• Lived Experience;
  • Phenomenology;
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

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