Depression and Anxiety in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Etiology and Treatment

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2017 Sep 20;19(11):83. doi: 10.1007/s11920-017-0834-2.


Purpose of review: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in reproductive age women and is associated with an increased prevalence of depression and anxiety symptoms. This review presents potential mechanisms for this increased risk and outlines treatment options.

Recent findings: Women with PCOS have increased odds of depressive symptoms (OR 3.78; 95% CI 3.03-4.72) and anxiety symptoms (OR 5.62; 95% CI 3.22-9.80). Obesity, insulin resistance, and elevated androgens may partly contribute to this association. Therefore, in addition to established treatment options, treatment of PCOS-related symptoms with lifestyle modification and/or oral contraceptive pills may be of benefit. Screening for anxiety and depression is recommended in women with PCOS at the time of diagnosis. The exact etiology for the increased risk in PCOS is still unclear. Moreover, there is a paucity of published data on the most effective behavioral, pharmacological, or physiological treatment options specifically in women with PCOS.

Keywords: Anxiety; Depression; PCOS; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / etiology*
  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Depression / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / psychology*
  • Risk Factors