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  • Writer's picturedrschwank

PCOS part 1

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormone imbalance that causes infertility, obesity, and excessive facial hair in women, can also lead to severe mental health issues including anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.

A study supervised by Columbia University School of Nursing professor Nancy Reame, MSN, PhD, FAAN, and published in the Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, identifies the PCOS complications that may be most responsible for psychiatric problems. While weight gain and unwanted body hair can be distressing, irregular menstrual cycles is the symptom of PCOS most strongly associated with psychiatric problems, the study found.

Menstrual abnormalities in women with PCOS was the strongest predictor for mental health issues, particularly when there are so many other symptoms—like beard growth and infertility—that can make a woman feel unfeminine.

Women with PCOS had significantly higher levels of psychological distress than the general population. For more than half of those disorders, the women with PCOS had distress levels statistically similar to those of the female psychiatric patients.

Reame et al. 2014 found that when comparing participants with women in the general population, PCOS women had significantly higher scores on all of the symptoms evaluated and on corresponding psychological distress measures, particularly for anxiety, depression, somatization (the conversion of psychological distress to physical symptoms), and interpersonal sensitivity.

PCOS is estimated to affect 6 to 17 million women aged 18–44 in the U.S. It is one of the most common causes of infertility. There’s no single test to diagnose PCOS, and there’s no cure. The disorder is typically characterized by an excess production of the hormone testosterone, irregular ovulation, and cysts, or fluid-filled sacs, in the ovaries.

How to improve psychological and physical well-being?

-Acknowledging the challenges both the psychological and physical ones.

-Speak with an expert, to relive tension and stress.

-Changing habits can improve symptomatology.

-Exercise improves general, but particularly mental well-being.

-Diet and exercise in combination can boost your body-mind balance and improve symptomatology.

-Seek support for infertility. The earlier the better.

-Talk to other women in the same position and get support from likeminded women, facing similar challenge.




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