Can PCOS Cause Urinary and Bowel Issues?

  • PCOS cause urinary and bowel issues even when women have non-classic PCOS.
  • This is because the cysts may press against the bladder and rectum (bowel).
  • Cysts can be removed under general anaesthetic.
  • PCOS symptoms can be relieved through changing your lifestyle.

Classic and Non-Classic PCOS

Despite its name, polycystic ovary syndrome does not require the presence of polycystic ovaries. In fact, when present together, excess of male hormones (hyperandrogenism) and lack of ovulation (anovulation) comprise the classic form of PCOS, which is more common and generally associated with more severe side effects than the non-classic form. 

Women who have non-classic PCOS can have polycystic ovaries with regular menstrual cycles and hyperandrogenism (non-classic ovulatory PCOS). Or they can have normal androgens but experience chronic anovulation (non-classic mild/normoandrogenic PCOS).

PCOS Can Cause Urinary and Bowel Issues

Although non-classic PCOS is typically milder, those women who have extensive ovarian cysts may experience pain in the pelvic region where the cysts press against the bladder and rectum. Associated symptoms include nausea, urinary conditions, and constipation.

Depending on the severity of the symptoms, treatment options range from over-the-counter pain relief medication to cyst removal under general anaesthetic. Ultrasound investigation will be used to establish how invasive the cysts are.

In addition to the pain and pressure caused by the presence of cysts in the abdominal region, many women with PCOS experience symptoms that are usually associated with diabetes. This is probably because a large proportion of women with the condition are insulin resistant.

Symptoms such as sugar cravings, frequent urination, blurred vision, delayed healing, and a tingling sensation have all been reported.

To date, the most effective way of relieving the symptoms of PCOS is through the implementation of lifestyle changes, such as weight loss.

To read more about factors that are associated with PCOS click here and consider Nabta’s PCOS Test to understand more.

Nabta is reshaping women’s healthcare. We support women with their personal health journeys, from everyday wellbeing to the uniquely female experiences of fertility, pregnancy, and menopause

Get in touch if you have any questions about this article or any aspect of women’s health. We’re here for you. 


El Hayak, S, et al. “Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome: An Updated Overview.” Frontiers in Physiology, vol. 7, 5 Apr. 2016, p. 124., doi:10.3389/fphys.2016.00124.

Norman, R J, et al. “The Role of Lifestyle Modification in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.” Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, vol. 13, no. 6, Aug. 2002, pp. 251–257.

Patel, S. “Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), an Inflammatory, Systemic, Lifestyle Endocrinopathy.” The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, vol. 182, Sept. 2018, pp. 27–36., doi:10.1016/j.jsbmb.2018.04.008.

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