The Ultimate Guide to PCOS for Husbands and Partners

One of the questions I frequently get from women with PCOS is, “How do I explain PCOS to my husband/spouse/partner?” PCOS for husbands and partners is a very real dilemma, and explaining it to them can be very challenging. Here is an introduction to PCOS for husbands and partners. Just ask them to read this post and you will be off to a good start!

Things to Know If Your Partner Has PCOS:

  1. She didn’t cause it; she was born with it. Something stressful in her life or environment probably contributed to making it seem to appear suddenly.

  2. There is no “PCOS for Husbands” or “PCOS for Partners” class; you’re going to have to work a little to figure this out.

  3. Even though the symptoms sound the same, every woman’s PCOS is different.

  4. There are degrees of difficulty with PCOS. Some women have a very mild case, and some have it more severely, or have more or more complex issues.

  5. Symptoms definitely can vary by time of month, even if a woman doesn’t get her period.

  6. Not getting her period doesn’t automatically mean she’s pregnant.

  7. Having problems getting pregnant – if pregnancy is what the two of you want – is really painful for her.

  8. Losing weight is usually much harder for her than it is for other women. “PCOS for Husbands/Partners” hot tip: be ultra-supportive when she’s trying to lose weight.

  9. You may not care what size she is or if she has extra facial hair, but she probably cares far more than you know.

  10. Her sex drive is just as likely to be non-existent as much stronger than average, thanks to extra testosterone.

  11. PCOS causes quite a hit on a woman’s sense of femininity. You can be helpful by reminding her how much you love and cherish her womanliness.


How to Talk to Your Partner About PCOS:

  1. Be kind, gentle, and also honest. It can be a sensitive topic.

  2. Talk about PCOS from a hopeful and optimistic — but realistic — perspective.

  3. Remember that PCOS is an ongoing conversation that changes throughout her lifetime. That means it changes for you too, and your understanding needs to change with it.

  4. A little humor can be helpful when dealing with PCOS for husbands and partners –just don’t push it too far.

  5. Offer to go to doctor appointments, procedures and the pharmacy with her.

  6. Offer solutions; but mostly, just listen to her worries.

  7. Be willing to pull back a little and let her be the authority on this.

  8. If she’s starting a new eating plan or fertility enhancement plan (such as the ones at RESOLVE), go along for the ride. Whatever it is will probably benefit you, too.

  9. Talk about how PCOS is affecting you as her husband or partner.


Things for Couples to Keep in Mind:

  1. Yes, this is going to affect your sex life.

  2. Infertility is a huge set of stressors, on top of normal life stressors. See this blog on PCOS and infertility for more information on this topic.

  3. PCOS can actually be a source of fun and gratitude. You might discover that working out together, or cooking healthier meals together, is good couple’s time.

  4. Don’t make PCOS the central focus of your lives.

PCOS is a challenge for couples, that’s for sure. It’s important to stay conscious and have ongoing discussions about how PCOS affects both of your lives.  Be willing to be flexible about how you do things. Your relationship will actually grow stronger as you work out solutions together. Keep checking back to the PCOS Wellness Blog for more information on thriving as a couple when one partner has PCOS.

Leave a Comment:

Brent says

I love my wife and will do anything for her. Thanks for this info!

Israel Valencia says

Hi, I love my wife but I am starting to be less sexually attracted to her because of the obesity and too much hair in her arms. I want we to see a better gynecologist, and I want to be with her, so, could you orient me please about what to ask the gynecologist and what treatments do not take (surely she will be diabetic)? Her parents and familiars have diabetes, her father and his family have obesity, finally, we don’t want to get pregnant. I feel the worst of the worst because I don’t like her body anymore, but I love the person she is, so I want to support our marriage.

