Date of Award

Spring 2008

Document Type





Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder that affects between 3.5 and 5 million women of reproductive age in the United States (Barron, 2004). It is characterized by hyperandrogenism and menstrual irregularities, and it causes several troublesome symptoms including, but not limited to, weight gain, excessive hair growth, infertility, and polycystic ovaries. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the lived experience of PCOS by interviewing three participants. The interviews were analyzed using Giorgi’s Method, and they revealed several common themes including Anticipatory Grieving, Fear of Infertility, Feeling Misunderstood, and Uncertainty about the future relating to PCOS. Participants experienced the Challenges of Physical Symptoms, such as pain, weight gain, and irregular menstrual cycles. The results of this research can help nurses increase their understanding and empathy towards women with PCOS, and further research needs to be done to explore how nurses can best prepare their clients for the challenges of living PCOS.

Included in

Nursing Commons