• Irum Hayat Ph.D Scholar, Department of Psychology, Preston University Kohat Pakistan (Islamabad Campus) & Faculty of Islamabad Model College For Boys G-11/1 under the ambit of Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training (MOFEPT) Islamabad Pakistan
  • Dr. Alay Ahmed Dean and Chairman Department of Psychology, Preston University Kohat Main Campus Pakistan
  • Dr. Fayyaz Ahmed Anjum Head of Department (Psychology), Preston University Kohat, Islamabad Campus.


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Defense Mechanisms, Mixed Methods Study, Infertility, Quality of Life, Psychological Needs, Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA).


The objectives of the study were to explore the nature of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in order to identify different defense mechanisms of the ego. Defense mechanisms of women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) have not been explored previously in qualitative studies with particular reference to Pakistani culture. A mixed method approach was used to explore experiences in 21 women with diagnosed polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Qualitative research designs consisted of interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA) with Thematic Apperception Test, Focus Groups, Modified Hand Test and quantitative research design included
survey analysis through Defense Style Questionnaire (DSQ-40) for the sample of PCOS women. 18 defense mechanisms with themes and sub-themes were identified by women with PCOS which were again categorized in three domains: 1) immature and unhealthy defenses 2) mature and healthy defenses 3) neurotic and anxiety related defenses. These defense mechanisms included: regression, repression, suppression, projection, aggression, introjection and displacement, denial/avoidance, dissociation, somatization, sublimation, anticipation, rationalization, altruism, fantasy, pseudo-altruism, devaluation of self/diminished self-esteem, reaction formation and idealization. It is concluded that women with mid age range i.e. (26-35 years) are frequently using more immature and unhealthy defense mechanisms. Mature and healthy defenses are mostly used by women with third age range i.e. 36-45 years. Neurotic or anxiety related defenses are mostly used by women with both age ranges i.e. 26-35 years and 36-45 years. These defenses affect the physical as well as psychological health related quality of life of women with PCOS.




How to Cite

Irum Hayat, Dr. Alay Ahmed, & Dr. Fayyaz Ahmed Anjum. (2023). DEFENSE MECHANISMS IN WOMEN WITH POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME. Pakistan Journal of Society, Education and Language (PJSEL), 9(2), 240–254. Retrieved from