Stress and PCOS

Stress and PCOS

February 23 2024 TalktoAngel 0 comments 428 Views

When a woman is diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), it is quite challenging to her journey. For some of them, the diagnosis might bring up a lot of emotions which can further worsen the symptoms of PCOS and might also negatively affect their lifestyle. While the emotional toll that women bear in addressing and overcoming PCOS is genuine, it is often overlooked and rarely mentioned in treatment.

Stress simply serves to increase the relationship between PCOS and Infertility problems. Given that stress has such a large impact on so many aspects of our health, it is currently one of the health subjects that are most frequently discussed. The function and day-to-day activities of a mother in 2013 and those of a mother in 1985 are very different. They reported being constantly on the go, attached to their cell phones, and having a difficult time separating their personal and professional lives. Sleep and relaxation are also no longer the same for them.

Sleep deprivation frequently leads to stress, which is painful for everyone, but especially bad for women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Stress may only make the hormonal fight that PCOS-afflicted women already face worse while also delaying the encouraging advancements you have achieved with diet and exercise. Although studies have not shown a direct connection between stress and its negative impacts on fertility, there is worry that stress can change hormone levels, which may hurt women with PCOS.

Lifestyle factors can be very important when managing PCOS. Stress is one of these factors, and research has shown that it can worsen PCOS severity and even act as the primary cause of symptoms.

Stress and hormones

Our adrenal glands, which are located near to our kidneys, are what produce cortisol. We refer to cortisol as our "fight or flight" hormone because it stimulates our quick reactions when we are under pressure. You may have heard that cortisol causes weight gain and other long-term health problems. But cortisol is not all bad news; in fact, it performs several essential tasks.

  • An important criterion in controlling our circadian cycle
  • Increasing blood sugar levels
  • Minimizing the inflammatory response
  • Control of blood pressure
  • Increasing energy levels during stressful situations when we must make quick decisions or take action
  • Being able to exercise more intensely
  • Raising concentration and memory

Stress and PCOS: Relationship

The stress hormone cortisol is released by your body when you experience excessive stress or overthink your PCOS. Women with PCOS are also concerned about excess body and facial hair, an irregular menstrual cycle, hormone changes, thinning hair, and obesity. Excess supply of androgen is typically the cause of PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). Furthermore, the stress hormone cortisol is in charge of starting the release of male hormones in female bodies and is in charge of the following:

  • Increasing insulin sensitivity
  • Lowering immune response 
  • Irritating androgen or sex hormone secretion in men
  • Disrupting the release of prolactin, LH, and FSH.

When it comes to women's health, PCOS is a common situation where both mental health and Physical Health are affected. Stress can occasionally be brought on by people's suppressed fear, expressions, anxiety, anger, and negativity. Women with PCOS are three times more likely to experience emotional stress than women without PCOS, according to research.

How does PCOS cause psychological stress?

An individual's feelings about their body, also referred to as a positive or negative body image, play a significant role in how much Anxiety they experience. Furthermore, each person may have their unique ideas about how a typical person should appear. They depend on some factors, including how well you know your own body, how you view fitness generally, your values, and the size of your body.

PCOS can affect different body parts and result in physical changes that affect how you feel about your body. Women may become self-conscious about their appearance as a result of PCOS symptoms including weight gain and acne. They could start to feel depressed and less attractive physically. Additionally, the PCOS symptoms might not be consistent with how women view femininity and what it means to be a woman. The emotional effects of handling these symptoms slowly and over time can affect how you feel about and fear yourself. This also may lead to a lack of Self- Esteem.

Tips for Stress Management

Get Enough Exercise

Exercise is an effective way to cope with stress. PCOS can be managed with calm, healthy fitness routines. When your body and mind are already stressed out, trying to manage a high-intensity workout doesn't matter and can make things worse. Try relaxing yoga, Pilates, or a long walk outside as an option. Spending some time in nature is a great idea because, according to research, it's a great way to reduce stress.


If you have PCOS, meditation is yet another fantastic method for controlling stress levels when combined with a healthy diet (Polycystic ovary syndrome). It can improve your mood, improve the quality of your sleep, and help you focus your thoughts and relax.

A self-care routine

Making time for a self-care routine is one of the best methods to relax and handle strain or anxiety. Furthermore, a healthy self-care practice doesn't necessarily involve long showers with fragrant candles. Self-care can be anything that helps to improve your mood-enhancing cognitive well-being.

Seek Online Counselling or Therapy

Online Counselling or therapy offers valuable support for stress management in PCOS by providing convenient access to the Best Psychologists in India. Through virtual sessions, individuals with PCOS can receive personalized strategies to cope with stress, anxiety, and depression commonly associated with the condition. Online Therapists offer tools such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and mindfulness practices to manage symptoms effectively. The accessibility of Online Therapy allows individuals to seek support from the comfort of their homes, reducing barriers to care. This remote approach fosters a safe space for discussing concerns, improving emotional well-being, and enhancing the overall quality of life for those with PCOS.

Contribution: Dr (Prof) R K Suri, Clinical Psychologistlife coach & mentor TalktoAngel & Dr Sakshi Kochhar Psychologist


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