PCOS & Mental Health

Drew Baird

Sept 20, 2019

Scary Stats: Approximately 34% of women with PCOS will have depression compared to 7% of women without PCOS. 45% of women with PCOS will have anxiety compared to 18% of women with PCOS.

Those numbers are frightening high especially as society catches up to the fact that mental health is just as, if not more important as physical health.

The exact causes of the link between PCOS and mental health are still unknown but, there are two main trains of thought between what the link is:

1️⃣ Hormonal imbalances negatively affecting brain chemistry
2️⃣ The negative impact having PCOS has on a woman's psychology & emotional well-being

1️⃣ Hormonal imbalances negatively affecting brain chemistry: Although more research needs to be done, studies show a strong link between insulin resistance, androgen excess, and poor mental health.

A study from the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden found high testosterone levels had a significant effect on a brain region called the amygdala, involved in the regulation of emotion and behavior. Hormone levels can also influence levels of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, GABA and serotonin.

2️⃣ The negative impact having PCOS has on a woman's psychology & emotional well-being: Symptoms of PCOS such as fertility issues, unwanted hair growth, hair loss, acne, weight gain etc. can have an incredibly draining toll on women with PCOS.

A study by Columbia University School of Nursing, which was published in the Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research found that while weight gain and unwanted body hair can be distressing, irregular menstrual cycles is the symptom of PCOS most strongly associated with mental health problems

Senior author of the study, Nancy Reame, noted “We were surprised to find that menstrual abnormalities in women with PCOS were the strongest predictor for mental health issues, particularly when there are so many other symptoms such as facial hair growth and infertility can make a woman feel unfeminine”.

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About Drew Baird:

Drew Baird is the founder and owner of Drew Baird Fitness and Healthy PCOS. Drew has worked with over 23,800
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