Over 200,000 women in Australia have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Most of these women have either been diagnosed late or remain undiagnosed. Early diagnosis can substantially improve the health, fertility and emotional well being of women with this condition.
Here are some informative data to help you understand PCOS more. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) symptoms crosses three big social stigmas:
1. Periods - Irregular periods or absent menstrual periods had women
questioning themselves and their bodies from an early age. Many won't talk about this condition with other
women, and definitely not with men.
2. Fertility - While PCOS is the most common hormonal disorder affecting women and the leading cause of female infertility, women who don’t have correct information will go to IVF in the first instance before exploring other cheaper options. While many symptoms begin to emerge during puberty, many patients discover they have it only when they’ve failed to fall pregnant.
3. Body Image - Hirsutism or excessive hair on the face, chest, abdomen, or other parts of the body leave women feeling very isolated and like a man. I know of members who shave each day or wax to combat this problem, and others who will not leave their home for fear of ridicule.
Many women who suffer from the symptoms of PCOS don't seek medical treatment because they are too embarrassed or because the symptoms seem trivial and unrelated. Many of the symptoms could be perceived as awkward phases of development, reactions to stress or lifestyle choices, or concerns with a less-than-perfect body. For those who do seek treatment, doctors often dismiss their complaints because they can be categorised as cosmetic or unexplained "female" problems, or merely affecting a woman's ability to get pregnant.
The advocacy role of POSSA (Polycystic Ovary Association of Australia Inc.) exists to provide a home to fellow “cysters: - a term POSSA prefers to use than sufferer. It is easy to feel isolated and alone when diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). POSSA's primary function is giving information and support to women with PCOS.
Nad's supports POSSA to raise the community’s awareness of the
syndrome and campaigning for things like the national guidelines, as
demonstrated by POSSA's persistent 5 year lobbying campaign for the
treatment and diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
I hope this information supplied to us by POSSA can help you understand more about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Remember, if you are a "cyster" you don't have to feel alone anymore. We hear you!!! Are you a cyster?
Photo: Flickr - Rodolfo Nunez