Knowledge, Prevalence and Practice of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome among Sudanese women in Khartoum State, Sudan: The need for health education


Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder and cause of infertility in women of reproductive age. Knowledge of females about health problems is considered an important factor that promotes females’ health-seeking behavior. This study aimed to evaluate females’ knowledge and attitude toward PCOS as well as to assess PCOS prevalence among the participants.

Methods: A total of 240 females were included in the study between January and April 2019. A convenience sampling technique was used to select the participants. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 24. The analysis included frequencies of discrete variables and descriptors and cross-tabulation of the variables using the Chi-square test and logistic regression analysis. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: The results showed a low level of knowledge (scoring <9) in 41.3%, a good level (scoring between 9 and 15) in 21.3%, and also an excellent level of knowledge (scoring >15) in 37.5%. The Chi-square statistical test showed significant associations between the level of knowledge and education level, urban residence, health profession, marital status, and the prevalence of PCOS (p < 0.001, <0.001, <0.001, 0.045, and <0.001), respectively. Logistic regression showed that the females’ knowledge about PCOS was significantly associated with urban residence and being a health professional (p = 0.004 and p < 0.001, respectively).

Conclusion: The study highlighted that there was inadequate knowledge about the disease among participants and showed an urgent need to improve the knowledge about PCOS among Sudanese women.


knowledge, practice, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), Khartoum, Sudan

[1] Nayak, S. (2016). A study to assess the knowledge regarding PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) among nursing students at NUINS. Nitte University Journal of Health Science, vol. 6, no. 3.

[2] Bharathi, R. V., Neerajaa, J., Madhavica, J. V., et al. (2017). An epidemiological survey: Effect of predisposing factors for PCOS in Indian urban and rural population. Middle East Fertility Society Journal, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 313–316.

[3] Dias, D. (2015). A descriptive study to assess the knowledge and warning signs of the polycystic ovarian syndrome among girls of selected colleges of Belagavi Karnataka. KLE University Journal, vol. 89, no. 2, pp. 142–156.

[4] Witchel, S. F., Oberfield, S. E., and Pena, A. S. (2019). Polycystic ovary syndrome: Pathophysiology, presentation, and treatment with emphasis on adolescent girls. Journal of the Endocrine Society, vol. 3, no. 8, pp. 1545–1573.

[5] Alessa, A., Dalal, A., Almutairi, S., et al. (2017). Awareness of polycystic ovarian syndrome among Saudi females. International Journal of Medical Science and Public Health, vol. 6, no. 6, pp. 1013–1020.

[6] de Medeiros, S. F. (2017). Risks benefit size and clinical implications of combined oral contraceptive use in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, vol. 15, no. 1, p. 93.

[7] Lucidi, R. S. (n.d.). Polycystic ovarian syndrome treatment and management. Medscape. Retrieved from:

[8] Palomba, S., Santagni, S., Falbo, A., et al. (2015). Complications and challenges associated with polycystic ovary syndrome: Current perspectives. International Journal of Women’s Health, vol. 7, pp. 745–763.

[9] Rotterdam ESHRE/ASRM-Sponsored PCOS Consensus Workshop Group. (2004). Revised 2003 consensus on diagnostic criteria and long-term health risks related to polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertility and Sterility, vol. 81, no. 1, pp. 19–25.

[10] Shafiee, M. N., Chapman, C., Barrett, D., et al. (2013). Reviewing the molecular mechanisms which increase endometrial cancer (EC) risk in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS): time for a paradigm shift? Gynecologic Oncology, vol. 131, no. 2, pp. 489–492.

[11] Patel, J. and Rai, S. (2018). Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) awareness among young women of central India. International Journal of Reproduction, Contraception, Obstetrics and Gynecology, vol. 7, no. 10, pp. 3960–3964.

[12] AlSinan, A. and Shaman, A. (2017). A study to measure the health awareness of polycystic ovarian syndrome in Saudi Arabia. Global Journal of Health Science, vol. 9, no. 8, p. 130.

[13] Upadhye, J. J. and Shembekar, C. A. (2017). Awareness of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) in adolescent and young girls. International Journal of Reproduction, Contraception, Obstetrics and Gynecology, vol. 6, no. 6, pp. 2297–2301.

[14] Ali, M. R. and Mahmoud, O. M. (2019). Polycystic ovarian syndrome knowledge and awareness of non-medical undergraduate students. International Journal of Novel Research in Healthcare and Nursing, vol. 6, no. 3, pp 1249–1258).

[15] Gul, S., Zahid, S., and Ansari, A. (2014). PCOS: Symptoms and awareness in urban Pakistani women. International Journal of Pharma Research and Health Sciences, vol. 2, no. 5, pp. 356–360.

[16] Teede, H., Gibson-Helm, M., Norman, R. J., et al. (2014). Polycystic ovary syndrome: perceptions and attitudes of women and primary health care physicians on features of PCOS and renaming the syndrome. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, vol. 99, no. 1, pp. E107–E111.

[17] Haq, N., Khan, Z., Riaz, S., et al. (2017). Prevalence and knowledge of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) among female science students of different public universities of Quetta, Pakistan. Imperial Journal of Interdisciplinary Research, vol. 35, no. 6, pp. 385–392.

[18] Memon, M. S., Shaikh, S. A., Shaikh, A. R., et al. (2015). An assessment of knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) towards diabetes and diabetic retinopathy in a suburban town of Karachi. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 183–188.

[19] Khalil, S., Almobarak, A. O., Awadalla, H., et al. (2017). Low levels of physical activity in Sudanese individuals with some features of metabolic syndrome: Population-based study. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. S551–S554.

[20] Sharma, S. and Mishra, A. J. (2017). Tabooed disease in alienated bodies: A study of women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Clinical Epidemiology and Global Health, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 130–136.

[21] Ali Risasi, C., Mulumba, P., Verdonck, K., et al. (2014). Knowledge, attitude and practice about cancer of the uterine cervix among women living in Kinshasa, the democratic republic of Congo. BMC Women’s Health, vol. 14, p. 30.