PCOS Petition via Change.Org

Hey ladies, Ashley here!  Make sure you read all the way down and sign the petition of Changedotorg

Over the years I have had the pleasure of working with some of the leading pioneers, health advocates, doctors and organizations to bring awareness and information about PCOS to the spotlight. 

The following is a compilation of insight, information and facts to answer the many questions surrounding #PCOS

Even though #PCOS was first recognized over 75 years ago, we are no closer to understanding its cause or its treatment. There is no singular test that can conclude whether a woman or girl has the syndrome instead it is a collection of symptoms, history and diagnostic testing. As a result once a doctor concludes it is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, they manage the symptoms to prevent long-term health consequences such as infertility, diabetes and heart disease.

So by now you are probably wondering if you do not already know, 

What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (#PCOS)?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal problem in women. It is also a metabolic disorder that affects several body systems and can cause significant long-term health consequences. PCOS is often characterized by enlarged ovaries, with multiple small painless cysts or follicles, that form in the ovary. Two other key features of PCOS are production of excess androgens (male sex hormones) and anovulation (the failure to ovulate properly), which makes PCOS the leading cause of infertility.

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

The symptoms of PCOS can be not only physically debilitating, but also emotionally and psychologically wrenching. While no two women may have the same symptoms of POCS, they are likely to include any or all of the following:

· Infertility

· Irregular or absent periods

· Excess hair growth on face and body

· Male-Pattern hair thinning

· Acne

· Obesity

· Lipid Abnormalities

If a woman has two or more of these symptoms, she should go to a physician, such as a reproductive endocrinologist, for an accurate diagnosis and treatment of symptoms.

It is estimated now, that approximately ten to twenty percent of women may have PCOS, as opposed to the early statistics indicating #PCOS affecting five to ten percent of women. As the numbers continue to rise it is becoming apparent that #PCOS is reaching epidemic proportions an demands attention as a National Health Initiative. As more women and girls become aware of the syndrome they are ofen left to ask .....

What Causes PCOS?

The susceptibility to PCOS is often inherited, however the precise cause is unknown.

How is PCOS diagnosed?

While many physicians diagnose a woman with PCOS based on symptoms confirmation of the diagnosis requires obtaining blood samples for a variety of hormones, including those produced by the ovaries, adrenal glands, pituitary gland and thyroid gland. A full physical examination and screening for cholesterol, trygleceride, glucose and insulin should also be part of a complete evaluation. 

Is PCOS life-threatening?

PCOS can be associated with a number of serious medical conditions. PCOS is frequently associated with decreased sensitivity to insulin (i.e., insulin resistance), which in turn may lead to an increased risk of adult on-set diabetes mellitus, stroke and cardiovascular disease. PCOS can also be associated with uterine and endometrial cancers.

Is there an overall treatment for PCOS?

Unfortunately, at the present time doctors can only treat the individual symptoms of women with PCOS, rather than the entire syndrome. Once diagnosed, in most patients it can be managed effectively to help patients lead healthier and more satisfying lifestyles. In the meantime, research continues to determine the cause and look for new and better treatments for PCOS. 

Is PCOS a gynecological or an endocrinological disorder?

Since many of the symptoms involve a woman’s reproductive system, PCOS is often mistaken for a gynecological disorder. It is, however, a disorder of the endocrine system, involving hormones and hormone production. Therefore a specialist in the endocrine system, such as a reproductive endocrinologist, should be consulted to confirm diagnosis. 

Are there other issues related to PCOS?

There is often a stigma attached to many of the symptoms of PCOS, particularly facial and body hair, infertility and obesity. Some women may even suffer from depression as a result of the symptoms. Women with PCOS need emotional and social support to deal with the effects of this condition on their lives Research has shown that a strong network of friends and family greatly enhances an individual’s ability to cope with the distressing effects of the syndrome.

Why is public awareness of PCOS so critical?

The symptoms of PCOS can vary significantly from one woman to the next, therefore a woman often does not realize she may have the syndrome. Public information and awareness about the symptoms and the serious nature of the disorder are crucial to identifying women in need of treatment. 

For women to make informed decisions about their health management, the information upon which they base their decisions should be accurate, current, based upon well-performed research studies, and obtained from well-informed and well-trained physicians and other caregivers. This information must be easy for the general public to find and understand. There are many sources of information available on the internet please visit us on Twitter to be connected with more information and professionals treating PCOS and their symptoms and support initiatives such as the PCOS National Initiative petition

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