There are other theories about what causes PCOS, although most are not backed up by solid research. Some researchers and physicians have suggested that in utero (in the womb) experiences or a woman’s emotional history may play a part as well.
One study suggests that the longer the duration of pregnancy -- that is, the longer a pregnancy extends past 40 weeks -- the greater the chance that PCOS will develop in the child later in life. Therefore, the researchers have suggested women not be allowed to go past 40 weeks of pregnancy. However, some physicians say that the child with PCOS would be more likely to have a mother with PCOS who would have had long cycles and late ovulation, making it seem as though the child was born post-term.
Another theory implies that internalized negative childhood messages about themselves contribute to women developing PCOS. Some women accept this suggestion. “I am a strong believer in the mind/body connection to any disorder,” explained Michelle. “I don’t think that PCOS is ‘self-inflicted,’ but I had a strong reaction to this theory. I realized that I had repressed sexual abuse from my childhood and my dad’s disappointment over my not being a boy. After some self-reflection and a lot of crying and ranting and raving at my dear, patient husband, I started having really, really bad cramps and ended up shedding my whole, thick, built-up uterine lining as if my body was holding on to it along with all the guilt and shame I had been repressing. Doctors were amazed how ‘overnight’ this lining that they were considering dangerously thick was gone. I have learned a great deal about myself and how I internalize stress and how that affects my PCOS.”
Living with PCOS by Angela Boss and Evelina Weidman Sterling, copyright 2001. Reprinted with permission.