• Kedren Elliott

PCOS and mental health

In episode 35 we talked to Hannah Guthrie about her experience of living with Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

PCOS affects 1 in 10 women in the UK and is the most common female hormone condition. It manifests differently in each individual and can be incredibly devastating to a woman’s self-esteem and quality of life.

People with PCOS are about 3 times more likely to experience depression and anxiety than people without PCOS; the reasons for this are still unclear but symptoms may be a contributing factor.

Common symptoms include infertility and hirsutism (excess facial and body hair). Some people with PCOS report feeling frustrated and anxious about their ability to become pregnant, their weight, excess body and facial hair, or lack of control over their health and bodies.

Studies have shown that people with PCOS who have low levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters report more symptoms of depression and anxiety

Leading an active lifestyle, in general, may help improve mental health. People with PCOS who reported exercising regularly had fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression, and those who said they did at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week were less likely to be depressed.

Complementary and alternative therapies

There may be an improvement in depression and anxiety among people with PCOS who receive acupuncture and in people who practise mindfulness for 30 minutes a day. Yoga too which practices includes poses, guided relaxation, breathing exercises, and meditation may also improve symptoms of anxiety in people with PCOS.

Here are some further resources that will help you manage your condition that Hannah recommended on our podcast and of course listen in below to find out what has helped Hannah since she herself was diagnosed.

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