Background: Most previous research has focused on polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) characteristics and their association with psychological disorders, such as anxiety and depression.
Objective: In the present study, our aim was to study whether PCOS characteristics are associated with several aspects of psychological well-being namely self-esteem and body satisfaction.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 300 women with PCOS that was carried out in Kashan, Iran. Main outcome measures were the Body Image Concern Inventory (BICI) and the Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale and clinical information of PCOS. Major clinical PCOS features including obesity (BMI), excessive body hair (hirsutism score), acne, menstrual cycle disturbances and infertility.
Results: The findings of regression analysis indicated that infertile women had lower levels of self-esteem (=-0.11, p=0.049) and poorer body satisfaction (=0.121, p=0.036) compared with PCOS women without infertility. Furthermore, hirsute women experienced poorer self-esteem than women without hirsutism (=-0.124, p=0.032). Women with menstrual irregularities had higher body dissatisfaction (=0.159, p=0.005). Moreover, women with higher body mass index scores had poorer body satisfaction (=0.151, p=0.009) but were not associated with self-esteem.
Conclusion: The emotional well-being of the patients presenting with the syndrome needs to be recognized more fully, particularly in relation to the low self-esteem, poor body image, and struggles with weight, menstrual irregularities, hirsutism and infertility. The results of this study raise implications for clinical practice and suggest that a multidisciplinary approach to the management of women with PCOS.
This article extracted from Ph.D. thesis. (Fatemeh Bazarganipour)