Health-Related Quality of Life Issues in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

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Objective: To evaluate the influence of obesity, fertility status, and androgenism scores on health-related quality of life in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Design: Cross-sectional, correlational.

Setting: Private reproductive endocrinology practice in two southeast U.S. cities.

Participants: Convenience sample of 128 women with PCOS, half of whom were attempting to conceive in addition to being treated for PCOS. Most were White (97%), married (78%), with a mean age of 30.4 years (SD ± 5.5).

Main Outcome Measures: The Health-Related Quality of Life Questionnaire (PCOSQ) for women with polycystic ovary syndrome. A laboratory panel and clinical measures, including body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, and degree of hirsutism.

Results: The most common health-related quality of life concern reported by women with PCOS was weight, followed in descending order by menstrual problems, infertility, emotions, and body hair.

Conclusions: The psychological implications of PCOS are easily underestimated and have been largely ignored. Nursing has a pivotal role in recognizing these concerns and implementing therapy to improve quality of life in women with PCOS.