School of Psychology

Psychological aspects of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Date • Time

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 15:00 to 16:00


TB 13


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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) impacts about 10% of women.

One of the diagnostic criteria is elevated testosterone levels. Some women go undiagnosed, and don't realise that some of their problems - such as weight gain, depression, and fertility problems - are caused by PCOS. Women with PCOS experienced increased anxiety and depression compared to other women, and experience other mood and cognitive phenomena related to testosterone.

The field of medicine struggles to deal effectively with the biological / physiological aspects of PCOS, and the field of psychology has only barely started making a contribution. However there have been some interesting developments in recent times, such as a pilot study by myself (John Barry) and colleagues finding that a psychological relaxation programme can not only improve mood in PCOS, but can also make small improvements in some of the biochemical imbalances in PCOS.

In this talk, I will describe the findings of my research on the various psychological aspects of PCOS, from the womb to adulthood.

Dr John Barry

Faculty of Brain Sciences, UCL

After completing my PhD in psychological aspects of polycystic ovary syndrome at City University London, I joined University College London’s Institute for Women’s Health at the UCL Medical School in 2011. Since then I have published over 50 papers in various peer-reviewed journals, including in international-standard journals in gynaecology, cardiology and ophthalmology. In 2016 I joined UCL’s Dept of Psychology, where I am researching solutions to mental health problems that are particularly common in men (e.g. suicide, help-seeking of therapy), as well as writing and lecturing on PCOS.

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