Endocrine Abstracts (2009) 20 P646

Effect of an oral contraceptive on emotional distress of women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a prospective study

Nese Cinar1, Ayla Harmanci1, Basaran Demir2 & Bülent O Yildiz1


1Endocrinology and Metabolism Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Hacettepe University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey; 2Department of Psychiatry, Hacettepe University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.


Background: The symptoms typically associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) such as acne, hirsutism, irregular menses, amenorrhoea, obesity and infertility are a major source of psychological morbidity and can negatively affect quality of life (QOL). Limited data are available regarding effects of different treatment modalities on emotional distress of women with PCOS.

Objective: To determine potential impact of treatment on health-related quality-of-life (HRQL), emotional well-being and depressive symptoms in PCOS patients.

Methods: We assessed changes in quality of life and psychological well-being in 26 PCOS patients prospectively by using disease-specific PCOS questionnaire (PCOQ18), hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS) and general health questionnaire-28 (GHQ-28) before and after 6 months of treatment of drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol alone or combined with metformin. Clinical and endocrine parameters were also evaluated before and after treatment.

Results: Main complaints of the patients were hirsutism and irregular menses. In association with this, the body hair and menstrual problems domains were the areas most negatively affected followed by the emotions domain at baseline. After 6 months of treatment, satisfactory menstrual cycles were attained and hirsutism was significantly improved in all patients. The treatment had a positive impact on the emotions domain of PCOQ18 and mean HADS scores (P<0,05). There was a trend for improvement in hirsutism domain of the PCOQ18 (P=0.06). Other domains of PCOQ18 or GHQ-28 mean scores did not show a significant change.

Conclusion: Oral contraceptive therapy alone or combined with metformin for 6 months improves emotional well-being of PCOS patients, along with improvement of hirsutism and menstrual disturbance.

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