Study Finds Lesbian Women Twice as Likely to Have Polycystic Ovaries

By Dr. Andrea Lee

A British study conducted by the London Women’s Clinic links lesbianism with polycystic ovaries. The study, by Dr. Rina Agrawal, involved examining 618 women who sought fertility treatment, among them 254 were lesbian women and 364 were heterosexual women. None of the women studied had previously been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovaries (PCO) or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), although 15% had been treated for symptoms such as acne, excessive facial hair or the inability to conceive.

Each of the women had a pelvic ultrasound examination on the second or third day of their menstrual cycle, and blood samples were taken to measure levels of reproductive hormones. A Clinical psychologist, nurse, or counselor documented the details of their medical and sexual histories during three separate sessions.

Eighty percent of the lesbian women had polycystic ovaries (ovaries with attached, fluid-filled cysts or sacs), compared to 32% in heterosexual women. Lesbian women also had higher rates of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), with 38% having the syndrome compared to 14% of heterosexual women.

PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder among females and is characterized by multiple abnormal ovarian cysts. Possible symptoms include: excess male hormones, weight gain, obesity, excess facial and body hair, thinning hair, acne, skin tags, brown skin patches, depression, anxiety, irregular periods, and infertility.

Dr. Agrawal said: “Our research neither suggests nor indicates that polycystic ovaries-PCOS causes lesbianism, only that polycystic ovaries-PCOS is more prevalent in lesbian women,” said Agrawal. “We do, however, hypothesise that hyperandrogenism – which is associated with PCOS – may be one of the factors contributing to the sexual orientation of women.”

Dr. Andrea Lee is a Naturopathic Doctor practicing at Arizona Advanced Medicine in Scottsdale, where she treats a number of women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) among other conditions. As a member of Insulite Laboratories’ Medical & Advisory team, Dr. Lee provides guidance and coaching to individuals who contact the Insulite Support Network, including those using the various Insulite Systems.

Prior to attending Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, Dr. Lee worked as a senior research study associate and volunteered with a breast cancer support group in Oklahoma City, OK. Her Bachelor’s degree is from the University of Alaska where she studied Psychology and Exercise Science.

Prevalence of polycystic ovaries and polycystic ovary syndrome in lesbian women compared with heterosexual women. Fertility and Sterility, Volume 82, Issue 5, Pages 1352-1357 R. Agrawal, S. Sharma, J. Bekir, G. Conway, J. Bailey, A. Balen, G. Prelevic

Next Steps

  1. Take the PCOS Quiz!  Get your score and assess your hormone health risks.
  2. Join our Facebook Sisterhood Group Pose your questions to this group of like-minded women. Get the answers to your questions and the support you need.
  3. Checkout the Hormone Reset. Guided Practices to eliminate anxiety, lose weight and boost energy.

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