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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) affects up to 1 in 5 women, with the diagnosis and management mostly occurring in general practice. The condition can affect many parts of a woman’s physical and mental health including skin, hair growth, fertility and weight, with an increased risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease and depression.

Recent evidence shows that women often experience a delay in diagnosis and that there is a high rate of under-diagnosis. To inform future research and practice, more evidence is needed particularly from patients’ perspectives as to how PCOS is managed in General Practice, whether it is being viewed as a “multi-system” condition rather than just one of fertility, and how the long-term effects of the syndrome are being addressed.

Firstly, we will use a questionnaire to investigate women’s experience of how PCOS is being diagnosed, treated and managed in General Practice, including consideration of its longer-term potential consequences. Women will be signposted to the questionnaire through websites/social media sites of four charities/patient support networks.

Secondly, through focus group interviews we will use qualitative methodology to gain in-depth understanding of women’s attitudes and experiences of how PCOS is diagnosed and managed in General Practice.

Funded by

Scientific Foundation Board RCGP


Sarah Hillman

Research team members

Jeremy Dale, Carol Bryce


Verity (PCOS charity), Fertility Friends,

Dates – from and to

Feb 2018-Aug 2019