The polycystic ovary syndrome--a medical condition but also an important psychosocial problem

Coll Antropol. 2001 Dec;25(2):673-85.


PCOS, the leading cause of anovulatory infertility that affects up to one fifth of the female population, is a complex chronic disease of genetic as well as environmental determination, but still unclear etiology. Besides of infertility, PCOS leads to menstrual dysfunctions, hirsutism and obesity--symptoms that are known to cause profound psychosocial distress. The present paper review the problematic of etiology and symptom expression of PCOS, which is not only a disease needing medical treatment but also a psychosocial problem for the affected women. PCOS may not only coinduced by psychosocial factors, the main symptoms of PCOS such as infertility, menstrual dysfunctions, hirsutism and obesity cause by themselves increased psychosocial stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Hirsutism / etiology
  • Hirsutism / psychology
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / etiology*
  • Infertility, Female / psychology*
  • Menstruation Disturbances / etiology*
  • Menstruation Disturbances / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological*
  • Women's Health