The lived experience of women diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome

J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. May-Jun 2006;35(3):385-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2006.00047.x.


Objective: To uncover the meaning of living with polycystic ovary syndrome.

Design: Phenomenology.

Setting: A women's health care practice in northeast United States.

Participants: A purposive sample consisting of 12 women, ages 21 to 48 years, who had been previously diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome.

Data collection: Semistructured interviews.

Results: Analysis of the participants' responses revealed the following themes: (a) identifying differences, (b) wanting to be normal, (c) searching for answers, (d) gaining control, (e) attempting to achieve femininity, (f) letting go of guilt, and (g) dealing with it.

Conclusions: Polycystic ovary syndrome is a syndrome that impacts women both physically and psychosocially. Nurses can play a key role in assisting women afflicted with this hormonal disturbance through education and support.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Narration
  • New England
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / nursing
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / psychology*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Self Concept*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women's Health*