Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is the number one cause of infertility in women. Stemming from hormonal imbalance, this condition comes with irregular periods, increased facial or body hair, and weight gain. One of the most common issues women face with PCOS is a lack of libido or interest in sex. This can lead to several relationship issues and make coping with the condition even more challenging.
Here is everything that you need to know about how PCOS affects your sexual health and what you can do about it.
Why Does PCOS Affect Sexual Health?
- Sporadic periods: Irregularities in the menstrual cycle means that your periods may start anytime, without any warning. This makes women too anxious about getting intimate with their partners. Most women find intercourse during their menstrual cycle uncomfortable. Some may even experience severe premenstrual symptoms which reduces their libido.
- Sexual dysfunction: Relationship issues are common for women with PCOS because they tend to experience sexual dysfunction or a complete lack of interest in intercourse. A study published by the Iranian Journal of Reproductive Medicine showed that close to 60% of women with PCOS suffer from one form of sexual dysfunction or another. Almost all women who participated in this study expressed difficulty in arousal and a complete lack of desire.
- Mental Health Issues: Women with PCOS may also have marriage problems due to the emotional distress that comes with this condition. The hormonal imbalance and symptoms like infertility or increased body and facial hair-trigger mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Many women also do not feel desirable enough and therefore experience a lot of stress regarding getting intimate with their partners.
- Anxiety about pregnancy: It is common for women with PCOS to become very stressed about having a baby. Since infertility is a common issue, women also undergo hormonal treatments or have to keep a tab on their ovulation and time their intercourse precisely. This makes sex less pleasurable. Additionally, the sex hormones in the body are completely out of balance. This makes the desire to engage in sex lesser as well.
What You Can Do About It
Dealing with the physical symptoms of PCOS is enough. However, the emotional trauma that comes with it can lead to relationship issues as well. There are a few options available to improve your sexual health and lead a better life:
- Talk to your partner: Communication is the first step to improving sexual health, no matter what the cause. Speak to your partner about your insecurities, the discomfort you experience, or the reason for your lack of sexual desire. You may be able to come to some understanding that makes sex more pleasurable and less stressful.
- Consult a doctor: Treating the physical symptoms of PCOS is often beneficial in regularising your sex drive. Your doctor can provide medication to help balance the hormones in your body or reduce the symptoms of any mental health issue that you are facing. Avoid birth control pills if you have sexual health issues as they tend to lower the libido even more. Supplements like Vitamin D are highly beneficial in regularising hormones and improving your energy levels.
- Work on yourself: Try to understand why you are losing interest in sex. If it stems from the physical changes taking place like — increased body hair or weight, look for options to control them. You can even seek professional counselling if you are experiencing any mental health issues like depression or anxiety because of PCOS.
Try traditional remedies: Several traditional remedies can help manage PCOS symptoms and subsequently improve sexual health. Seed cycling is becoming increasingly popular because of its positive effects on your hormones and your menstrual cycles. This process involves consuming four types of seeds, namely sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds to load your body with essential vitamins and nutrients that reduce the symptoms of PCOS.