Study finds lesbian women twice as likely to have polycystic ovaries

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

Each of the women underwent 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 details of their medical and sexual history during three separate sessions.

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

PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder among women 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 spots on the skin, depression, anxiety, irregular periods, and infertility.

Dr. Agrawal said: “Our research does not suggest or indicate that PCOS-PCOS causes lesbianism, only that PCOS-PCOS is more common in lesbian women,” Agrawal said. “However, we hypothesized that hyperandrogenism, which is associated with polycystic ovary syndrome, may be one of the factors contributing to women’s sexual orientation.”

Dr. Andrea Lee is a naturopathic physician who practices 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 the Insulite Laboratories medical and advisory team, Dr. Lee provides guidance and training to those 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 Associate and volunteered with a breast cancer support group in Oklahoma City, OK. His undergraduate degree is from the University of Alaska, where he studied Psychology and Exercise Science.

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