Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2011 Apr;155(2):161-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2010.12.012. Epub 2011 Jan 12.

Sexuality and psychological wellbeing in women with polycystic ovary syndrome compared with healthy controls.

Author information

Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Section of Psychiatry, Psychiatry Karolinska Northwest, Danderyd Hospital, SE-182 88 Stockholm, Sweden.



Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders affecting women of fertile age. The aim was to study whether PCOS has an effect on sexual functioning.


Women meeting the Rotterdam criteria for PCOS (n=49), and 49 age-matched controls identified from the population registry, were recruited. Sexual functioning was assessed by means of (i) an in-person, structured interview covering various aspects of sexuality, and (ii) the nine-item McCoy questionnaire of female sexual satisfaction. Participants also completed the Psychological General Well-Being Index.


Almost half the women with PCOS reported that the disorder had a great impact on their sex life. Despite having the same number of partners and about the same frequency of sexual intercourse, women with PCOS were generally less satisfied with their sex lives compared to the population-based controls. Within the group of women with PCOS, high body mass index had only a minor effect on sexual functioning, while the total serum level of testosterone correlated positively to sexual satisfaction. PCOS women scored numerically lower than controls on the McCoy total score, but this difference was not statistically significant.


Women with PCOS reported decreased satisfaction with their sex life. Sexual function should be taken into account in treatment trials of PCOS, which traditionally target only symptoms related to insulin resistance, overweight, and hirsutism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center