How PCOS Affects Your Relationships

PCOS is a very frustrating condition in women that can affect your fertility, health, and emotional well-being. It is not surprising that having PCOS can affect your relationships with your partner, family, and friends as well.

Here are some factors that can affect your relationships if you have PCOS and what you can do about it. 

Man and woman sitting far apart on a couch and looking in different directions
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Self-Esteem Issues

Besides causing reproductive changes like irregular periods and difficulty conceiving, PCOS can cause a number of distressing dermatological symptoms such as acne, boils, irregular hair growth, hair loss, skin tags, and weight gain. These changes to your physical appearance can lower your self-esteem and make you feel uncomfortable in your body. You may also experience mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, which can affect your self-esteem as well.

Remember that your family and friends love you for who you are, not because your face is clear or hair perfect. After all, you don’t love your best friend for that reason, right? Respect yourself, and trust that your loved ones love you as much as you love them. If this becomes a chronic problem, try seeing a mental health professional so you can work through any negative thoughts you may have.

Weight Changes

Many women with PCOS have a hard time losing weight. If you've been struggling to lose any PCOS-related weight you might have gained, you may feel resentful of friends who are slimmer or don't have to monitor their weight. Many women report feeling like they are constantly comparing themselves to their skinnier friends or are embarrassed about their excess weight.

If your weight is an issue, consult with a registered dietitian who has experience in treating women with PCOS for guidance on lifestyle changes. Even without weight loss, women with PCOS can improve their lives and optimize their health.

Infertility and Intimacy

Infertility, or difficulty getting pregnant, can dramatically affect a couple’s relationship. Opening your private sexual life to medical professionals can really hamper your intimacy as well. Even being told when to have sex and when to abstain eliminates the spontaneity and fun that comes with being a couple. It's not uncommon for couples to fight during this time, especially giving the financial and emotional strain of fertility treatment. If you feel like your infertility is your fault, know that infertility is common and nothing to feel ashamed about.

Infertility doesn’t have to destroy your bond with your partner. There are many things that you can do to restore or maintain the intimacy and spontaneity of your sexual relationship. Work with your partner to think of fun ways to initiate sex and take time to appreciate each other; it doesn't just have to be inside of the bedroom. Making time for each other can help improve your relationship and make trying to have a baby more rewarding, despite being directed by medical professionals.

If you feel that having PCOS is severely affecting your relationships with others, it may be time to check in with an individual psychotherapist or couples' counselor for some help figuring it out.

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