Depression and Body Image Among Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

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Common features of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), including hyperandrogenism, ovarian dysfunction and obesity, can be highly distressing. We compared 40 women with PCOS to women with infertility but not PCOS, and to women with neither PCOS nor infertility, on measures of depression and body image. Women with PCOS reported higher depression scores and greater body dissatisfaction (p < .001) than comparison group women. Body image was strongly associated with depression overall, even after controlling body mass. Among women with PCOS, body dissatisfaction measures and education explained 66 percent of the variance in depression, suggesting explanations of the PCOS-depression link should consider the role of potentially mediating psychosocial variables.