    Gretchen Kubacky says

    First, thank you for recognizing the issues, and that this is not her fault – and for seeking help to understand the PCOS issues better. It’s understandable that physical appearance has an effect on attractiveness; that’s kind of basic! One of the best things you can do is to focus on health together. For example, exercising together, buying and cooking healthy foods together, etc. Exercising together tends to raise some sexual energy and attraction too! Since you don’t want children, you could ask the gynecologist or her general practitioner (ideally, she would see an endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in treating diabetes, pre-diabetes, PCOS, etc.) to prescribe metformin, which is an anti-diabetic pill that reduces insulin resistance. This helps prevent Type 2 diabetes (and you are right to be concerned because of her family history, but it’s not guaranteed that she’ll get diabetes, if she’s careful now), and usually results in some weight loss. With PCOS, weight loss can take a very long time. It’s not as easy as “just reduce calories and increase movement.” Tell her about my free private Facebook group, PCOS Psychology, where she can get support. For the arm hair, there’s only one permanent solution, electrolysis, which takes a while and is not inexpensive, but it’s really life changing for women with PCOS. Good luck, and check back in with PCOS Wellness from time to time!

    Meghan says

    Israel, thank you for your honesty coupled with your earnest inquiry as to how to get effective treatment for your wife.

    I need you to acknowledge that just because your wife receives better treatment does not mean the excess hair or weight will be cured. It is likely she will suffer from excess hair and weight issues forever or fluctuate with these issues as she receives treatment and experiences hormonal shifts endemic to all people regardless of gender or condition. Accepting your wife’s condition also means accepting these fluctuations that I’m certain bring her a lot of anxiety. Women with PCOS are in fear that their partners will find them less attractive because of the physical ramifications of PCOS. If your wife was going through chemotherapy and lost all her hair, would you be less attracted to her more than you would be concerned or empathetic for her plight or find her more attractive that she braves the world and your marriage despite having PCOS? Your attraction requires shifting your mental state or maybe talking to a therapist about your feelings.

    I wouldn’t suggest a better gynecologist. I would recommend a great endocrinologist. In my experience gynecologists are not familiar enough with treating PCOS.

    Spironolactone and Metformin will ease her symptoms in most cases but they will never eradicate them completely and these medications do carry risks. Further, I’d recommend the supplement Ovositol that can be purchased on Amazon. It helps with the insulin resistance that causes excess hair and weight gain.

    Best of luck to you and your wife.

Ricardo Losano says

My wife has pcos and I do support her with every ounce of love I have for her

    Gretchen Kubacky says

    That’s fantastic – not that your wife has PCOS – but that you support her so whole-heartedly. You sound like a real blessing in her life. – Dr. Gretchen

Jan says

As a woman with PCOS it saddens me that a husband admits to not being attracted to his wife. This is a huge self confidence buster to us and it’s not something we want. We NEED our spouses love, compliments and encouragement. We already ourselves don’t feel attractive.

Chris says

I love my girlfriend very much she was up front with me from the beginning about her PCOS…I was fine with it at the time and still am now, but the lack of sex drive has really taken its toll on me. I’ve tried to do things to spice up the relationship but nothing seems to help. I love her very much and it’s very hard to not be able to feel closer to her. I know she can’t control it, and I’m not trying to sound selfish. I just wish I knew what I could do to get us back to what we had at first…I feel so alone when she rejects me. It’s a very tough situation. I try not to pry about it because I know she can’t help it…I’ll take any advice I can get on the matter

    Joe says

    If you intend to have a relationship with someone with PCOS it will not be an easy ride by any means. There will be challenges at every corner. But know that the person you love has been given a special gift and challenge and you are in a unique position where you can help her greatly. She will need you in this battle. So buckle up partner and enjoy the ride.

Dave says

Jan, it is unfair to expect husbands to unconditionally love/ find their wife attractive especially when all he is doing is being honest. If all was fine then there would be no need for change. A husband is allowed to feel. His response is his and you should respect that.

Dan says

Thanks for the helpful info! I recently found out my wife has PCOS. We’ve been married 3 years and she’s put on close to 70lbs. She still looks great, it’s not a problem for me. But she’s having a really difficult time with food cravings and I wish I could do more to help her make healthier choices without feeling judged. Recently she’s been eating dessert foods just about every night. She complains about her belly fat but when the sugar cravings come she just can’t seem to resist them.

    Gretchen Kubacky says

    It is good to keep an open mind, while also working on better health. Here is a link to my free guide about satisfying those sweet cravings, this should help!

Atakan says

I love my partner and this post helped me understand her and our relationships better. I realized that how much mistake I have done and how should I act on these. Thank you

Amber says

I have pcos and my husband is not supportive at all he stays mad cause i have no sex drive and treats me like crap because of it i also have endometriosis on top of pcos and it is very hard to deal with both and sex is not something i want what can i do?

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