September is recognized as PCOS awareness month. You might be wondering. Why dedicate a whole month to PCOS?
Here is our list of 3 good reasons
- Use the power of a moment to spread awareness about PCOS and bring the community together – Yes 1 in 5 women in India currently has PCOS!
According to statistics 1 in 5 people in India of reproductive age suffer from PCOS. It is more widespread than diabetes! But still many men and women don’t know what this is, how common it is and what to do about it.
A moment like PCOS Awareness month, women sharing their stories brings highlights to the topic and makes people aware. It encourages conversations and normalizes PCOS
For women with PCOS, the stigma, the bodily changes and the associated difficulties in conceiving due to PCOS makes women feel lonely and inferior. It is a struggle for many girls and women. They feel bad for not getting their period cycles like clockwork or their peers (on time).
Women suffer in silence. PCOS, and its physical manifestations/ bodily changes, the symptoms associated with it have a negative effect on fertility of women. This has shown to affect the mental health of women as well. This moment is an opportunity for them to not feel alone and hear stories of others.
This month is dedicated to also reaching out to such women afflicted and struggling with PCOS to tell them that they are not alone in this. There are many women going through this. Having PCOS, irregular period cycles and inability to conceive doesn’t make them any less.
- Propel the need for higher innovation and investment into PCOS solutions – contraceptives are not an answer!
Despite the widespread nature of PCOS in India and globally, very few solutions exist. The pharma world offers contraceptives that only manage one symptom of irregular periods while being extremely harmful for the body. It is not a true PCOS offering.
More people suffer from it and are left undiagnosed for a long time, years on end. There are more people living with it and living with the effects of it than we know.
This moment will help educate health care professionals about the disorder, ways to improve diagnosis and treat it. It will help encourage medical researchers to discuss advancements in the area of research, understand PCOS better for early and effective diagnosis and treatment
- Brings focus on women reproductive health
This month is also dedicated to highlighting the importance of reproductive health, the importance of visiting a Gynecologist at least once a year.
It is important to break the stigma around being silent about reproductive health among Indian women.
Not many women go to a Gynecologist till they face a major reproductive health concern. They are ignorant or shy about it on other days.
If women go for regular check ups, PCOS or other reproductive problems can be diagnosed earlier and treated before it gets severe.
So, let’s use this moment to also touch upon PCOS and its effects on a woman’s body to encourage healthy conversations in friends and family.
Also our quick primer on PCOS to aid your conversations
What is PCOS?
PCOS – PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome.
It is commonly described as a metabolic condition in which there Is an abnormality in ovary and hormonal imbalance.
It presents itself with a variety of symptoms like irregular periods – not regular like clockwork (only every 45 days or more) infertility, acne, weight gain, unwanted hair growth, ovarian cysts and hormonal imbalance.
A woman with PCOS can also get dark patches on the skin and experience depression, anxiety, mood swings and irritability.
Women struggle to get pregnant because it affects their fertility. Women can also develop diabetes and obesity in extreme cases.
The top one among the issues is Hormone imbalance.
- Androgen hormones- Women with high levels of Androgens(male hormones) in the body are at a great risk of getting PCOS. This causes excess facial hair growth.
- Insulin Resistance (IR): When the body cannot use a hormone called insulin to lower blood sugar quantity. This can lead to diabetes.
- High level of LH, low levels of FSH and low level of progesterone: The egg is not produced, and the uterus is not cushioned enough for the egg or pregnancy.
- In some people, small compartments of fluids called Cysts can grow in the ovaries and make them produce less eggs. This causes irregular periods.
- It is genetic for some women, if women in the previous generations in the family have PCOS.
If PCOS is left unnoticed for long it can be associated with other co- morbidities like diabetes, high bp, cholesterol syndrome, body weight issues, depression and cancer.
How to treat PCOS:
Birth control pill is not the correct treatment as it can mask the problems of PCOS
Metformin used to treat diabetic insulin resistance is not good in the long run.
What are we doing at &Me for PCOS Awareness month:
We at &Me are passionate about women’s reproductive health. We are determined to give women a holistic solution/ tool to all her health concerns and get rid of that stigma around the topic in India.
It is this passion for women’s health that has translated into two PCOS products to help women. &Me’s PCOS drink and &Me’s PCOS tea. We created these products to provide natural alternatives to pills that only address symptoms and are harmful.
Starting September 1st to September 30th, we will be using social media (Follow us on Instagram – andme.in) to educate about PCOS and show our support for all women with PCOS with every day live sessions, and content