acute urinary obstruction
  • Unstable molar pregnancy
  • Inevitable and / or incomplete abortion
  • Hyperemesis gravidarum
  • Ascites, secondary to known underlying gynaecological oncology

Out of catchment

Metro South Health is responsible for providing public health services to the people who reside within its boundaries.  Due to high demand it is not possible to accept referrals from outside this catchment area. Special consideration is made for patients requiring tertiary care or services that are not provided by their local Hospital and Health Service. If your patient lives outside the Metro South Health area and you wish to refer them to one of our services, inclusion of information regarding their particular medical and social factors will assist with the triaging of your referra

Last updated 13 December 2022