Psychological Experiences of Adolescent Girls with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Qualitative Study

Maryam Ekramzadeh, Leila Hajivandi, Mahnaz Noroozi, Firoozeh Mostafavi


Background: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders  in the women of reproductive age. In addition to multiple physical problems, this syndrome has  many psychological manifestations. Thus, the present research was conducted aimed at investigating  the psychological experiences of the adolescent girls with PCOS.

Materials and Methods: This  research was conducted using the qualitative content analysis method. A total of 18 adolescent girls  with PCOS and 15 healthcare providers were selected by the purposive sampling method. The data  were collected through in‑depth interviews, focus group discussions, and field notes, which were  analyzed using the conventional content analysis method.

Results: After analyzing, three main  categories and seven subcategories were extracted. First, the psychological experiences related to the  disease symptoms had three subcategories: “psychological experiences related to hirsutism, alopecia,  and acne,” “psychological experiences related to obesity,” and “psychological experiences related  to menstrual disorders.” Second, the psychological experiences related to disease complications had  two subcategories: “psychological experiences related to infertility” and “psychological experiences  related to disease progression.” Third, the psychological experiences related to treatment of the  disease had two subcategories: “psychological experiences related to prolongation of the treatment  and uncertain fate of the disease” and “psychological experiences related to the complications of the  medical treatment.”

Conclusions: Results of the study showed that adolescent girls with PCOS were  exposed to multiple concerns endangering their psychological health. Therefore, it is recommended  to provide adequate and appropriate information about the disease and its consequences, as well  as psychosocial supports and regular assessment of psychological state by the team of healthcare  providers in the adolescent girls with PCOS. 


Adolescence, mental health, polycystic ovary syndrome, qualitative research

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