Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a chronic hormonal condition that affects roughly 12-18% of women of reproductive age. Common symptoms include hirsutism (excess facial and/or body hair), acne, weight gain, difficulties falling pregnant, heavy or irregular periods, sleep difficulties, and increased anxiety and depression. Roughly 29% of women with PCOS have depression compared to 7% of women in the general population. This increases with anxiety – 57% of women with PCOS compared to 18% of women in the general population.
Coping with weight changes, fertility problems, acne and hirsutism can impact you mood, and may exacerbate anxiety and depressive symptoms. Women with PCOS also appear to be at risk of a number of health problems including type 2 diabetes, cholesterol and blood fat abnormalities, cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease, and stroke, and insulin resistance (if it is not already present).
A multidisciplinary approach is the ideal way to manage and treat PCOS, and can include your GP, endocrinologist, gynaecologist, dietitian, and psychologist. Depending on the type and severity of symptoms, treatment can include a combination of lifestyle changes, medications, and complementary therapies.
If your symptoms are causing you distress, or affecting your ability to work, study, or get along with friends and family, freecall 1800 877 924 to make an appointment with one of our experienced Psychologists.