Psychiatric disorders in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Endocrine. 2018 Nov;62(2):318-325. doi: 10.1007/s12020-018-1692-3. Epub 2018 Jul 31.


Purpose: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common disorder affecting up to 15% of women in the reproductive age. Prior studies suggest that PCOS can be associated with mood and psychiatric disorders. The purpose of this study is to examine the prevalence of any psychiatric disorder in women with PCOS.

Methods: We searched MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and Scopus through February 08, 2017 for studies that examined the prevalence of any psychiatric disorder in adolescents or adults with a clinical or biochemical diagnosis of PCOS. We used a random-effects model to generate pooled estimates and 95% confidence intervals (CI).

Results: We included 57 studies reporting on 172,040 patients. The majority of studies addressed depression and anxiety. Studies had fair methodological quality although most estimates were unadjusted. Women with PCOS were more likely to have a clinical diagnosis of depression (odds ratio (OR), 2.79; 95% CI, 2.23-3.50), anxiety (OR, 2.75; 95% CI, 2.10-3.60), bipolar disorder (OR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.43-2.23) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) (OR, 1.37; 95% CI 1.22-1.55), but not social phobia or panic disorder. Using various scales, the severity of symptoms of depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and somatization disorders were higher compared to women without PCOS.

Conclusions: PCOS is associated with an increased risk of diagnosis of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder. It is associated with worse symptoms of depression, anxiety, OCD, and somatization. Screening for these disorders to allow early intervention may be warranted.

Keywords: PCOS; Polycystic ovary syndrome; Psychiatric.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / complications
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / complications*
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / pathology
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / psychology*
  • Prevalence
  • Severity of Illness Index