How to Talk to Your Partner About PCOS

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Depending on your relationship and when you were diagnosed with PCOS, you will most likely want to tell your partner at some point. Chances are they’ll have lots of questions. The most important thing you can do to prepare is to make sure that you understand the syndrome well enough yourself to answer them.

Here are some common questions your partner may have, and some quick answers.

What Is PCOS?

PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, is a condition in which a woman’s ovaries and in some cases the adrenal glands, produce more androgens (a type of hormone, similar to testosterone) than normal.

While all women produce some androgens, women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome have higher levels of these hormones, leading to increased hair growth, acne, and irregular periods. Women with PCOS experience these issues in varying degrees, and no two women with the condition are identical.


PCOS is associated with an imbalance of the endocrine system but it is still not known exactly what causes those changes.

The main theories behind PCOS include genetics, a misfiring of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Ovarian axis and a relationship between insulin and androgen.

The Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Ovarian (HPO) axis is a hormonal control system in the body. The hypothalamus releases gonadotropin-releasing hormone that travels to the pituitary gland, which releases a slew of hormones, including follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).

LH stimulates the ovaries to produce androgens. One theory is that high levels of LH and androgens, such as testosterone, cause PCOS.

The insulin-androgen connection theorizes that insulin — which is typically high in women with PCOS — decrease the production of sex-hormone binding globulin, or SHBG. When SHBG is present, testosterone is carried in the blood, but if a reduced amount of SHBG is available, more free testosterone is in the blood. High insulin levels are also believed to increase the number of androgens that the ovary produces.


Many symptoms of PCOS can be managed through lifestyle modifications such as losing weight, following a healthy, low carbohydrate diet an exercise. Plan to start a healthier lifestyle together; it’s a great way to connect in a new healthier way and support one another. Exploring new healthy recipes and going for long walks or runs together is a great, and positive way to spend time together.

Infertility is often a big concern as well. If you know that your partner wants to have children, reassure him that this is still possible, and may just take a little extra help.

For women who are not seeking to get pregnant, birth control pills are typically a first-choice for regulating menstrual cycles. Women who have not had a period in a long time may be given a medication such as Provera to induce a cycle.

Other symptoms, such as increased facial hair, can be treated with medications such as Spironolactone (Aldactone ), which inhibits the testosterone secreted by the body, and also competes for hormone receptors in the hair follicles.

Can You Have Children?

Getting pregnant with PCOS is possible, though it may a little bit more difficult. While it can be a challenge, the good news is that there are a number of treatments available.

There are lots of medications and new technologies that are available to help couples have children if they are not able to on their own. Having an idea ​of what to expect when starting infertility treatment can help your partner feel more in control of and less intimidated by the process of infertility treatment.


Your partner will likely be concerned about your health and the possible complications later in life. In addition to irregular cycles, women with PCOS are at increased risk for endometrial cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

Your partner can be a huge source of support, but only if you are open and honest. Consider allowing your partner to come to one of your doctor appointments with you to ask questions. And most importantly, don’t forget to keep the lines of communication open as time goes on.

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