Quality of Life, Psychosocial Well-Being, and Sexual Satisfaction in PCOS ‘ers

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism Vol. 88, No. 12 5801-5807
Copyright © 2003 by The Endocrine Society

Quality of Life, Psychosocial Well-Being, and Sexual Satisfaction in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Sigrid Elsenbruch, Susanne Hahn, Daniela Kowalsky, Alexandra H. Öffner, Manfred Schedlowski, Klaus Mann and Onno E. Janssen
Department of Medical Psychology (S.E., M.S.) and Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine (S.H., D.K., K.M., O.E.J.), University of Essen, 45122 Essen, Germany; and Division of Angiology, Department of Medicine (A.H.Ö.), Hospital Schwabing, 80804 Munich, Germany

Address all correspondence and requests for reprints to: Onno E. Janssen, M.D., Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, University of Essen, Hufelandstr. 55, 45122 Essen, Germany. E-mail: onno.janssen@uni-essen.de.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder characterized by chronic anovulation and hyperandrogenism. PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility and manifests with hirsutism, acne, and obesity. To investigate its impact on health-related quality of life and sexuality, 50 women with PCOS and 50 controls were evaluated with standardized questionnaires (36-item short-form health survey, symptom checklist revised, and life satisfaction questionnaire). The impact of hirsutism, obesity, and infertility was assessed using five-point rating scales, and sexual satisfaction was analyzed with visual analog scales. Patients showed greater psychological disturbances on the symptom checklist revised dimensions, obsessive-compulsive, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety, aggression, and psychoticism, along with a lower degree of life satisfaction in the life satisfaction questionnaire scales health, self, and sex. Health-related quality of life measured with the 36-item short-form health survey revealed significantly decreased scores for physical role function, bodily pain, vitality, social function, emotional role function, and mental health in patients with PCOS. Although patients had the same partner status and frequency of sexual intercourse, they were significantly less satisfied with their sex life and found themselves less attractive. Most of the differences were not affected by correction for body weight. In conclusion, PCOS causes a major reduction in the quality of life and severely limits sexual satisfaction.

FULL STUDY CAN BE READ HERE: http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/88/12/5801

Abbreviations: BMI, Body mass index; FLZ, Fragebogen zur Lebenszufriedenheit (questionnaire on life satisfaction); GSI, Global Severity Index; HRQL, health-related quality of life; PCOS, polycystic ovary syndrome; PSDI, Positive Symptom Distress Index; PST, Positive Symptom Total; SCL-90-R, symptom checklist revised; SF-36, 36-item short-form health survey; VAS, visual analog scale