Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Public Health in Prevention and Intervention Programming


Community and Environmental Health

Major Advisor

Ellen Schafer, Ph.D.


Megan Smith, Ph.D.


Vinita Sharma, Ph.D.


Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the leading hormonal/endocrine disorder among women of reproductive age with an estimated 116 million women affected worldwide. This heterogeneous disorder might stop or dysregulate menstruation, cause acne and unwanted facial hair, and increase the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, all of which could impact daily life. Given the Transactional Model of Stress and Coping, we understand PCOS diagnosis and treatment may cause uncertainty in people’s lives. People may cope with uncertainty through information seeking and social support.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to understand the information and support shared and received about PCOS on the social media platform, TikTok.

Methods: A quantitative cross-sectional analysis was conducted between October 12 and October 21, 2022. Video content was grouped in main topics determined by content creator, PCOS-related symptoms, and theoretical considerations, and was analyzed to determine the most popular content based on likes, comments, and views.

Results: Hirsutism and menstruation were the most shared and sought out topics for people with PCOS. The most common content creators were 25-45 years old females, sharing a personal experience. The most common video content was information being shared about PCOS. Additionally, the highest proportion of videos were the ones that mentioned patient dissatisfaction including messages about weight (32.3%), menstruation (22.6%) or infertility/pregnancy (22.6%).

Conclusion: People with PCOS, health care professionals, and family/friends of those with PCOS utilize TikTok to share and receive information and support about PCOS. To improve one’s well-being, especially when dealing with the uncertainty of PCOS, accurate anticipatory guidance, positive social support, and access to correct information are vital to mediate the relationship between stressors and healthful outcomes. There is potential to improve the satisfaction rates of patients with their physicians; we can start by tailoring conversations towards the most common topics in which people with PCOS are interested.


Available for download on Sunday, July 06, 2025