Awareness of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome among Schoolgirls and Their Mothers: A Cross-Sectional Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Endocrinology and Female Infertility, Reproductive Biomedicine Research Center, Royan Institute for Reproductive Biomedicine, ACECR, Tehran, Iran

2 Reproductive Epidemiology Research Center, Royan Institute for Reproductive Biomedicine, ACECR, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Psychology, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Arash Women's Hospital, Tehran, University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Breast Disease Research Center (BDRC), Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

6 Department of Medical Ethics and Law, Reproductive Biomedicine Research Center, Royan Institute for Reproductive Biomedicine, ACECR, Tehran, Iran


Background: One of the most common endocrine disorders of reproductive age women is polycystic ovary syndrome
(PCOS). Women with PCOS are at risk for infertility, endometrial cancer, metabolic disorders, and cardiovascular disease.
Awareness of the signs and symptoms of PCOS can be effective in diagnosing early stage PCOS and promoting
quality of life (QoL). This study assesses the awareness of PCOS in schoolgirls and their mothers.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out on 1580 high school girls and 480 of their mothers
in Tehran (capital of Iran) in 2017 and 2018. We used the stratified sampling method and divided Tehran into five
geographic regions: north, south, east, west, and central. Schools were randomly selected from each of these regions.
Students and their mothers separately answered a self-administered questionnaire that pertained to their knowledge
of PCOS. Statistical analyses were carried out with SPSS, version 22 (Inc. Chicago, IL, USA) and R version 3.2.1.
Results: Students had an average age of 16.97 ± 0.84 years and their mothers’ average age was 45.19 ± 5.03 years.
The average body mass index (BMI) of the students was 22.01 ± 5.54 kg/m2. The results of this study showed that only
48 students (3.2%) and 148 mothers (27%) had acceptable knowledge about PCOS. The knowledge of students about
PCOS was positively related to their mothers’ knowledge about PCOS (P<0.001).
Conclusion: The level of PCOS awareness in Iranian women is insufficient and this may affect their QoL. Therefore,
the health authorities should implement educational programs to challenge women’s incorrect beliefs about PCOS and
increase their awareness of this disease.


Main Subjects


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