The Lived Experience of Women Diagnosed With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome


  • Barbara S. Snyder

    Corresponding author
    1. Barbara S. Snyder, PhD, APRN, BC, is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing at The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ.
    Search for more papers by this author

Address for correspondence: Barbara S. Snyder, PhD, APRN, BC, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ 08628. E-mail:


Objective:  To uncover the meaning of living with polycystic ovary syndrome.

Design:  Phenomenology.

Setting:  A women’s health care practice in northeast United States.

Participants:  A purposive sample consisting of 12 women, ages 21 to 48 years, who had been previously diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome.

Data collection:  Semistructured interviews.

Results:  Analysis of the participants’ responses revealed the following themes: (a) identifying differences, (b) wanting to be normal, (c) searching for answers, (d) gaining control, (e) attempting to achieve femininity, (f) letting go of guilt, and (g) dealing with it.

Conclusions:  Polycystic ovary syndrome is a syndrome that impacts women both physically and psychosocially. Nurses can play a key role in assisting women afflicted with this hormonal disturbance through education and support. JOGNN, 35, 385-392; 2006. DOI: 10.1111/J.1552-6909.2006.00047.x