Eating, sleeping and sexual function disorders in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): A systematic review and meta-analysis

Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2020 Apr;92(4):338-349. doi: 10.1111/cen.14153. Epub 2020 Feb 3.


Purpose: We aim to evaluate the association of PCOS with eating, sleeping and sexual function disorders.

Methods: A comprehensive search including MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and Scopus through 01 August 2018 was conducted for studies reporting the prevalence of any eating, sleep or sexual function disorders in patients with PCOS. Independent reviewers selected studies and extracted data. A random-effects model was utilized to generate pooled odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for binary outcomes, and mean difference (MD) and 95% CI for continuous outcomes.

Results: We included 36 studies reporting on 349,529 patients. Compared to women without PCOS, women with PCOS were more likely to have bulimia nervosa (OR 1.37; %CI, 1.17 to 1.60), binge eating (OR 2.95; 95%CI, 1.61 to 5.42), or any eating disorder (OR 1.96; 95% CI 1.18 to 3.24); but not anorexia nervosa (OR 0.92; 95%CI, 0.78 to 1.10). Women with PCOS were more likely to have sleep disorders like hypersomnia (OR 4.39; %CI, 1.07 to 18.07) and obstructive sleep apnoea (OR 10.81; %CI, 2.39 to 48.83). Women with PCOS had lower sexual satisfaction as measured on a visual analogue scale (MD -29.67; 95% CI, -36.97 to -22.37), but no difference in Total Female Sexual Function Index (MD -0.06; 95% CI, -0.51 to 0.38).

Conclusion: PCOS can be associated with an increased risk of eating and sleeping disorders as well as decreased sexual satisfaction. Screening for these disorders in women with PCOS may allow early intervention and improve quality of life.

Keywords: eating disorders; polycystic ovary syndrome; sexual dysfunction; sleeping disorders.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome* / complications
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological* / epidemiology
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological* / etiology
  • Sleep