Psychological Impact of PCOS

Updated: Jul 6

Almost every women’s desire is to be a mother, to experience a natural delivery and give birth to a beautiful human being. It is a biological need that has been present since humans started to exist on this planet. The ovaries play an important role in fulfilling that dream. The ovaries release an egg that had to be fertilized by a man’s sperm. The release of an egg every month is called ovulation.

The pituitary gland in our brain releases two hormones that control ovulation which is Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH). FSH stimulates the ovary to produce a follicle (a sac that contains an egg), and then the LH triggers the ovary to release a mature egg. However, in PCOS, the follicle-filled sacs don’t mature into eggs and grow in the ovaries, which are called ‘cysts’.

A condition that is known to affect women’s hormonal levels is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, PCOS. It is one of the most common hormonal disorders which is affecting at least one woman in ten. Despite all this, we are still unaware of this condition and its potentially debilitating symptoms.

PCOS affects the ovaries’ functioning and is characterized by irregular periods, excess androgens (high levels of male hormone), and polycystic ovaries, where the ovaries become enlarged and contain lots of fluid-filled sacs which surround the eggs. PCOS can affect the ability to get pregnant, and also causes facial and bodily hair growth. It can contribute to chronic health issues like diabetes, heart disease, or cancer.

Many women have PCOS but are not aware of it. According to a research study, 70 percent of women with PCOS hadn’t been diagnosed.

PCOS Signs & Symptoms

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a hormonal disorder, in which three hormones play an important role in deciding an individual’s symptoms. Androgens also called Male Hormones, are found in women at increased levels, which leads to acne, and hair growth. Insulin is the hormone responsible for managing an individual’s blood sugar levels. In PCOS, insulin levels can increase resulting in extreme weight gain. One of the most crucial hormones, whose imbalance can cause various symptoms in an individual with PCOS is Progesterone, the levels of progesterone decrease in an individual causing irregular periods.

PCOS symptoms have the ability to affect an individual’s mental health. The symptoms include:-

- Irregular Periods: A lack of ovulation prevents the uterine lining from shedding every month, and it can lead to the stress of not having a regular menstrual cycle.

- Hair Growth: More than 70 percent of women having PCOS grow hair on their face and body, including their back, belly, and chest.

- Acne: Male hormones can make a woman’s skin oilier than usual and cause breakouts on areas like their face, chest, and upper back.

- Weight Gain: Up to 80 percent of women with PCOS gain weight and have obese.

- Mood Changes: Due to irregular periods, the individual can become frustrated, jittery, etc.

- Male Pattern Baldness: Apart from hair growth on other parts of the body, the hairs on the scalp get thinner and may fall out.

- Darkening of Skin: Women having PCOS might see dark patches of skin, which can form creases on the neck, groin, and under breasts.

Because of PCOS, there can be some complications, which differ from woman to woman, like trouble getting pregnant, insulin issues and diabetes, metabolic syndrome (risk of cardiovascular diseases increased), sleep problems, inflammation of the liver, risks of uterine cancer, etc.

PCOS & Mental Health

PCOS is a complex condition that not only impacts an individual physically but also affects her mental health. PCOS is associated with an increased risk of diagnosis with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. People who have been diagnosed with PCOS are about 3 times more likely to be diagnosed with above listed mental illnesses.

The link between PCOS with anxiety and depression is unclear, but it might be because of hormonal imbalance and symptoms or a combination of two.

PCOS results in infertility and hirsutism (excess facial and body hair), because of which women report the feeling of frustration and anxiety about their ability to become pregnant, weight loss, excess body, and facial hairs, or lack of overall control over their health and bodies.

A person’s values and the culture they live in will impact which of the above characteristics they might find distressing. However, the two concepts women’s life revolves around are ‘beauty’ and ‘being a mother,’ which are affected by PCOS, which impacts that person’s emotional well-being.

Along with the symptoms, hormones are also linked with mental health issues. Researchers have looked into PCOS individuals with insulin resistance and found higher levels of insulin in their bloodstream. A study found that insulin resistance increases the chance of depression, and one study showed people with insulin resistance reported more anxiety symptoms.

How BluetoYellow Can Help the Mental Health of People With PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex condition that impacts many aspects of a person’s health, including mental health. People who have been diagnosed with PCOS are about 3 times more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety and depression than people without PCOS. People with PCOS are also much more likely to report symptoms of anxiety and depression and those symptoms are more likely to be severe.

BluetoYellow is working towards providing quality online counseling sessions to the young population at affordable prices.

Our dynamic therapists follow a client-centric approach that creates a safe and confidential space for you to express your emotions and thoughts without any judgment.

If you are suspecting that PCOS is interfering with your mental well-being, or if you know someone who can be benefited from the blog, forward the page to bring awareness to them.

You can start your mental health journey with the small step of booking an appointment with BluetoYellow today.

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